Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington | Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum

Collections: Overview

Help us preserve the community's history! The Society seeks donations of personal and family papers, photographs, organizational records, ritual objects, oral histories, and other memorabilia documenting the local Jewish experience. Click here for a detailed list. Your contributions to the collections will help preserve the history of the Jewish community for generations to come. To make a donation, contact an archivist at (202) 789-0900 or

The Society's collections trace the history of the Jewish community in the greater Washington, D.C., area from the mid-19th century through the present day. Through personal and family papers, organizational and business records, congregation and synagogue archives, historical photographs, oral histories, ritual objects, and a reference library, the collections document the unique nature of life in and around Washington, D.C.—a history that is local, national, and international.

Items from collection

Click an item above to learn more about it!

Reference Library

The Society’s library houses biographical and reference files and over 100 books about local Jewish history, Washington, D.C., history, and American Jewish history. The library includes several publications on the history of specific organizations, congregations, and families within the greater Washington area, as well as The Record, the Society’s annual journal.


The archives and library are open for researchers Monday through Friday by advanced appointment only . To make an appointment, contact Wendy at or call (202) 789-0900. For research policies and a schedule of fees, click here.

Photo credits (clockwise from top left): Circumcision gown, 1877, gift of Amy N.B. Goldstein; YMHA Review, 1918, gift of Leo B Kagan; Abraham family portrait, 1902, gift of Natalie Mulitz; Drug Fair jingle tape, c. 1960, gift of Stuart and Milton Elsberg; Bettie Dreifus and Henry Baum’s ketubah (marriage contract), November 6, 1862, gift of Martin Baum and Evelyn Conn; Harry’s Meat Market receipt book, c. 1930, gift of Ruth and Vivian Weinstein; Cantor William and Jennie Tash’s wedding portrait, c. 1880, gift of Hymen Tash.

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