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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives:
A Guide to Resources in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Table of Contents - Preface/Acknowledgements - Abbreviations
Lists of Entries: District of Columbia - Maryland - Virginia

Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives

Address: 1109 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone Number: (804) 353-2668
Contact Persons: Jim Schuyler, Director

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Sunday through Thursday 10:00 a.m.--3:00 p.m.
And by appointment
Open to the public: Yes
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

There are limited reference and photocopy services.

Reference Policy:
Telephone and mail reference questions are accepted from both the general public and other institutions.

Borrowing Privileges:
Not a lending institution with the exception of loans to other institutions for exhibits.


Background Note:
Founded in 1841, Beth Ahabah is the oldest Jewish congregation in Virginia. The "mother" congregation to Beth Ahabah was the Beth Shalom congregation founded in 1789. The two congregations were merged in 1898. All holdings at Beth Ahabah are essentially Jewish in nature but relate primarily to the Richmond Jewish experience.
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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
Approximately 100 books relating to the Jewish religion with publication dates from the 1780s to the present. The collection includes books on Jewish religion, culture, art, and history. Collections relating to history deal particularly with history of the Jewish community in Richmond and Virginia. Highlights include prayer books and hymnals as well as several early texts relating to the formation of Reform Judaism in America.

Periodicals and newspapers:
One journal subscription: American Jewish Historical Society, 1950-1990. This journal covers the history, culture, and religion of Jews in America.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
Congregational records for Beth Shalom and Beth Ahabah congregations; records of Jewish communal and fraternal organizations in Richmond; genealogies of families, most with Beth Ahabah connections; public and private records, and manuscripts relating to Jewish families and people in Richmond, 1745 to present. These include scrapbooks, collections of religious articles, memorabilia, speeches, newspaper clippings, and awards. There are also 20 oral histories and a small World War II collection. There is a card file by subject, individuals, and institutions for this collection.

Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
The collection has portraits of religious leaders, photographs of temple architecture and stained glass.

Databases, CD-ROMS, and other machine-readable sources:
The Museum and Archives Trust has begun to accession information in computer-readable form.

Other holdings not listed above:
The Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives Trust has a collection of 300 Jewish religious objects. Some of these were used in synagogue ceremonies. Others relate to Jewish home life.

Subject Headings

Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Judaism; Judaism--Religious articles; Judaism--Sacred books; Religious art; Religious biography; Worship; Zionism

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  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  September 13, 2011
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