Our archives currently contain very little relating to the experiences of Jewish individuals and groups in the York area. This is something we are actively looking to rectify, so if you are aware of any organisations or individuals who hold archives that might interest us, or you feel that you might be able to support us in this work, please contact us.
We recognise, though, that some archive collections are best kept in local communities rather than in an archives service, as they support the creation of a sense of place and community identity. If you are looking for advice on how to create your own archive, or how to preserve what you currently have for future generations, please have a look at our advice for community groups or get in touch. We’ll be happy to support in any way we can.
If you are interested in researching Jewish history in the UK, the best place to start is with The National Archives (UK) online research guides. For a general introduction see Jewish people and communities in Britain and its former colonies. This research guide also includes information on how to search for individuals in UK records, and where you may come across issues in your research.
The National Archives (UK) has also published two research guides relating specifically to events in 20th century Jewish history. These are:
- Records of Nazi persecution. This guide will help you identify records of Nazi persecution held at The National Archives, including records of the Holocaust and other crimes committed by the Nazi regime against various ethnic, religious, political and social groups.
- Looted Art, 1939-1961. This guide has been created in partnership with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe.
Our key collections
The following are some of the key collections we hold relating to Jewish history. You can find more information on how best to search our catalogue on our Getting started page.
Please be aware that collections which are less than 100 years old and contain personal information relating to potentially living individuals are covered by the Data Protection Act 2018. These collections are identified on our catalogue by the access conditions ‘Restricted Access’ and can currently only be viewed in particular circumstances. For more information and to discuss your research requirements please contact us.
- Oral history interview with Ron Goldstein, 2016-2020 [Reference: HBE/1/9]. Goldstein was born and raised in London and fought in the Second World War. He was interviewed about his experiences by a PhD student at University of York.
- Records of Sir John Arthur Ransome Marriott MP, 1870-2002 [Reference: MAR]. Marriott retained a number of files of newspaper cuttings about Jewish persecution in Germany in the 1930s, and three published pamphlets on Jews and refugees.
- York Refugee Committee, 1938-1945 [Reference: REF]. This committee supported adults and children from Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic who were relocated to the York area.
Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated in the United Kingdom every January, and is co-ordinated by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. You can find out more about the national commemorations on their website.
The Jewish Virtual Library contains good information about the history of Jews in the United Kingdom from the 11th century onwards. It also includes specific information about experiences in York, particularly in the medieval period.
The Jewish Museum, London has an online exhibition entitled ‘Jewish Britain: A History in 50 objects’, as well as more information about their collections.
The Jewish Historical Society of England is a membership-based society producing archive recordings and publications.