Jewish Leeds in the Central Library Collections

Librarian Antony Ramm provides a brief overview of books and other collections relating to the history of the Jewish community in Leeds, prior to three events across the next month…

The first in our trilogy of events will see the screening on March the 6th of The Last Tribe, a film by Simon Glass, which is described as a “humorous and intimate account of the Jewish immigrants who arrived in England – thinking that they’d arrived in America.” You can find further details of the film screening below – note that there’s no need to book.

As that poster explains – alongside the film screening there will be a small exhibition of stock from the Central Library collections. This stock will also be on display at our next event: a drop-in ‘workshop’ (loosely defined) in partnership with the MiLiM festival at Moor Allerton Community Hub, where our Librarians will be on hand to talk with you about the stock, provide pointers for family history research and also explore ways to expand and deepen the Jewish collections at the Central Library.

At both events, you will also be able to read from a selection of pull-up banners providing further information about our current holdings – and, below, you can see a sneak-preview of one of those banners, along with some more information about the significant collection of Jacob Kramer material mentioned in that extract (note that the Kramer material will only be on view at the Central Library film screening on March 6).

The Jacob Kramer Collection
A small selection of personal material belonging to Jacob Kramer, the influential Leeds-based artist.

The box contains, among other items, a framed photograph of Kramer, taken by Hatley Bacon in 1934; two exhibition catalogues (including one signed by such well-known figures as Herbert Read); ephemera, including books belonging to Jacob; and a wide selection of photographs, including many of the wider Kramer family.

Much of the material was donated by Sarah Roberts, Jacob’s sister, and his nephew, John D. Roberts. A separate folder holds information about Jacob’s Uncle, Benjamin Kramer.

One of the documents in the folder of Benjamin Kramer material
One of the documents in the folder of Benjamin Kramer material
Content of the Jacob Kramer box
Content of the Jacob Kramer box

Our final event is a talk on April 10, from Professor Derek Fraser, who will speak on the development of the Jewish community in Leeds, ahead of the publication of a new book on the same subject. Further details are in the poster below.

Poster for the April 10 talk by Derek Fraser on the Jewish Leeds community

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