The Intermountain Jewish News has completed another major step in its multi-pronged project of preserving intermountain Jewish history: the second phase of the digitization of the IJN.
Back issues of the IJN, Jan. 6, 1927-Dec. 26, 1969 are now live on the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection website.
The other efforts in the IJN history project are:
• the digitization of the IJN, 1918-1926, and of its predecessor, The Jewish Outlook, as part of a Library of Congress collection; the earliest years already completed and the years 1923-1926 scheduled for completion this summer.
• the completion of the cataloguing of the papers of the late IJN publisher, Max Goldberg (1911-1972) by the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library.
• the continuing, bi-annual binding of the issues of the IJN in single volume archives, along with microfilm copies, in the paper’s offices and at History Colorado, and hard copies at the Western History Collection of DPL.
The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection website, which now holds the 1927-1969 IJNs, is a project of the Colorado State Library. It includes more than 600 individual newspaper titles.
The site is fully searchable and free of charge to use.
“We are proud to partner with CHNC, an organization that understands the value of community newspapers,” said IJN Assistant Publisher Shana Goldberg.
“The IJN is the only comprehensive historic record of Colorado Jewry. As society seeks to better understand the lived experiences of minority groups, the IJN provides unique insight into a significant minority community in Colorado’s fabric.
“Curious intermountain Jews and others who seek old birth or Bar or Bat Mitzvah announcements, or information about friends’ or their parents’, grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ Jewish activities now have easy access.
“People who want to know about current and deceased rabbis and Jewish pioneers, politicians, community builders, physicians, entertainers, sports figures, synagogue activists, dinner honorees and business figures now have easy access.
“We are grateful to Rose Community Foundation for making this digitization possible, and for recognizing the benefit to Colorado’s Jewish community of having this information digitized and widely accessible.”
Access to the IJN archive will also illuminate the issues and culture of Colorado Jewry, including the challenges of integrating into a larger populace, the impact on local politics and business, the religious debates of the day, the evolution of institutions from synagogues to educational facilities to JCCs to healthcare institutions.
The IJN has extensively covered these and more, focusing on the people involved, the ideas debated, the fiscal realities and the goals envisioned.
“We are beyond pleased to include this new and very important title in CHNC,” said project partner Leigh Jeremias, digital collections consultant at the Colorado State Library.
In 2016, as part of a History Colorado grant, the earliest extant IJNs were digitized, 1918-1922, and added to “Chronicling America,” a collection of historic American newspapers, sponsored by the Library of Congress and National Endowment of the Arts.
As part of that national grant, the IJN years 1923-1926 are slated for digitization in early summer, 2022.
Prior to digitization, researchers had to either come to the IJN in person, where bound volumes are housed, or use archived copies or microfilmed copies held by Denver Public Library and the Colorado State Historian, respectively.
Readers are still welcome and still do come to the IJN offices to research, see, touch and feel the old issues of the paper. The IJN’s copies go back to the 1920s, with sporadic earlier issues.
Said Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, IJN editor and publisher, who holds a PhD in history from Brandeis University, who is a published historian and is sensitive to the importance of recording and preserving history, welcomed the latest round of digitization. He said:
“With the IJN housed in digital format on the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection website, the IJN will be preserved in a long-lasting format and widely available to anyone locally and further afield who seeks to research Jewish life in Colorado, or simply to locate a specific item of interest, such as a birth announcement, an editorial, a community dinner or a contemporary debate.”
Chris Leppek, IJN assistant editor who also acts as the paper’s unofficial record keeper, commented:
“The digitization of these IJN archives is a valuable and fascinating resource for anyone interested in genealogy, local, national or international Jewish history, or who is simply curious about how we got to be where we are today.
“I strongly encourage our readers to check it out.”
To access the archive, visit https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org/.
Copyright © 2022 by the Intermountain Jewish News