Historical Jewish Press’ has three main targets:
• To rescue, preserve and provide access to Jewish press archives
• To bring the digital revolution and the use of the Internet to this field.
• To build one central digital repository for newspapers of the Jewish Diaspora, in its different branches and diverse languages.
The Historical Jewish Press Website is a joint project of Tel-Aviv University and the Israeli National Library, in collaboration with other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations throughout the world. The site includes the largest archive of Jewish newspapers published in different countries, languages, and time periods. We display digital versions of the newspapers, making it possible to view them in their original layout. Full-text search is also available for their full content. The website already includes 26 newspapers and periodicals, among them the major Israeli dailies Palestine Post (1930-1950), Davar (1925-1996), and Maariv (1948-present); the Jewish French periodical Bulletin de l’Alliance Israélite Universelle (1860-1913); most of the 19th Century Hebrew newspapers, including Halevanon, Hamagid, Hameliz etc., and journals from a broad range of countries like Morocco, Egypt and Hungary. We plan to develop special sections for the English, French, Yiddish, Ladino and Judeo-Arabic press.
The website, which is a non-profit project that is free and open to the public, marks a breakthrough in the accessibility and quantity of sources available for the research of Jewish history and culture. It gives users the ability, in the click of a “mouse”, to search for keywords in one or many newspaper, facilitating searches for public figures, communities, institutions, families, events, etc.
The Website serves scholars and students from all over the world and from a variety of disciplines: history, literature, linguistics, communications, and more. It crosses not only linguistic and geographical divides, but also religious and political lines. For instance, many North African Muslim students take advantage of its archive of Jewish French newspapers.
The website is not reserved f’or the academic campuses. The project initiators’ goal is to benefit the entire education system—to give teachers a tool through which to connect their pupils directly with yesterday’s events and discoveries. “We work for the whole community,” they say, “Isn’t it the advantage of rescuing that kind of popular media from oblivion?”