Temple University has taken ownership of one of the most extensive collections documenting Jewish culture and history in the region.
Larry Alford, Temple's dean of university libraries, says the collection -- a gift from the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center -- is breathtaking: "The collection began to be built in 1972. It is five million items, some 4,500 linear feet of boxes."
The collection documents Jewish life, experiences, culture, and history in this area. Alford says it's a historian's dream, packed with hidden jewels throughout:
"And that's what makes it so exciting for researchers. Discovering letters, documents that perhaps haven't been read before that really add to our understanding of history, understanding of life in the 19th century and the early 20th century, perhaps documents that shed light on historical mysteries."
One of the crown jewels, says Alford, is a the diary of Israel Chanin, written by a teenaged Lithuanian immigrant from 1924 to 1929. (KYW)
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