JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (Israel) Israel National Library Digitized Collection of Communal Ledgers from Long Lost Jewish European Communities #general

Jan Meisels Allen

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:
Their blog has more information on this new collection which can be read at:

To read the AP story on this see:

Thank you to Randy Herschaft, Associated Press, for sharing the story with

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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