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American Jewish Historical Society; Pre-1851, Post-1850, and Miscellaneous Newspapers, Collection

Identifier: I-531; I-531A; I-531B

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains selected newspapers printed from 1760 to 1948 and is divided into three series or units: Pre-1851 Newspapers (I-531); Post-1850 Newspapers (I-531A); and Miscellaneous Newspapers (I-531B). Pre-1851 and Post-1850 are the original designations of the collection and no rearrangement will be undertaken at this time. Please note that a few newspapers in both portions of the collection belong chronologically in the early or latter portions of the collection.

The newspapers are not Jewish newspapers in origin, but they contain articles, references, advertisements, or other printed matter regarding Jews primarily in the United States with some newspapers from London, England, Grenada, Barbados and Curacao, Mexico, Montreal and Toronto in Canada.

The newspapers are physically arranged roughly alphabetically by city of publication and then chronologically by date of publication. This arrangement is found in the box list below. A PDF file (click to download) lists the same information in overall chronological order. In addition, a sortable index of individual pre-1851 (I-531) articles is found in an Excel spreadsheet (click to download). This index contains city of publication, name of publication, volume, number, date and page number(s), article title, and subject(s). This index was transcribed from an existing catalog card index.


  • Creation: undated, 1760-1948
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1800-1899

Language of Materials

The collection is in English with some Yiddish, French, and Spanish.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:

American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011


Historical Note<extptr actuate="onload" altrender="Pennsylvania Gazette, November 6, 1760" href="" show="embed" title="Pennsylvania Gazette, November 6, 1760"/>

A comprehensive historical note regarding the collection is beyond the scope of the current finding guide, which serves as an index to the collection.


82 Linear Feet (41 OS2 boxes)


This collection contains newspapers designated as Pre-1851 (I-531), Post-1850 (I-531A) and Miscellaneous (I-531B) Newspaper Collections. The newspapers are primarily from cities within the United States with some from world locales such as London, Grenada, Barbados, Curacao, Mexico, Montreal and Toronto. A few newspapers are from the Jewish press, though the greater majority of newspapers are not Jewish in origin but contain articles, references, advertisements, or other printed matter regarding Jews. The collection has a downloadable article index that can be used to pinpoint material in the first portion of the collection (Pre-1851) designated as I-531.


The collection is arranged roughly alphabetically by city into three (3) collection series (I-531, I-531A, and I-531B). Each series is roughly arranged alphabetically by city of publication and chronologically by date of publication. In addition, a separate PDF spreadsheet may be viewed at this link, which arranges the newspapers chronologically by date. Box numbers with no letter are from Series I. Box numbers with the alphabet A and B reflect Series II and Series III of the collection.

The collection is arranged into three series as follows:

Physical Location

Located in AJHS New York, NY.

Custodial History

The provenance and origins of the three collections of newspapers within the American Jewish Historical Society’s “Pre-1851 Newspapers,” “Post-1850 Newspapers,” and “Miscellaneous Newspapers” is unknown. At one time, the AJHS held a large collection of rare newspapers, periodicals, and serials from both the Jewish and non-Jewish press that originated from various cities and towns in older American and Canadian cities, as well as South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. In 1987, this large collection of newspapers, periodicals, and serials were housed in a storage facility located in Stoughton, Massachusetts after the AJHS moved from New York City to Waltham, Massachusetts. On October 31, 1994, an electrical fire broke out in the storage facility, causing fire and water-related damage to large portions of the collection. It is not known how the “Pre-1850” and “Post-1851” newspaper collections were related to this larger collection of historic newspapers or whether some of the newspapers in the present collection were destroyed in the warehouse fire and these collections are what remains of that larger collection. Preservation efforts to save the fire- and water-damaged collection failed when the cold storage trailer holding the materials malfunctioned, unbeknownst to the historical society staff, that were in the process of soliciting donations and conservators to rescue the collection. This finding aid will be updated as documentation on the history of the overall collection is found within the records of the American Jewish Historical Society. It is unclear to what extent the fire impacted this collection.

Processing Information

This collection box list was created by Sheldon Moline, an AJHS volunteer, in 2012. He carefully went through each paper and created a database of the newspaper titles, locations of publication, dates, folder numbers, and box numbers. The staff of AJHS thank Mr. Moline for his work. In 2014, AJHS volunteer Jane Foss transcribed the index to the pre-1851 articles, which is now available as a downloadable spreadsheet. The staff of AJHS thank Ms. Foss for her work. Tanya Elder created the prefatory materials for this finding aid.

Guide to the Pre-1851; Post-1850; and Miscellaneous Newspaper Collections, undated, 1760-1948 (bulk 1800-1899)   *I-531; I-531A; I-531B
Processed by AJHS Staff and Volunteers
© 2012
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2014-10-26: Link to spreadsheet of partial article index was added by Kevin Schlottmann

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States