Jewish History Museum archiving treasures

The Jewish History Museum has begun cataloging and archiving artifacts in its permanent collection, thanks to partial funding from the Arizona Humanities Council. Photographs of many of the artifacts may be viewed on the museumís website, jewishhistorymuseum.org (click on the artifacts tab).

Among the artifacts are over 40,000 paper items, including articles, photographs, documents and scrapbooks, which will be sorted, scanned, photographed and, in some cases, researched prior to being placed in archival storage boxes for preservation. Interns from the University of Arizona History Department, as well as volunteer archivists from the Tucson community, will be working with museum professionals over the next year to complete the work.

One of the first items to be archived is a delicate fragment of paper with a typed list of the Theresienstadt Cremation Log dated May 22, 1944. The list contains the names of 18 individuals who were murdered at the concentration camp, their year of birth, age and the time of day that they were sent to the crematorium. Two of the 18 names appear to be Roman Catholics, says Eileen Warshaw, executive director of the museum; the remaining names are believed to be Jewish. The fragment was presented to the museum by the late Gerd Strauss, a Holocaust survivor. The Strauss family donated a large collection of papers to the museum.

Additional volunteers and funding are being sought. For more information call 670-9073. Donations may be mailed to JHM Archives, P.O. Box 889, Tucson, 85702.