The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

The Jewish Historical Institute is a public cultural and research institution in Warsaw, Poland. It was created in 1947 as a continuation of the Central Jewish Historical Commission, founded in 1944. In 2009 it was named after Emanuel Ringelblum and became a public cultural institution.

The Institute is a repository of documentary materials relating to the Jewish history in Poland. It is also a center for academic research, study and the dissemination of knowledge about the history and culture of Polish Jewry.

The mission of the Jewish Historical Institute is to spread knowledge about the heritage of the thousand years of Jewish presence on the Polish lands. The institution realizes its aim among others through presenting its collections as temporary and permanent expositions, organizing various kinds of artistic events, academic conferences and public education meetings, as well as educational and publishing activity.

The Institute is both a depository of the memory of the past and a living cultural center – a place that actively participates in the process of creating historical awareness and forming civic attitudes.

The most valuable part of the collection is the Warsaw Ghetto Archive, known as the Ringelblum Archive (collected by the Oyneg Shabbos group led by Emanuel Ringelblum). It contains some 6,000 documents on about 30,000 pages. Other important collections concerning World War II include testimonies (mainly of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust), memoirs and diaries, documentation of the welfare organizations active in Poland under the occupation, and documents from the Jewish Councils. The documentation of Jewish historical sites holds about 40 thousand photographs concerning Jewish life in Poland.

Two digital repositories, Delet portal and Central Jewish Library, has been created to make the sources of the Jewish Historical Institute available for researchers, students and the wide public. They deliver tools and digitized collections to everyone interested in the culture and history of the Polish Jews.

The Institute also carries out publishing activities. Among the issued works are the full edition of the Ringelblum Archive, research books and numerous wartime memoirs and diaries. The English translation of the Ringelblum Archive is under way. For over 60 years now, the institute has been publishing an academic journal, since 2001 titled The Jewish History Quarterly.

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