Jewish Archives in Mexico, Central America, and South America

Jump to:

Argentina

IWO (YIVO) Argentina, Buenos Aires

Formed in 1928, IWO was a branch of the international network of YIVO, with its headquarters then in Vilna (today Vilnius); since the Second World War, IWO in Buenos Aires has worked independently from YIVO in New York City. Its archives collection houses 400 documentary collections, most of which relate to the first half of the twentieth century, though they have also acquired materials through the 1970s. Since 2006, it has collaborated with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to digitize and comes materials from IWO’s archives relating to the Holocaust, resistance, and cultural reconstruction.

Centro Mark Turkow (Mark Turkow Center), AMIA, Buenos Aires

The Mark Turkow Center seeks to centralize and preserve documentation on Jewish life in Argentina. It operates under the umbrella of AMIA, the central Jewish communal organization of Argentina. It holds extensive archives including photographs, newspapers, oral histories, etc. relating to the history of Jews in Argentina including the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA building. It also holds records of Jewish communal institutions.

The AMIA website does not currently have information on the Turkow center, however an older version is available at archive.org.

Brazil

Centro de Documentação e Memória do Museu Judaico de São Paulo (Center for Documentation and Memory at the Jewish Museum of Sao Paulo)

The Jewish Museum of Sao Paulo’s Center for Documentation and Memory holds materials on the

Previously, the Jewish Museum hosted the Brazilian Jewish Historical Archive (Arquivo Histórico Judaico Brasileiro), which was founded in 1976, but has closed. That group gathered a rich archive of materials relating to Jewish life in Brazil. Materials include files of ICA (the Jewish Colonization Association) and Ezra (the Jewish beneficent society), the files of synagogues and Jewish schools, and private collections including Alfred Hirschberg, the longtime editor of the newspaper Cronica Israelita. The archive also held oral histories and photographs.

The AHJB is no longer extant, but its former website is available via archive.org:

Arquivo Histórico Judaico de Pernambuco

The Jewish historical archive of Pernambuco has been closed since 2014. Presumably the files are still in the synagogue.

Chile

El Archivo histórico de Judaísmo Chileno (Archive of Chilean Jewry), Santiago de Chile

The Archive of Chilean Jewry (Archivo histórico de Judaísmo Chileno) is a project of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Memory of Chilean Judaism (Fundación para la preservación de la memorial del Judaísmo Chileno, FPMJ), itself formed in 2016. The archive holds 68 linear meters of records including the archives of organizations, families, and individuals; with correspondence, photographs, memoirs, minutes and reports, genealogical records and audiovisual materials. It holds approximately 70,000 unpublished documents and 3,000 manuscripts. Some records are digitized, and there is an online search engine.

Curaçao

Mongui Maduro Foundation Library and Archive

In 2013, the archives of Congregation Mikvé Israel-Emanuel, dating back to 1711, were put under the care of the Mongui Maduro Library after being professionally inventoried. These archives include minutes, marriage registers, financial transactions, and other information about the Curaçaoan Jewish community such as menus, invitations and postcards, and Jewish publications. The archives are divided in three parts according to the Jewish congregations:

  1. Gemeente Mikvé Israël, 1711-1964 (21 linear meters)
  2. Nederlands Hervormde Israëlitische Gemeente Emanu-el, 1864-1963 (5 linear meters)
  3. Verenigde Gemeente Mikve Israel-Emanuel, 1964-2007 (16 linear meters)

Mexico

El Centro de Documentación e Investigación Judío de México (The Jewish Documentation and Research Center of Mexico), Mexico City

The Jewish Documentation and Research Center of Mexico (Centro de Documentación e Investigación Judío de México, or CDIJUM) holds archival materials relating to Jewish life in Mexico, with materials dating from the sixteenth century to the present. It holds historical publications, archives from various communal organizations, an archive of about 18,000 photographs, and 200 oral history interviews.