Judaica Americana: A Bibliography of Publications to 1900

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Judaica Americana
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ethnic relations
jewish periodicals
American Literature
Jewish Studies
Literature in English, North America
Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority
Yiddish Language and Literature
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Singerman, Robert

Judaica Americana: A Bibliography of Publications to 1900, with an estimated total of 9,500 entries, chronicles the decades prior to the twentieth century, a formative era for Jewish institutional development at a time when the Jewish community grew from 1,350 persons in 1790 to 1,050,000 in 1900. Taken as a whole, the bibliography provides extensive documentation of American Jewish communal activity. Equally important for the study of Jewish-Christian relations, hundreds of titles, many of them prophetic and proto-Zionist in nature, are included as relevant primary sources for assessing Christian attitudes on the development, history and testimony of the Jewish religion and the Jewish nation from early times to the close of the nineteenth century. Adventism and millenarian speculation, so pervasive in nineteenth-century America, are well documented in these pages; the same is true of conversionist activity. Creative writing (novels, short stories, dramas, poets) with Jewish themes or characters forms yet another subject emphasis and one that will prove to be exceedingly valuable for any extended study of stereotypes and the negative portrayal of the Jew in literature. For the purposes of this bibliography, annual gift books are approached as monographs. This edition is divided into three sections. The first section contains the chronological file of 1890 to 1900. A second section, “Union List of Nineteenth-Century Jewish Serials Published in the United States,” lists all known Jewish newspapers, serials, yearbooks, and annual reports in the United States with an inception date prior to 1901, regardless of language, and even if issues of these serials no longer exist, or if the serials were merely projected for publication by their would-be sponsors. Included in this section are relevant periodicals with a conversionist or antisemitic focus. A third section, a supplement, adds to the first edition of Judaica Americana, expanding the project with additional materials identified by Singerman in the years since the first publication. Judaica Americana has been enlarged by more than 3,000 entries drawn from a broad range of genres, including creative writing, the Wandering Jew theme, foreign literature in translation, stereotype-laden dime novels, foreign travel accounts, city and county histories, American memoirs and biographies, phrenology and racial “science,” urban sociology, children’s literature and school readers, humor books, music scores and songsters, missionary accounts, also prophetic millenarian texts of which there is no shortage. Additional success with identifying Jewish-interest material embedded in sermon collections, federal documents, almanacs, and annual gift books has been made; other researchers are invited to continue probing in these potentially-rich target areas. Areas for further investigation include broadsides, Jewish social clubs, fraternal orders, and benevolent societies, playbills and event programs, penny songs and song collections, state, county, and city documents, also Masonic lodge histories and biography.

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This is the second edition. The first edition was published as two volumes, sponsored by the Center for the Study of the American Jewish Experience, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and published by Greenwood Press as part of the Bibliographies and Indexes in American History. This OA draft comes out of the 2019 Vision Statement drafted by Arthur Kiron and Robert Singerman, in which the collaborators intend to partner with other institutions and private collectors to expand the number of full texts in order to create a digital library of early American Judaica based on Singerman’s foundational work. This reflects the first step and foundation of fulfilling the Vision Statement by making the JA available in Scholarly Commons and creating a digital version (JA2).
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