B’nai B’rith Louisville Lodge No. 14 Records

Adopt an Artifact – B’nai B’rith Louisville Lodge No. 14 Records

B’nai B’rith Louisville Lodge No. 14 Records

19th Century

Total Conservation Cost + Indexing Project Funding: $5,000

One of the first donations to the Filson’s Jewish Community Archives was in the fall of 2017: a series of record books documenting the membership and activities of two Louisville chapters of the international Jewish Fraternal Organization, B’nai B’rith.  The total collection of 6 volumes comprises some of the oldest and richest documentary history about 19th century Jewish life in Kentucky currently preserved in our commonwealth. The collection is catalogued and available for research. However, the oldest volume, the early records of Mendelssohn Lodge No. 40 covering the years 1860-1870, is in profoundly fragile condition. The cover is disintegrating, and pages are disassociating.

Conservation work with an expert book restorer will stabilize the weak and disintegrating volume in the set, ensuring ongoing research access. Adopting this project will also fund the complete indexing of names of members in these volumes into a searchable PDF that will be made available on the Filson’s Jewish Collections webpage. These books are a wealth of information about family, business, and kinship networks but extensive time and skill is needed to extract and compile it.