Note on Research

Many of the individuals and Zionist organisations involved in the early period of the exhibition have come down to us in name only – tragically, most of the official records were lost in the 1950s when an ultra-efficient care-taker cleared out the archives of the Manchester Zionist Association.  As the historian Bill Williams has put it, "What ended up on a municipal rubbish tip was part of the prehistory of the Jewish State." The initial research for this exhibition, then, is based upon a few surviving personal memoirs and letters, newspaper articles, oral histories, photo archives, and Jewish Year Books. (Selections of the available primary source material are displayed in the exhibition).

Generally speaking, most of the research material was accessible locally. The majority of the personal letters were found at the John Rylands Library, Manchester University, while the few remaining official documents relating to Jewish organisations in Manchester were housed at the Central Reference Library, Local Studies Unit, Manchester. Regarding newspapers, the John Rylands Library also holds microfilm of the Manchester Guardian (1929-) and an index (1872-1928) of the same.  The Local Reference Library holds the complete microfilm collection of the Jewish Chronicle.  Apart from a few interviews I conducted myself (Monty Dobkin, Sir Sidney Hamburger, Peter Weltman, and Maurice Wiseberg), the Jewish Museum provided the oral histories, along with the majority of the photos.  The most complete collection of Jewish Year Books can be found at University College London. Of the secondary sources mentioned in 'Further Reading', the works of the two historians of Manchester Jewry, Bill Williams and Monty Dobkin, were the most useful.

 

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