This Week in JPL History: The Bronfman Collection of Jewish Canadiana

This book plate was used to show that a volume was a part of the Bronfman Collection of Jewish Canadiana

Dedicated on June 13th, 1954 the Bronfman Collection of Jewish Canadiana is a reference collection intended to represent the Jewish community in Canada as a whole. Currently, the collection is held with the Jewish Public Library Archives. Sections of the collection are devoted to a spectrum of topics including Hebrew literature, Canadian Jewish history, travellers accounts, press reports, Jewish Americana of Canadian interest, Canadian synagogues, and more. Within it there is a large section of material relating to Yiddish literature, which includes copies of works by Yiddish authors as well as criticisms, translations, and records of Yiddish writers’ associations.

The collection was officially dedicated by the Honorable John W. Pickersgill (the then Secretary of State in the Federal Cabinet) in front of a crowd of approximately 500. Its formation was initiated by Samuel Bronfman, a successful businessman and philanthropist, who also spoke at the event. The ceremony marked the second time in less than a year that Bronfman spoke at a JPL event, as he was also present at the dedication for the new building which had taken place in October of the prior year. You can listen to the dedication ceremony of the Samuel Bronfman Collection of Jewish Canadiana through the work of the Yiddish Book Center.

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund

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