Guide to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
1979-1996

I-413

Processed by AJHS staff and Patricia Glowinski.

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2018  American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Patricia Glowinski in August 2014. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Title: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Dates:1979-1996
Abstract: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was created to advance and disseminate knowledge about the Holocaust, to document and interpret Holocaust history, and to serve as the nation's permanent living memorial to the Holocaust. The collection includes newsletters, Days of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust publications and printed matter, photographs, press releases, conference material, teaching guides and curricula, and fundraising and membership material.
Languages: The collection is in English.
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (3 manuscript boxes)
Identification: I-413
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
Location: Located in AJHS New York, NY
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Historical Note
USHMM logo

USHMM logo

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter created the President's Commission on the Holocaust to study and report on the establishment and maintenance of a national memorial to the millions of people who perished in the Holocaust. The Commission, headed by Elie Wiesel, consisted of 34 members from a variety of backgrounds, including Holocaust survivors. In 1979, the Commission issued a report with their final recommendations. The report enumerated the following recommendations: that a national museum and memorial be erected in Washington, D.C.; that the museum should have an educational foundation; that a Committee on Conscience should be appointed to study and monitor acts of genocide throughout the world; that the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust be proclaimed in perpetuity to be held annually; that the United States should ratify the Genocide Convention; that the United States should investigate and prosecute Nazi war criminals in America; and that the funding of the museum and memorial should be based on a public-private partnership involving government funding and private fundraising.

In 1980, the United States Congress voted to establish a national museum and memorial to the Holocaust to document, study, and interpret Holocaust history. The task of establishing a memorial museum was given to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. The museum was built on 1.9 acres of land along the National Mall that was donated by the federal government. Architect James Ingo Freed (1930-2005), of Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (formerly I.M. Pei and Partners), was the lead designer. Freed was a native of Essen, Germany of Jewish ancestry who immigrated to the United States with his family in 1939. As a child, Freed experienced the terror of Kristallnacht first hand in November 1938. Freed wanted to design a building that could be experienced viscerally; a building that would become a "resonator of memory" and "take you in its grip." To accomplish this, he visited Holocaust sites in Europe, including concentration camps and ghettos, to gain an understanding of the structures and materials used in these settings.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened to the public in 1993. Visitors enter the Museum through the Hall of Witness, a sky-lit, three-story gathering place that leads to the Museum's exhibitions. The Museum also features the Hall of Remembrance, a quiet area that provides visitors a space for reflection. The Museum's permanent exhibition, called The Holocaust, takes visitors on a self-guided exploration through three floors of exhibition space. Along with the permanent exhibition, the Museum also holds special exhibitions throughout the year; offers public and school programming; creates and disseminates educational material and curricula; and collects and preserves material evidence, art, and artifacts. The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies is also located within the Museum. The Center offers academic programs, hosts scholarly presentations, and publishes studies, reports, and the Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933-1945. As of 2014, more than 36 million people have visited the Museum since it opened in 1993.

References

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Newsletter, May 1988; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection; I-413; box 3, folder 2; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY, and Boston, MA.

"About the Museum." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://www.ushmm.org/information/about-the-museum

"United States Holocaust Memorial Museum." Pei Cobb Freed and Partners. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://www.pcf-p.com/a/p/8627/s.html

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of material chronicling the planning, creation, and activities of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The collection contains Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust publications, material pertaining to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, newsletters, photographs, press releases, conference material, teaching guides and educational curricula, and fundraising and membership material.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged into two series.

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Access and Use

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
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Related Material

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum itself maintains research collections, with information available here: http://www.ushmm.org/research

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection; I-413; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Acquisition Information

Portions of the collection were donated to AJHS in separate accessions from 1993 to 1994. The majority of the collection was compiled by AJHS staff.

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Processing Information

The collection was previously partially processed and a box list was created, date and author unknown. In 2014, processing was completed and a finding aid was created by Patricia Glowinski. During the final processing a small amount of duplicate material was discarded.

