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The University Library has a new archive preserving Central Illinois Jewish history

Last month, the University Library, in collaboration with the Danville Jewish Community, established the Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives/Mervis Archives. The collection will be housed in the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections. Sybil Mervis, a Jewish community leader in Danville and Bloomington connected with Illini Hillel Executive Director Erez Cohen to initiate the effort.

From the University Library website

The newly established archives will preserve the contributions of once-thriving small Jewish communities across the center of Illinois outside of major urban centers. The materials include histories of businesses and their owners, which sustained the towns, contributions made by the Jewish residents, information about local rabbis and Jewish leaders, as well as many other historical documents.

Contents of the archives are expected to be available for research purposes by late spring 2022. 

Top image from University Library website. 

Staff writer

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