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A new archive is being unveiled at the SMS Meyer Library, and it focuses on Jewish heritage in the Ozarks. KSMU's Jeremy Elwood files this report .
The SMS Duane G. Meyer Library has added another set of archives to its extensive special collections and archives department. The Ozarks Jewish Archives have been created to obtain, preserve and provide access to the cultural artifacts of Ozarks Jewish history for future scholars and students.
The archive is the result of work by two professors in the English department. Rachel Gholson and Mara Cohen Ioannides created a film documentary last year focusing on the women of Springfield's Temple Israel. Archives Department head David Richards says the professors' project allowed them to interview women of the Temple and document what they did in Springfield as a community. Richards says the materials they collected in their work form the foundation for the new archive.
Richards says, though the archive is still in its beginning phase, it already contains a variety of different types of research material, including oral history tapes, newspaper clippings, documents of Jewish student organizations, newsletters and other documents that tell about people in the Jewish community.
The Ozarks Jewish archive was a serendipitous find : the library had not planned it in advance. Richards says that's the way many of their collections have started from a faculty member who had an interest in something, such as the now well-known archive on labor and unions in the Ozarks, which has grown to over 2,000 linear feet of material. Richards says he hopes this archive grows in the same way.
The collection will be officially unveiled during an open house on Wednesday, April 21st in room 306 of the Meyer Library building. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature a showing of Gholson and Ioannides' documentary, "Home, Community, Tradition: The Women of Temple Israel." For more information on the reception or the archives, you can call the special collections and archives department at 836-5428.