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Bibliography

Books and other material related to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum may be found by searching the catalog of the Center for Jewish History. http://search.cjh.org

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.

 

Series I: Subject files,  1979-1996

In English.
Box 1, Folders 1-11 (.5 linear feet).
Arrangement:

Alphabetical.

Scope and Content:

This series includes material regarding the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the group that was tasked with planning and overseeing the construction of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The series also contains material documenting Holocaust commemoration activities before, during, and after the construction of the Museum. Also included in the series are press releases, conference material, fundraising and membership material, teaching guides and educational curricula, and photographs. The photographs show items from the Museum's collection, as well as show views of a commemoration ceremony held at the USHMM construction site in Washington, D.C. The photographs are black-and-white and were created in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Two images are reproductions of photographs showing scenes from the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps in 1945. The reproductions were used in the Museum's fundraising and membership campaigns.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 1 Clippings regarding the Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 1995 request_box
1 2 Faith in Humankind Conference 1984 request_box
1 3 Fundraising and membership 1984-1985 request_box
1 4 International Liberators Conference 1981 request_box
1 5 National Writing Contest on the Holocaust 1988-1991 request_box
1 6 The Other Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis Conference 1987 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
(Photos) 1 Photographs - (11, black-and-white) 1980s-1990s request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 7 Press releases (1 of 2) 1987-1990 request_box
1 8 Press releases (2 of 2) 1987-1990 request_box
1 9 Teaching guides and educational curricula 1989-1993 request_box
1 10 United States Holocaust Memorial Council 1979-1994 request_box
1 11 United States Holocaust Research Institute 1989-1996 request_box
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Series II: Publications and printed matter,  1981-1995

In English.
Box 1, Folder 12 and Boxes 2-3 (1 linear foot).
Arrangement:

Alphabetical by title, then chronological thereafter.

Scope and Content:

This series consists of publications and printed matter created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The Days of Remembrance publications and printed matter include annual commemoration planning guides, programs, press releases from the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and fact sheets. The Night of Pogroms: Kristallnacht educational booklet, published in 1988, includes background information and personal accounts of Kristallnacht. The booklet also includes study aides, a resource list, and an eyewitness account of Kristallnacht by James Ingo Freed, the architect of the USHMM.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Newsletter began publication five years before the Museum opened to the public in 1993. It chronicles fundraising efforts, Museum acquisitions, updates regarding Museum staff and new hires, news and activities of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and information about the Holocaust. Update is a newsletter that replaced the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Newsletter in 1993. It includes general Museum news, as well as information about Museum exhibitions, programs, films, and lectures.

BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
1 12 Days of Remembrance printed matter 1981-1994 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
2 1 Days of Remembrance program 1983 request_box
2 2 Days of Remembrance program 1984 request_box
2 3 Days of Remembrance: A Department of Defense Guide for Annual Commemorative Observances (Second Edition) 1989 request_box
2 4 Days of Remembrance planning guide - Fifty Years After the Eve of Destruction 1989 request_box
2 5 Days of Remembrance planning guide - Remembering the Voices That Were Silenced 1990 request_box
2 6 Days of Remembrance planning guide - Fifty Years Ago: From Terror to Systematic Murder 1991 request_box
2 7 Days of Remembrance planning guide - Fifty Years Ago: In the Depths of Darkness 1992 request_box
2 8 Days of Remembrance planning guide - Fifty Years Ago: Revolt Amid the Darkness 1993 request_box
BoxFolderTitleDateRequest
3 1 Days of Remembrance planning guide - Fifty Years Ago: Darkness Before Dawn 1994 request_box
3 2 Night of Pogroms: Kristallnacht November 9-10, 1938, booklet 1988 request_box
3 3 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Newsletter 1988-1991 request_box
3 4 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Newsletter 1992-1993 request_box
3 5 Update (newsletter) 1993-1995 request_box
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