ISBN : 9780197563526
How do people link the past to the present, marking continuity in the face of the fundamental discontinuities of history? A Time to Gather argues that historical records took on potent value in modern Jewish life as both sources of history and anchors of memory because archives presented one way of transmitting Jewish culture and history from one generation to another as well as making claims of access to an "authentic" Jewish culture. Indeed, both before the Holocaust and in its aftermath, Jewish leaders around the world felt a shared imperative to muster the forces and resources of Jewish life and culture. It was a "time to gather," a feverish era of collecting and conflict in which archive making was both a response to the ruptures of modernity and a mechanism for communities to express their cultural hegemony. Jason Lustig explores these themes across the arc of the twentieth century by excavating three distinctive archival traditions, that of the Cairo Genizah (and its transfer to Cambridge in the 1890s), folkloristic efforts like those of YIVO, and the Gesamtarchiv der deutschen Juden (Central or Total Archive of the German Jews) formed in Berlin in 1905. Lustig presents archive-making as an organizing principle of twentieth-century Jewish culture, as a metaphor of great power and broad symbolic meaning with the dispersion and gathering of documents falling in the context of the Jews' long diasporic history. In this light, creating archives was just as much about the future as it was about the past.
1. Archival Totality in the Gesamtarchiv der deutschen Juden
2. Ingathering the Exiles of the Past? Bringing Archives to Jerusalem
3. An Archive of Diaspora at the 'Jerusalem on the Ohio'
4. Making the Past into History: Jewish Archives and Postwar Germany
5. Digitization, Virtual Collections, and Total Archives in the Twenty-First Century