Baron Hirsch Genealogical and Historical Archives


Online searching is available for Baron Hirsch related genealogical records available through the Center for Jewish History in New York. See the video at this Facebook link below for instructions. Some complete records are online, and when only a reference to a record is online you can request the full document from the Center.

Baron Maurice de Hirsch

In addition, the genealogical and historical archives described below contain reports and correspondence relating to Baron Hirsch-funded Jewish farming projects and individual immigrants who received aid from the Baron Hirsch charitable organizations. These archives are scattered around the world. Some of the holdings have been uploaded digitally – see the links below – but most are only available on-site. The archives are listed here in alphabetical order by city.

For texts in French, Spanish and Portuguese I suggest copy-pasting into google translate. It really works.

Buenos Aires Archives

IWO,  Calle Ayacucho 483.

Holdings include 
1. Archives of organizations of ex-residents, unions, cooperatives, schools and the memories of immigrants and activists in all areas of community life.

 2. Agricultural colonies: includes documents on life in the colonies, cooperatives, local publications, and personal files of colonists. newspaper clippings. 

3.. Yiddish press and literature: includes manuscripts and personal files of writers and journalists.

Centro Marc Turkow, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Calle Pasteur 633. or

Resources on the Jewish Agricultural Colonies in Argentina including photos, newspapers and magazines, books, documents, and oral histories.

For a map of the colonies in Argentina where you can click ( and then click on ver mas) and get to a description of each Argentine colony, follow this link: De la Central de recursos sobre Colonias Agrícolas Judías en Argentina – Colonización Judía

Other papers relating to the Baron Hirsch Jewish Colonization Agency work in Argentina can be found in the archives in Jerusalem ( see below).

Cincinatti Archives

American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220, 

Jerusalem Archives

The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, The National Library of Israel., Hebrew University

1) The archives of Baron Hirsch’s Jewish Colonization Association (JCA)’s head office, which was located in Paris until 1949 (when it moved to London).  All the London records are now in Jerusalem. 

The archives of the head office contain about 1000 files of correspondence, c. 1891 to 1971, between the head office and JCA’s branches in Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Argentina, Brazil, Romania, Austria (Galicia), Turkey, Cyprus and Palestine, as well as with other philanthropic organizations, such as the Alliance Israélite Universelle, ORT, HIAS, etc.  The head office archives also contain several series of reports and minutes (seances) in printed and mimeographed form.

Many files deal with Jewish schools in Eastern Europe, professional and other, some of them set up by JCA, others supported by the organization. For some of these schools and indeed for some of these communities, the JCA files provide the only surviving written evidence of their existence. Another aspect of JCA’s activity in Eastern Europe was the encouragement of “productive” i.e. agricultural and industrial activity. The files abound in information on loan associations and cooperatives set up to assist the Jews in these ventures.

The 1000 correspondence files (which contain reports, maps and school plans as well) contain approximately 300,000 pages, about 40% of which are handwritten, and the remainder typed. The most dominant language is French, with German not far behind. Other languages, in order of their relative prevalence, are Russian, Romanian, Yiddish, English, Hebrew, Polish and Spanish

2) The archives of JCA’s Argentinean office, which was located in Buenos Aires.

The papers of JCA’s Argentine office include correspondence files, ledgers and 7,000 personal files of individual colonists. The material dates from 1890 to about 1970.

3) Files from the office of JCA’s Turkish headquarters

The collection consists of close to 100 files relating to a colony and an agricultural school set up by JCA in Turkey.

Montreal Archives

Canadian Jewish Archives, Suite 211,  4810 Rue Jean-Talon Ouest, Montreal, QC H4P 2N5

Jewish Colonization Association of Canada

Material Format textual record. Fonds No. CJC0001 Series No.ZC 1; File No.ZC 1

New York Archives

YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, 15. W. 16 St., NY, NY 10011

1. Baron Hirsch Fund:  Several hundred photographs from the files of the *Jewish Farmer* depicting Jewish farm settlements in the U.S. Documents relating to the Baron de Hirsch Fund and to the JAS: by-laws, reports, certificates of incorporation, list of applicants, awards.  JAS news releases, 1937-1961.

