Reading Room & Genealogy Institute
Make sure to check our holiday closures prior to visiting.
Last entry to the Center for Jewish History exhibition spaces is 30 minutes before closing.
American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States. It provides access to more than 20 million documents and 50,000 books, photographs, art and artifacts that reflect the history of the Jewish presence in the United States from 1654 to the present. Among the treasures of this heritage are the first American book published in Hebrew; the handwritten original of Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus, which is the poem that graces the Statue of Liberty; records of the nation’s leading Jewish communal organizations; and important collections in the fields of education, philanthropy, science, sports, business and the arts.
American Sephardi Federation (ASF) preserves and promotes the history, traditions, and rich mosaic culture of Greater Sephardic communities as an integral part of the Jewish experience. ASF hosts high-profile cultural events and exhibitions, produces widely-read online (Sephardi World Weekly, Sephardi Ideas Monthly) and print (The Sephardi Report) publications, supports research, scholarship, and the National Sephardic Library, and represents the Sephardi voice in diplomatic and Jewish communal affairs as a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and World Jewish Congress.
Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) was founded in 1955 by a circle of émigré Jewish intellectuals who resolved to document the vibrant German-speaking Jewish culture that had been nearly extinguished in the Holocaust. In the decades since, LBI has worked to fulfill that mission by building a world-class research collection. With an 80,000 volume library, millions of pages of archival documents, 25,000 photographs, 8,000 art objects, 2,000 memoirs, and hundreds of oral histories, LBI’s collections document centuries of Jewish life in central Europe.
Yeshiva University Museum (YU Museum) was founded in 1973 with the mission to present, research, and interpret Jewish art and culture across history and from the four corners of the world. A prominent Jewish cultural resource and tourist destination, the Museum develops artistically creative and thought-provoking exhibitions that offer revealing perspectives on Jewish texts, traditions and experience. Through its programs, the Museum provides a window into Jewish culture around the world and throughout history, mounting concurrent exhibitions that explore contemporary and historic manifestations of Jewish art and life.
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) was founded in 1925 in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) as the Yiddish Scientific Institute. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and its influence in the Americas. Headquartered in New York City since 1940, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is the world's preeminent resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature and folklore; and the American Jewish immigrant experience. It holds over 400,000 volumes in 12 major languages, and its archives contain more than 23 million items, including manuscripts, documents, photographs, sound recordings, art works, films, posters, sheet music and other artifacts.