Alliance Israélite Universelle

  • Alliance Israélite Universelle
  • AIU

History

The Alliance Israélite Universelle is a Paris-based international Jewish organization founded in 1860. Parallel to the development of the AIU school network, the AIU library has followed its own development. First settled in the narrow rue de Trévise, in the meeting room of the Central Committee, it is established in the premises of the Ecole normale israélite orientale, rue Michel-Ange, where a specific building is assigned to the library. In 1937 the library settles in rue La Bruyère, but in the spring of 1940, shortly after the fall of Paris, the Nazis looted the premises, shipping much of the material to Frankfurt am Main. The years after the liberation witnessed a patient work of reconstruction funds and catalogs. The revival of Jewish studies in France and the growing success of the library lead to the expansion of the premises, which was realized in 1989.

Archival and Other Holdings

The AIU library houses not only Europe's largest collection of books in Jewish studies, but also many archival materials from the AIU and, more broadly, the entire Jewish world. Since its inception in 1860, the IAU has kept much of the correspondence between the Central Committee and the teaching staff in its schools around the Mediterranean, in the East and in the Balkans. During the Second World War, these archives were looted by the Nazi occupier. The part of the archives which were found back in 1945 form the Historical Archives (1860-1940) were classified in 1960 and are available for consultation. Another part of the archives was confiscated in 1945 by the Soviets and remained in Russia until their return to the AIU in 2000. They are the Moscow Fund.The Modern Archives cover the period from 1945 to the death of RenéCassin in 1976. They are currently being classified. The holdings of the Archives of the Delegation of the AIU in Morocco (1933-1956) mainly contains the matching route between Casablanca and the Delegation of the Central Committee.Next to the archives of the AIU itself, the AIU library also holds private archives. Many institutions have entrusted their archives to the AIU library where they are open to researchers. These archives include those of the Central Consistory, CRIF, OSE and CECJF. Similarly, various personalities and their families wished to donate their personal archives, including: Paul Bauer, Jean Ellissen, Elian Finbert, Henri Hertz, Kruger, Bernard Lazare, Jacques Lazarus, Sarah Leibovici, Edmond Maurice Lévy, Bernard Mélamède, Pierre Mendès France, Salomon Grumbach, Rachel Minc, Louis Oungre, and Isidore Simon.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

Opening Times

The library is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 1pm to 6pm, Wednesday from 1 pm to 7.30 pm The consultation of archives is by appointment only: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 12pm.

Sources

  • Claims Conference, Mémorial de la Shoah, Yad Vashem, website institution

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