Center for Jewish History Archival Fellowship Program 2014

Center for Jewish History Archival Fellowship Program presented in collaboration with Columbia University’s Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies

The Center for Jewish History and Columbia University are pleased to announce six fellowships open to graduate students, post-graduates, and early career professionals in the humanities.

This program will provide fellows with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in an archival institution while applying the knowledge of language, history, and culture that they have developed in their humanities studies.  By working at the Center for Jewish History with diverse collections from one of three participating partner institutions— the American Jewish Historical Society, the Leo Baeck Institute, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research—fellows will be introduced to basic archival theory and practice that will strengthen their capabilities as researchers and open up new professional directions for them.

The primary focus of the fellowship is on processing, arrangement, and description of personal papers and/or organizational records.  Fellows will work under the supervision of an experienced professional archivist and write collection guides for online publication.  A combination of selected readings, discussions, and archival processing practice will introduce fellows to standards of archival description and key concepts in archival theory, such as provenance and original order.  Additionally, the fellows will be introduced to conservation, digitization, and reference work.

Weekly seminars hosted by the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University will serve to enhance the practical experience fellows receive at the Center for Jewish History.

This six-week program will begin July 1, 2014 and end on August 12, 2014.  Start and end dates are slightly negotiable if they conflict with academic calendars or other scheduling issues.  Over the course of thirty weekdays, fellows will receive 200 hours of intensive hands-on training and practice in archival work. Fellows will be provided with a stipend of $4000 for their participation in the program.


  • Current enrollment in a PhD, MA or equivalent graduate program in the humanities or recent completion of a PhD, MA or equivalent graduate degree in the humanities
  • Familiarity with Jewish history and culture, preferably via Jewish studies coursework completed or research conducted
  • Reading knowledge of German and/or Yiddish (or relevant Slavic languages like Polish)
  • Fluency in English
  • Experience using archives for research

Please note that this fellowship program is geared towards candidates with no formal archival training or coursework in library or archival studies.

Six fellowships are available, at least four of which will be filled by European candidates.   Assistance with visa arrangements will be available to European candidates, and assistance with housing will be available to all candidates.

Please submit the following application materials to Rachel Miller, Senior Manager for Archival Services, at

  • 1-2 page academic writing sample in English
  • Cover letter that details how this program fits with the candidate’s interests
  • List of 3 references

Application deadline is March 2, 2014.  Application review will begin immediately.  No phone calls, please.