Jewish Public Library
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The stories we tell...
Collections

The JPL-Archives collects and preserves records in all formats.  The collection is rich and diverse and continues to develop through donations from within the community as well as our relationships with various organizations and institutions.

The majority of our collections are now searchable on the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network database, www.cjhn.ca.  Selections of these collections have also been digitized and can be viewed through the database.  If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact us directly as some collections are awaiting arrangement and description.

In general, the following formats are found in our collections:

Textual

The majority of the JPL-Archives collection consists of textual records from all aspects of the Montreal Jewish community. The Archives houses the personal and professional records from authors and poets, artists, politicians, religious and community leaders, as well as families within the community. Our long-standing motto is, "You don't have to be famous to be important to us!" The collection also consists of the records of associations and organizations as well as community schools (United Talmud Torahs, Jewish Peoples' School and Jewish Peretz School).  Subject areas covered by these textual materials include educational history, the labour movement, women’s rights movement, Yiddish literature and poetry, Canadian art, politics, music and entertainment, religion and much more.

Our oldest document dates back to 1775 and we collect to present day.  The Archives also houses the institutional records of the Jewish Public Library from its inception in 1914 to present day.

Photographs

The JPL-Archives houses over 30,000 photographs. Descriptions (and in some cases digital previews) of these photographs can be accessed through the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network database.

The photograph collection dates from the late 19th century to present day. Included are portraits of individuals and families, specific events within the Montreal Jewish community and the larger global community, images of associations, schools, camps, and much more.

Posters and Graphic Materials

The JPL-Archives currently has over 200 rare posters in its collection. The majority of the posters are in Yiddish, Hebrew and English, dating from the early 20th century to present day. The posters relay events (rallies, political meetings, and cultural presentations) of the Montreal Jewish community and also of Jewish communities abroad.

Various collections also include textiles, artefacts, sound recordings and moving images.  Please contact the Archives directly if you require assistance locating specific material.