Jul 2005 Journal

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Germania Judaica: Cologne library of Jewish life

Germania Judaica is an academic library devoted to German-speaking Jewry in Cologne. It is funded by the City of Cologne and the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Germania Judaica library and society were founded in 1959 by a group of citizens eager to create an instrument enabling people to obtain objective facts on the life, history and culture of Jews in German-speaking countries. The objective was to prevent prejudice towards Jewry.

The first chairman of Germania Judaica was Heinrich Böll, the German author and Nobel Prize laureate. Today - more than 45 years later - the library holds over 85,000 titles and research publications on all aspects of the history of German-speaking Jews from the sixteenth century onwards. Germania Judaica's 'jewel in the crown' is its holding of over 500 German Jewish newspapers and journals, the oldest of them dating from the beginning of the nineteenth century. On the basis of these newspapers Germania Judaica also participates in the project German Jewish Periodicals, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (see www.compactmemory.de).

Germania Judaica maintains extensive contacts with similar institutions worldwide and publishes a regular directory of research projects (Arbeitsinformationen) relating to the history of German Jewry and antisemitism (for the latest edition, that of 2004, see www.germaniajudaica.de). The principal clientele of the library are academic staff of the University of Cologne and neighbouring universities as well as of universities throughout Germany, Europe and even the USA, Israel and Japan. People from the media, and specially teachers and pupils as well as other interested people from Cologne, are readers at Germania Judaica. The main interest of readers is the fate of Jews in Europe during the Nazi period, but there is also considerable interest in the life of the German Jewish communities today.

An excellent starting point for genealogical research into German Jewish families which may be of particular interest to AJR members is the website www.germaniajudaica.de/kontakt.htm.

Everyone is welcome to use our wide range of literature and research publications. For further information, please contact:

Germania Judaica
Kölner Bibliothek zur Geschichte des deutschen Judentums e.V.
Dr Annette Haller
Josef-Haubrich-Hof 1
D - 50676 Cologne, Germany
Telephone: +49 221 232349
Fax: + 49 221 240 6963
Email: gj@ub.uni-koeln.de
website: www.germaniajudaica.de

previous article:The General Settlement Fund - a breakthrough, of sorts
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