This is a collection of more than 500 interviews with members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. Started in 1968, it is probably the longest running and largest oral Jewish history project known to exist in the world. Trained volunteer interviewers recorded the histories. The tapes have intentionally never been transcribed because the voices of those interviewed dramatically recreate long-disappeared European political and social worlds and their impact.
Publications and films:
NEW! Her Deeds Sing Her Praises: Profiles of Pittsburgh Jewish Women (2016)
This book recounts the deeds and sings the praises of 21 Pittsburgh Jewish women. They lived in different eras, came from different backgrounds and followed different paths; but they all made an indelible mark upon our community and beyond. Special thanks to project visionaries, editors and writers Eileen Lane, Eric Lidji and Lois Michaels; their advisory group of historians, archivists, writers and communal leaders; and the volunteer writers who ensured that the lives and achievements of these 21 women can be preserved through their own words and voices.
My Voice Was Heard (1981)
The individual histories of those Jews who contributed to the development and contributions of the Pittsburgh Jewish community are recorded in this second book. A broader cross-section of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community members were interviewed to gather histories from 1924 onward.
By Myself I’m a Book (1972)
These early histories preserve the fascinating experiences of the Eastern European Jews who had immigrated to the United States between 1890 and 1924. We hear why they left their homelands, how they reached America, and what their early views of adjustment were.
Pittsburgh & Beyond
Bridges to History (film, 1980)
Bridges to the Future (film, 1996)
To access the master tapes, please write to:
Head, Archives Service Center (ASC)
University of Pittsburgh
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
American Jewish Historical Society: fosters awareness and appreciation of American Jewish heritage; a resource for scholarly research.
Jewish-American History on the Web: focuses on 19th-century Jewish American life.
New York Public Library: includes American Jewish Committee’s 2,000-tape oral history collected between 1978 and 1993.
JewishGen, Inc.: the primary Internet source connecting researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide. Created to assist those researching their Jewish ancestry.
Oral History Association: seeks to bring together people interested in oral history.
H-Net: A network for scholars and professionals active in studies related to oral history.