Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is the home of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection of old and rare Hebraica and Judaica. This national treasure includes more than 3,000 artifacts, from extremely rare 15th century early books (incunabula) and other printed material from that era, to the 20th century.
A rare opportunity to add to this substantial collection recently arose when 70 items not held by the Lowy Collection became available. Ranging over a century from 1906 on, these items fit extraordinarily well with the Lowy Collection’s current holdings. Published in English, Hebrew and Yiddish in Montréal, Toronto, Bracebridge (Ont.), Winnipeg, New York, Binghamton (N.Y.), Buenos Aires, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, they address cultural and educational issues for the Canadian Jewish community and beyond.
Moreover, this acquisition includes considerable examples of foreign and Canadian ephemera: written and printed materials not initially expected to be retained or preserved, and easily lost to time. This is precisely the kind of purchase that the Library and Archives Canada Foundation is delighted to have the opportunity to fund.
Most of the items acquired are publications with very small runs that tell the stories of individuals and moments in time, which would likely not have been preserved otherwise. By adding these items to the Lowy Collection, LAC, with the help of the LAC Foundation, is ensuring that the memory of these stories, people and moments will be everlasting.
This acquisition marks the second financial contribution from the LAC Foundation, which was established in 2018. The LAC Foundation has been raising funds generously provided by Canadian contributors to support programming and partnerships, in order to preserve Canada’s national heritage.
“On behalf of the LAC Foundation, we are honoured to have helped LAC acquire these fascinating pieces of contemporary Canadian Judaica—notably, the smaller publications that help keep these memories and narratives in the Canadian consciousness and support future research.”
Jacques J.M. Shore, Chair of the LAC Foundation
“I wish to thank the LAC Foundation for its help in bringing these important pieces of published heritage into LAC’s collections. Judaica offers insight into a unique and rich part of the Canadian story, and this acquisition will continue to support greater research into it and chronicle the diverse facets of our country’s heritage.”
Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada