The JHSSA has a wealth of resources for research regarding Jewish history in southern Alberta. Questions can be directed to our Archivist, Agi Romer Segal, and our archives and library can be accessed by appointment. Please contact the office for more information.
We collect and preserve a wide variety of original material in our archival collection. We continue to collect minutes books, financial records, memoirs, programs, certificates, letters and official documents. Our Archives are stored in the Beth Tzedec Synagogue building. We also maintain a large reference file and a collection of all the local Jewish press in our office.
Harry and Martha Cohen Library
Our library now houses over 400 books and videos devoted to Jewish history and genealogy. We also subscribe to a variety of historical and genealogical journals. JHSSA members are welcome to borrow books and the general public is welcome to consult our collection.
Thousands of people in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver enjoyed our first major exhibit, Land of Promise, which illustrated Southern Alberta’s Jewish history from 1888 to 1945. A Joyful Harvest opened in November, 2005. It celebrated Alberta’s centennial and explored the Jewish contribution to
southern Alberta life.
Education is a vital part of the JHSSA mandate. We proudly participate in Historic Calgary Week, provide resources for local Jewish schools, present programs at our annual meetings and mount rotating displays at both the Calgary JCC and Beth Tzedec Synagogue. In addition, we answer research questions from near and far.
Oral History Collection
Our volunteers have recorded over 150 oral history interviews with members of our community. Most of these interviews have now been transcribed. We also have a number of videotaped interviews with our pioneers. JHSSA volunteers continue to interview notable southern Alberta Jewish residents.
Our photo collection includes over 1,800 images. We make a laser copy of each photo to produce a photo index file for easy reference and to protect the originals. We plan to computer-index each image to allow for maximum accessibility.
We maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date cemetery file. Each gravestone in every Jewish cemetery in southern Alberta is photographed. The location of each grave is recorded and the Hebrew inscription and date is translated. We have also collected local obituaries since 1994.
“Of all national assets, Archives are the most precious; they are the gift of one generation to another; and the extent of our care of them marks the extent of our civilization.”
– Sir A. Doughty, Dominion Archivist, 1904-1935