Collection chronicling life of Zionist activist receives the spotlight
The Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections announced on Nov. 1 that it is featuring the Nahum Goldmann collection, which chronicles the life of the Zionist activist and Israel advocate, in their monthly Spotlight.
Anne Woodrum, the Archives and Special Collections librarian, wrote in an email to the Justice that the Spotlight is a way to “showcase or promote material and collections in Special Collections.”
She also explained that faculty members, scholars or graduate and undergraduate volunteers with expertise or an interest in the material write individual spotlights.
According to the Spotlight’s online description, Goldmann was born in Russia in 1895 and raised in Germany and began to write articles and give speeches in support of Zionism at age 14.
He spent much of his adult life fighting for reparations for Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and working on behalf of the state of Israel, serving as a valuable source of diplomatic influence.
After moving to Geneva, Goldmann represented the Jewish Agency at the League of Nations and served as the head of the Comité des Délégation Juives.
Goldmann also served as president of the World Jewish Congress from 1949 to 1978 and the World Zionist Organization from 1956 to 1968.
According to Judaica Librarian James Rosenbloom, Goldmann “interacted with many of the leaders of the Jewish world, in Israel and elsewhere,” and “was an important figure in twentieth century Jewish history.”
Goldmann’s son, Dr. Guido Goldmann, donated the collection to the University in spring 2012, telling Archives staff that “his father would have wanted the collection to come to Brandeis,” according to Woodrum.
Rosenbloom also added that Goldmann “was interested in the materials residing in a special collections department that would take good care of them…and make [the collection] available to researchers.” Once the Archives received the collection, the process of cataloguing and preparing it began.
The collection is comprised of professional and personal correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, scrapbooks, awards, artifacts and oral histories, according to Woodrum.
The collection’s materials span almost a century, from 1910 to 2004.
He also told the Justice that the collection was a medium-sized collection when compared to other collections overseen by the Archives and that it consists of “approximately 22 linear feet,” which is a system designed to measure the amount of space the collection occupies when stored.
Project Archivist Emily Lapworth wrote in an e-mail to the Justice that she wrote the Spotlight to “highlight the value of the collection, and to give a general description of Nahum Goldmann himself and of the materials that are in his collection at Brandeis.”
Lapworth wrote that she believes the collection is important because of Goldmann’s standing as a significant figure in 20th century Jewish life and that the collection’s primary sources provide great insight into his life.
The collection is available to the public for viewing and research use and can be found in the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections in the Goldfarb Library.
The Archives also received a donation of historical photographs last week from Richard Borkow ’63.
The 25 photographs captured Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, Eleanor Roosevelt and others and were taken by Borkow, who made a habit out of carrying his camera with him while on campus.
The photograph of Roosevelt is especially valuable, according to University Archivist Maggie McNeely in a Nov. 5 BrandeisNOW article, because it is “probably the best smile of her we’ve caught on campus.” McNeely went on to describe it as a “really warm photo.”
Borkow also gave the University the copyrights of the photographs, permitting their free use.
This was useful because “having a photograph without a copyright means someone could look at it here [the Archives], but we couldn’t do anything else with it,” according to McNeely.
She added that it was “very generous of [Borkow] to do that for us.”