June 19, 2019
The Israel National Library has digitized a collection of communal ledgers from Jewish European communities. The communities were from hundreds of years ago and the ledgers, known as pinkasim, kept track of financial transactions, political happenings, and relations with non-Jewish government bodies. Any Jewish community with a governing body had such a ledger. The pinkasim give an understanding of early modern Jewish European history.
The first part of the project uploaded about 200 documents from the years 1500 to 1800. During the 1800's Jewish communal self-governance was reduced as Jews became more integrated into European societies. The Library does not plan to translate the ledgers and they are in several languages, including Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and others.
The website of the Israel National Library is: http://web.nli.org.il/sites/nli/english/pages/default.aspx
Their blog has more information on this new collection which can be read at: https://blog.nli.org.il/en/
To read the AP story on this see:
Thank you to Randy Herschaft, Associated Press, for sharing the story with us.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee