Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Manuscript Collection 184

Our 184th Manuscript Collection is complete!

Our archives (paper documents and books) are a rich source of information about the life and history of Jewish Maryland. Our collections come from individuals, businesses, and synagogues. While we use these archives ourselves on a fairly regular basis for exhibitions, articles and books we also have frequent visits from researchers – people looking to learn more about their family history, students researching papers, academics writing books, etc.

Researchers at work in the library

Our manuscript collections are our larger collections, which range in size from a single 2.5 inch wide box to enough boxes to fill 25 shelves. For each collection we preserve the documents (by removing damaging fasteners like staples, paperclips, and rubber bands and placing the papers in protective folders and boxes) then write a finding aid. Finding aids are documents that help researchers find exactly what information they want without having to leaf through every single piece of paper. Each finding aid has the same basic elements – a biography or history of the person or organization that created the collection, a scope and content note that describes what kinds of information can be found in the collection, and a list of the titles of all of the folders.

Completed Manuscript Collections

Intern Brittney Baltimore processing a manuscript collection

Below is an excerpt from one of our most recent finding aids. We’ll be posting such excerpts for each new finding aid as we write them as well has highlighting some older parts of our collection!

Hebrew School Books

Bachman Family Hebrew School Book Collection

MS 184


The Bachman Family Hebrew School Book Collection was donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland in 2009 as accession 2009.086 by Harriet Bachman. The collection was processed by Jennifer Vess in June 2010.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.


Harriet Katz Bachman was born in Washington, DC to Ernestine Amelia Bernheim Katz (1915-2006) and Moses Joseph Katz (1913-1957). She moved to Maryland in 1969 and has lived in various neighborhoods around Baltimore and Columbia. Harriet married Lawrence Robert Bachman in 1969 and they have three children: Seth, Peter, and Eleanor. All three of the Bachman children attended the Howard County Jewish Community School in Columbia, MD until approximately the age of 13. Their final two years of Hebrew school (after Bar/Bat Mitzvah) were provided through Temple Isaiah.

The Howard County Jewish Community School was founded in 1971 as a joint venture of the Columbia Jewish Congregation, Temple Isaiah, and Congregation Beth Shalom. In 1993 the school came under the sole direction of the Columbia Jewish Congregation, a reconstructionist-affiliated synagogue, and the school eventually changed its name to the Columbia Jewish Community School. By that time the other two synagogues had founded their own schools. [Information from]


The Bachman Family Hebrew School Book Collection consists of school books used by Seth, Peter, and Nora though at least one was also used by Harriet Bachman in her youth. The books have been organized according to their Library of Congress classification. Library of Congress numbers could not be found for the last twelve books. Of these twelve the first eight are language texts and follow directly after the other language texts. The remaining four books are texts that appear to have been printed specifically for the local Hebrew schools and come at the end of the collection.

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