Conclusion of Rosenthall Judaica processing project

After 18 months, project staff has concluded processing the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection. During this time, project archivists, coordinators, library staff and faculty, consultants, and student interns have:

-Made available a finding aid to assist researchers in using the collection.
-Scanned and created metadata for almost 5,500 collection items in the Lowcountry Digital Library .
-Cataloged over 300 published materials, including books, serials, pamphlets, and art portfolios.
-Curated an online exhibit based on the collection’s strength of imagery centered on the synagogue.

Please contact Manager of Research Services Mary Jo Fairchild with any questions regarding the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection.

New Grant, New Faces

In 2012, the College of Charleston’s Special Collections Library was awarded a second CLIR grant to facilitate the processing of the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection. A previous CLIR grant allowed Special Collections to complete processing of Rabbi Rosenthall’s papers and begin efforts to digitize and provide metadata for prints, photographs, and postcards in the Judaica Collection. This new grant has allowed Special Collections to bring in two new archivists, Project Archivist Sarah Glover and Processing Archivist Amy Lazarus, to process Rabbi Rosenthall’s extraordinary collection of Judaica and oversee the continued digitization of items from the collection.

Later this week, we will introduce you to the three wonderful interns who are assisting us in this effort for the semester. But first, please meet our two archivists:


Project Archivist Sarah Glover

Sarah Glover joins the project as Project Archivist for the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection. Sarah earned her MS in Information with specializations in Archives and Records Management and Preservation of Information from the University of Michigan School of Information in 2012. She also holds undergraduate degrees in English, History, and Jewish Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sarah reads German and speaks and reads Hebrew.

Sarah has previously had the opportunity to work in academic archives and libraries, government archives, historical societies, and museums. She has gained valuable experience working at Jewish institutions such as the Museum at Eldridge Street, American Jewish Historical Society, and Leo Baeck Institute. Before coming to the College of Charleston, Sarah worked at the Leo Baeck Institute on the Institute’s DigiBaeck project, an effort to digitize the entirety of the Institute’s archival holdings. Sarah is excited to bring her background to the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible collection of Judaica!


Processing Archivist Amy Lazarus

Amy Lazarus is excited to join the project as the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection processing archivist. She received her MLIS with a specialization in Archives, Preservation and Records Management from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 and holds a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross. Over the past four years she has gained extensive processing experience in a variety of institutional settings. Her professional background includes positions at a research library, medical library, museum archives, and a government agency. Additionally, she is an active member of the Society of American Archivists currently involved in the Government Affairs Working Group.

As an undergraduate, Amy was awarded the Kraft-Hiatt Program for Jewish-Christian Understanding Fellowship to study abroad at Hebrew University. Upon her return she continued to take coursework related to Jewish history, developing an active interest in Jewish traditions. Her experiences as an undergraduate led to the ultimate goal of tying her academic interest in Judaism to her work as an archivist. Upon seeing the opportunity to work with such a valuable part of the College of Charleston’s Jewish Heritage Collection, she eagerly pursued the position of processing archivist. She is grateful for the amazing opportunity to encourage appreciation and understanding of Jewish culture through making the William A. Rosenthall collection available to scholars, students, and the general public.

A new year, a new volunteer, and a new website!

Special Collections is ringing in 2011 with the creation of a website to document the progress and discoveries made while processing the William A. Rosenthall Judaica collection and William A. Rosenthall papers. Many thanks to Irene and Gordon Rosenthall and Dean of Libraries David Cohen for encouraging us to publicize our progress with the collections. We also thank Chris Vinson for his technical assistance in launching the website.

In November 2009, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) awarded the Jewish Heritage Collection a generous grant to process and catalog its “Hidden Collections”—foremost among them the William A. Rosenthall Judaica collection and William A. Rosenthall papers. The project team, consisting of Special Collections staff, archivists, archival assistants, consulting scholars, and student volunteers and interns, has begun processing and digitizing Rabbi Rosenthall’s vast collection. Portions of Rosenthall’s collection of Judaica images are currently being added to the Lowcountry Digital Library.

We would also like to welcome our newest volunteer, Joanna Knight, a senior history student from Columbia University. Joanna is working on the massive Rosenthall portfolios rehousing and digitization project. This involves removing the contents of the portfolio (typically prints, etchings, lithographs, photographs, or postcards), scanning and digitally processing each item, creating item-level metadata, and placing items in new archival-safe portfolios. After an entire portfolio is scanned and processed, it will be uploaded to the Lowcountry Digital Library and made available to the public.

Please stay tuned for more information and updates.