Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center
Charles Library 1900 N. 13th Street
Founded in 1972, The Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center (PJAC) began as a joint project between the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. In 2009, its collections became part of Temple University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. The Philadelphia Jewish Archives Collection collects and preserves the historical records of the Jewish Community from the greater Philadelphia region. PJAC includes the personal papers of community leaders and the records of cultural, educational, religious and fraternal organizations and is the most extensive and varied documentation of any Jewish community outside New York City. The records of the Jewish Publication Society complement the SCRC’s publishing history holdings.
In early 1973 PJAC’s first Board approved some goals for the Archives:
- Collect material from Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania and invite participation of the Camden [County] Jewish community.
- Collect broadly without an attempt to distinguish between records of Jews and the Jewish community but restrict to regional interests.
- Principal mission is to collect, store and provide convenient access to documentary and pictorial information. We should not encourage requests to become a museum.
- Actively encourage students and scholars to use the Archives
With funding provided by the Robert Saligman Charitable Foundation, the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center digitized and cataloged over 2700 photographs from their collections.
Browse items here.
Charles Library opened in August 2019, replacing Samuel L. Paley Library as Temple University’s Main Campus library.
Named for entrepreneur and university trustee Steve Charles, KLN ’80, Charles Library is a stunning, state-of-the-art environment for interconnection and collaboration among disciplines as well as communities at Temple and across Philadelphia.
Designed by internationally renowned architecture firm Snøhetta, in collaboration with local design and construction firm Stantec, Charles Library is filled with a variety of specialized and innovative spaces, including the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio and the Special Collections Research Center. For the first time ever, our Main Campus library is also home to a dedicated graduate student and faculty area, the Student Success Center, and Temple University Press. Charles Library also houses an abundance of flexible instruction and multipurpose rooms, reading areas and student study spaces, and a cafe and spacious 24/7 area.
The fourth floor holds our browsing collection of approximately 180,000 volumes on open shelving. 1.5 million circulating volumes and 18,000 linear feet of special collections materials are housed in an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), also known as BookBot, from which items can be pulled for pickup.
Many of the special collections may be housed off-site, and require up to two business days to retrieve.
A guide to the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center by Lindsay B. Nauen
General finding aids of the Special Collections Center can be found online.
The Albert M. Greenfield SCRC Reading Room is typically open from 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Hours can be verified prior to your visit by viewing the library hours page.
Researcher registration and requests to use SCRC materials can now be made using your SCRC Researcher Account.
Photocopiers: Copy machines are available on the first and fourth floors.
Researchers may take photographs of collection materials for study purposes only, based on the physical condition of the materials, copyright law, donor restrictions, and reading room rules.
Due to the fragile and rare nature of our materials, all duplication is performed by staff members. Depending on the condition, size, and quantity of materials requested, the SCRC reserves the right to refuse a copying order if, in its judgment,
- fulfillment of the order would damage the item,
- involve violation of U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U. S. Code) [more information about copyright issues],
- require reproduction of a major part of a book or archives collection (we will not reproduce more than 20 percent of any book, manuscript, or collection),
- or entail the use of excessive staff time and resources.
Fees and payment for duplications can be found here.
Temple University Libraries website