2. Baron Maurice de Hirsch and William Lowenthal:  1855-1900 The Jewish Colonization Association (JCA) was founded in London in 1891 by Baron Maurice de Hirsch to aid economically deprived Jews in Russia.  One of the JCA’s first major projects was the development of an agricultural settlement in Argentina for Russian Jewish emigres.  Dr. Wilhelm Lowenthal, a physicist and naturalist, was appointed by de Hirsch as the first director of the settlement project.

 Forms of Material (links to similar genres)

Documents – Papers

Contains papers of Baron Maurice de Hirsch, including personal documents, 1855-1899.  Materials relating to Hirsch’s contacts with the Russian government on the founding of Jewish schools in Russia, 1887-1889, including correspondence from the Russian Ministry of Education. Reports, correspondence and other materials relating to the JCA project in Argentina, including reports by de Hirsch and Lowenthal. Records of the founding of the JCA, including Hirsch’s correspondence with his lawyers, 1894-1900.

3. Jewish Colonization Association. 1898-1913

The collection consists of correspondence and reports relating to colonization and other philanthropic projects in various countries, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Germany, Palestine, Poland (Galicia), Russia, 1898-1913.

4. Educational Alliance. 1888-1968

Cultural and educational institution in New York’s Lower East Side, established in 1889 to promote Americanization of Jewish immigrants.  Since 1924 has been operating as a community center.

 Forms of Material (links to similar genres)

Documents – Records

 Finding Aid Information

Inventory, English, 144 pp., typed. Card Catalog to photos, Eng., ms

Minutes of Education Alliance administrative and steering committees, correspondence of lay leaders and administration officials, general administration records. Correspondence, reports and other records of various Education Alliance divisions, clubs, classes, summer camps. Materials relating to : Baron de Hirsch School, Legal Aid Bureau, 1931-1939;  Stuyvesant Neighborhood House, 1919-1950;  Art School, 1920s-1950s;  Youth Division;  Young Adult Division; People’s Synagogue, School of Religious Work;  New York School of Social Work;  New York University Survey “The Lower East Side”, 1950s.      A photograph series depicts the Education Alliance building, camps, groups and clubs, individuals, English classes, gym classes, 1896-1962, Education Alliance Art School.

Center for Jewish History. 15 W. 16 ST., NY, NY 10011

Baron de Hirsch Fund Record 1819-1991 (mainly 1882-1935)

The Baron de Hirsch Fund Records document the organization’s involvement in the planning of agricultural communities across the country and to some extent in South America; the founding and administrative dealings of agricultural and trade schools; the establishment of the Jewish Agricultural Society; and the business records of the Fund itself. 

The collection is arranged in six series: Series I: Administration / Organization of the Fund, Series II: Jewish Farming Colonies, Series III: Jewish Agricultural Society, Series IV: Woodbine Colony, Series V: Woodbine Agricultural School, and Series VI: Baron de Hirsch Trade School. The records originally existed as several different collections that were later merged. The original order is thought to have been lost, but re-processing of the records attempted to reunite as many records as possible. In some cases, however, it was impossible to do so, thus the finding aid strives to bring together intellectually what could not be brought together physically without a huge undertaking. 

Language of Materials:

The collection is in English, French, German, Yiddish, and Hebrew.

Paris Archives

Alliance Israelite Universelle , 27 Avenue de Ségur,

1. Jewish Colonization Association. Reports and correspondence on Brasil, Argentina, Canada, USA, Turkey, Cyrprus, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Tunisia, Russia, Galicia, Romania

2. Brasil, reports and correspondence 1868- 1936

3.  Argentina, Reports and correspondence 1887 – 1929 including colonization projects

4. United States – reports and correspondence 1868-1930 including correspondence with branches and named individuals all over the USA and reports on Baron Hirsch activities and individual Baron Hirsch colonies in the USA as well as reports on many other Jewish organizations. 

5. Canada,  Reports on Colonization and correspondence 1886-1932

Porto Alegre, Brazil Archives

Marc Chagall Institute,  Rua General João Telles, 329 – 2o. andar
Bairro Bom Fim

Large collection of correspondence with JCA Paris office, administrative records of the colonies, and oral histories

Marc Chagall.

São Paulo Archives

The Jewish-Brazilian Historical Archive (AHJB). Rua Estela Sezefreda 76, Pinheiros .

Principal home for the documents of the JCA in Brazil including correspondence with Paris office and settlers.

2 thoughts on “Baron Hirsch Genealogical and Historical Archives

  1. Pingback: FLEISCHMANNS - The Baron Hirsch Jewish Farmers Community

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.