Donate to the Nemetz Jewish Community Archives

Consider Donating Your Records to the Nemetz Jewish Community Archives

archival gloves Archives exist to serve and preserve the documented memory of the community to which they belong.  They do so by acquiring and caring for the records of individuals, organizations and businesses in the community.  Archival records are unpublished materials which are made or received in the course of purposeful activity and are preserved.  These records include paper records, photographs, maps, plans, videos and digital records.

Since it was incorporated in 1971, the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia has been acquiring the artifacts, original records, photographs and oral histories of individuals, organizations and businesses in BC’s Jewish community. The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives' mandate is to preserve and tell the story of the Jewish people in British Columbia. Today the collection (inclusive dates 1860-2011) includes approximately 114 linear metres of textual records, 120,000 photographs and 700 oral history interviews.

Why Donate?
• Make a lasting contribution to the historical narrative of the Jewish community of British Columbia.
• Contribute to passing knowledge from one generation to the next.
• Be recognized as a part of our cultural memory.
• Ensure the preservation of your material by placing it in a controlled environment.

What to Donate?
The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives collects archival records which document the Jewish communities and people of British Columbia.  Welcome donations include records such as: minutes, correspondence and reports of organizations and societies, as well as personal papers, manuscripts, diaries, speeches and presentations, photographs, oral histories, maps and plans, ephemera, films of events and similar unpublished records.

The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives is able to accept material in a wide range of formats including paper, audio, visual and digital materials.

The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives evaluates each potential donation and takes into consideration:

• Does it fit the mandate?;
• Significance to the history and culture of the Jewish community of British Columbia;
• Relationship to existing collection (does it fill a gap?);
• Availability of storage space;
• Resources required to provide appropriate care and documentation.

When to Donate?
Events such as moving, a death of a family member or the dissolution of an organization may open the way to such a  donation.  You may also consider donating records you can no longer care for, such as old photographs.

• Sooner is better with regard to preservation.
• If you are still using the records – for instance, recent minutes of an existing society – we can discuss a schedule of regular transfers.

Prepare your Records for Donation
Contact the archivist if you think you have materials that may be of interest.  It is important to meet with the archivist to discuss the details of any donation.  The archivist will need to know the basic history of the archival material, how it was acquired, condition of the material, dates and names of people in photographs and why you feel it should be preserved in the Nemetz Jewish Community Archives.  The archives will not consider any material dropped off or left at the museum without an appointment.

Donors should be aware that the archives will only accept original, unpublished archival materials (the archives will not accept photocopies or digital reproductions).  The archives will not accept any long-term loans of archival material or photographs, or any material where special conditions are attached.  Purchasing materials is not an option for the archives.

Please do not reorganize, repair or clean your records.  We prefer to keep the original order and the archivist can carry out conservation activities on the materials if necessary.

If the archival material is deemed appropriate for acquisition, a Deed of Gift form must signed by the donor to transfer title and copyright to the archives.  This document allows the archives to legally use the material in exhibits and share or copy the material for research purposes.  Once donated, the treatment and display of the archival material is at the discretion of the archives. Any material not acquired by the archives will be returned to the donor or transferred to a more suitable repository upon request.

Other Considerations:
The complete transfer of copyright to the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia is a requirement for acquisition.  This includes the right to charge copyright fees for the use and publication of records, and the right to publish and make all material in its custody available for research and educational purposes.  Each donation is considered on a case-by-case basis.  Consult the archivist.

The archives can reproduce up to 10 photographs and/or documents free of charge for donors from the collections they donate to the archives.  These reproductions will be provided to the donors as digital surrogates on CD.  These digital reproductions will be provided in the JPEG file format to donors. 

Copyright fees for using the donated material may be waived for donors, donor organizations, and in some cases, the families of the donor; however, service fees for printing, scanning, photocopying and research services may still apply.

As a general rule the archives will not accept any material where special conditions or restrictions are attached.  However, the archivist retains the authority and discretion to make decisions on all potential acquisitions.  Restrictions can be placed on sensitive material only after discussion with, and agreement of, the archivist.

The Nemetz Jewish Community Archives considers the security of its materials a priority by maintaining a controlled environment and treating collections in its custody to the strictest archival standards.  Paper and other physical archives are kept in an environmentally controlled and secure storage facility.  Digital archives are stored on servers and are backed-up daily. 

More Information
The wealth of our collections depends on the generosity of our donors!  Please contact the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia and ask to speak to the archivist about donating your materials.

Contact the Archivist by calling (604) 257-5199 or email