Birmingham Hebrew Congregation Collections

Architectural elevation of a section of Birmingham Hebrew Congregation Synagogue • Birmingham Hebrew Congregation Collections

The Birmingham Hebrew Congregation Collections are a selection of archival collections held by Birmingham Archives & Collections, Library of Birmingham as part of Local Authority archives. The collections contain a wealth of information about Jewish life in Birmingham and the community’s involvement with the arts, social work, politics, business, charities and societies.

Archive Description

Birmingham Archives & Collections holds a number of Jewish collections including the records of the Birmingham Hebrew Congregation, mainly relating to Singers Hill Synagogue and the Hebrew School/King David School. The archive includes minutes of the committees which governed the synagogue including Council, whose minutes date from the 1820s and are the oldest in the collection. The collection also includes school records, correspondence belonging to the Secretary of the synagogue, marriage and death registration records, plans of the synagogue, the schools, and other buildings owned by the Congregation, ledgers, cashbooks, and other records of synagogue finances along with photographs that date from the 1940s and some published material such as orders of service. Other Jewish collections includes the papers of The Birmingham Jewish Literary and Arts Society which grew from a number of Jewish arts societies set up in Birmingham in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and personal archives such as Zoe Josephs, the founder and leading personality of the Birmingham Jewish Historical Research Group.

Access Information

The archives re open to members of the general public and can be accessed by appointment at the Wolfson Centre for Archival Research, Level 4, Library of Birmingham. The archives are open Tuesdays 11am – 7pm, Wednesday and Thursday 11am – 4.30pm. Proof of current address and a signature, such as a driving license is required and it is necessary for users to request documents a week in advance. Appointments can be made with the archive at this email address: appointments@birmingham.gov.uk.

Digital Accessibility

A full archive catalogue is available online, and a list of the Jewish collections can be found here. The archive also holds scanned material, some of which comes from the Jewish collections.

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