The Jacobi Handwritten Material and its Use
Paul Jacobi (Könisberg, 1911 – Jerusalem, 1997) was a doyen of Jewish genealogy in his time. He held that a core-group of some 80 élite families dominated Ashkenazi Jewry from its beginnings. To test his theory, he investigated over 450 families to varying levels of detail, using the considerable resources available to him in Jerusalem. Of these, he took over 100 studies, which called “Monographs”, to completion. These have now (March 2019) been published in a 4-volume series, entitled The Jacobi Papers: Genealogical Studies of Leading Ashkenazi Families (Avotaynu, New Haven CT, 2019) – click here for details (soon to be activated).
The remainder of Jacobi’s studies, relating to about 350 families, consist of unedited manuscripts in the author’s exceedingly difficult handwriting, mainly in English but also in German and Hebrew. The material is preserved in 47 boxes, kept at the National Library of Israel. These boxes have been inventoried and a detailed list of their contents is available –see link below.
This material is in poor condition and therefore has been photo-copied on to microfiche. To facilitate its preservation and decipherment, it is in the process of being digitalized.
Use of the Handwritten Material
The hand-written material on microfiche is available for study and research in the Judaica Reading Room at the National Library of Israel, on the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram Campus in Jerusalem. There is no public access to the original material in the cartons.
The microfiches can only be consulted at the Library. They cannot be sent elsewhere or be copied/reproduced in any form for use outside the Library. The Institute holds the rights to the entire Jacobi collection. It seeks to index, edit and publish complete corpus of Jacobi’s genealogical work. Persons interested in acquiring a licence to specific parts of the hand-written material in order to decipher and publish it, are invited to contact the Director of the Institute at < firstname.lastname@example.org >.
Click here for the annotated inventory of the handwritten material in the boxes.