University of Minnesota

Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives welcomes new archivist

DietrickThe University of Minnesota Libraries has hired archivist Katherine Dietrick to oversee the Nathan and Theresa Berman Upper Midwest Jewish Archives (UMJA). Dietrick most recently was an assistant archivist at the Whitney Museum of American Art and an archivist at the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in New York City.

“I am thrilled to join the team at the Andersen Library, especially at such an exciting time for the UMJA. ” said Ms. Dietrick. “Now that the remaining portions of the collection have been transferred, reuniting all of the materials in one place, the strength of the collection is even more evident. I look forward to promoting the collection, both within the University and to the community at large, shining a light on the dynamic materials.”

The Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest completed the transfer of all of its historical documents to the University of Minnesota Libraries in 2012, creating a major research collection on Jewish history, communities, religion, and culture in the Upper Midwest. 

Shapirostore.jpgMoving the rest of the collection to the University of Minnesota represents a “measure of our maturity as a historical society and the next step in our evolution,” said Katherine Tane, Executive Director of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest. “Our first 28 years have been spent creating one of the finest archives of local Jewish History in the country. Securing a permanent home for our archival materials allows JHSUM to focus on interpretation, education and programming, along with more public displays of our unique materials.”

The reunited collections will now comprise more than 1,000 cubic feet of material and will form a valuable resource for historical research,exhibitions, and public programming. The combined collections included the records of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Jewish Federations, Community Centers, Talmud Torahs, the Jewish Vocational Service, Jewish Community Relations Council, Hillel, as well as various synagogue records, and records of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association and women’s organizations such as Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, and Mount Sinai Hospital Women’s Auxiliary.



In addition, they contain a wealth of material collected by individuals about early Jewish settlement and life in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Duluth; out-state Minnesota and North and South Dakota. The collections also include family papers, club and association materials and ephemera, personal narratives of Jewish life in the Upper Midwest, materials documenting family owned businesses in the Jewish community, as well as books and publications.

The Society’s collections are available for personal and scholarly research as well as educational use and are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the American Jewish experience from a Midwestern perspective.

The UMJA collections, located within the Social Welfare History Archives, at the University of Minnesota’s Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Linnea Anderson, Social Welfare History Archives

About the Author ()

Mark Engebretson is the director of communications at the University of Minnesota Libraries and editor of continuum. Previously, Mark served as director of digital media strategy for the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and before that as electronic communications manager for the University of Minnesota's Academic Health Center Office of Communications. Mark is a former journalist who has written about politics, health, business, and sports for a number of newspapers and magazines. Mark has a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in health journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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