Be sure to visit the recently created Iraqi Jewish Archive website: WWW.IJA.ARCHIVES.GOV
You can learn about the discovery of water damaged books and documents found in Baghdad in 2003 and how an international effort paved the way for their preservation. Preservation Programs is honored to have a role in preserving these unique materials that chronicle the once-thriving Jewish community in Iraq. You can also search the collection online, view the exhibit now on display at The National Archives in DC through January 5, and much, much more. #Preservation #NARA
And be sure to check out the exhibit “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage” at the National Archives through January 2014
The strange story of the Iraqi Jewish Archives starts with a phone call and then includes a very long flight to Baghdad, drowning documents in a secret basement, a trip to Texas for freeze drying, several years of conservation treatment, and digitization.
Hear the whole story on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the National Archives building in Washington, DC.
Doris Hamburg and Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler of the National Archives discuss the story behind our exhibit of historical materials—discovered in 2003 in Saddam Hussein’s flooded intelligence headquarters—relating to the Jewish community in Iraq.
Joining them are Maurice Shohet, analyst at the Middle East Media Research Institute, and William D. Cavness, Jr., retired Foreign Service officer. Greg Myre, journalist and NPR’s digital editor for international news, will moderate.
Sefer Sipur Nes Hanukkah (The Book of the Story of the Miracle of Hanukkah) Baghdad, 1926
"This book contains the prayers for Hanukkah and the story of the miracle in Judeo-Arabic.
The eight-day holiday of Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE. Festive Hanukkah celebrations in Iraq were marked by the eating of a local delicacy—fried sweet fritters known as zengoula. Local foods shaped the cuisine and traditions of Iraqi Jews”
This book was among the cache of water-soaked documents relating to the Jewish community of Iraq discovered in the basement of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in 2003. The National Archives was asked to provide advice on how to rescue this important group of materials, and over the past years intensive efforts have been involved in the preservation of these important books and documents. Many of these items including this book, are currently on exhibit in “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage” at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, through January 2014.
In June of 2003, the National Archives Preservation Programs received a call for help from Iraq.
American soldiers had found tens of thousands of documents and 2,700 Jewish books while searching in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters. The historic material was soaking wet.
And so Doris Hamburg and Mary-Lynn Ritzenthaler boarded a C-130 cargo plane and flew to Iraq.
Over the next several years, the documents would be cleaned, rehoused in custom-built boxes, stabilized, cataloged, and digitized. Experts in Jewish history, Iraqi and Jewish history, the Iraqi Jewish community, and Jewish rare books lent their skills and knowledge.
On November 7, 2013, the exhibit “Discovery and Recovery: The Iraqi Jewish Archive” opened to the public at the National Archives, and it will be on display until January 5, 2014. You can also see the documents online in a new website.
Read the full story on the Prologue blog: http://go.usa.gov/W82m
Wishing You a Sweet Passover
The “First Passover Sedar Dinner” given by Jewish Welfare Board to men of Jewish Faith in the American Expeditionary Forces in order that they may observe the Passover Holidays. Paris, France., 04/1919
April 6, 2012 marks both the observance of the traditional Seder Dinner at the start of Passover, and the anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I on April 6, 1917, following a Declaration of War on Germany.