This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Archives acquires three collections

Papers to help understanding of Jewish, medical, women’s and academic history

Published: October 26, 2006

Contributing Editor


Selig Adler

The university has acquired three important archival collections that John Edens, interim archivist, says will facilitate a deep understanding of several aspects of the Jewish, medical, women's and academic history of the region and the United States.

They are the Selig Adler Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo and the Rabbi Isaac Klein Papers, the Buffalo General Hospital School of Nursing Collection and the papers of Glyn T. Evans, former SUNY assistant vice chancellor for library services.

"All of these collections represent either faculty research or relate closely to the academic life of the university," says Edens.


Glyn T. Evans

"The Adler/Klein collection documents many significant historical aspects of Buffalo's extensive Jewish community and is based largely on original source material. For these reasons it will be heavily used by scholars and researchers," he says.

"The Buffalo General Nursing School Collection is important to us," says Edens, "because although the nursing school predated the university's nursing school by many years, there was always a close relationship between the two schools and the collection fits the archives' longtime collecting interest in the women's history of this region.


Group photo of students at the Buffalo General Hospital School of Nursing, ca. 1880, part of the Buffalo General Hospital School Of Nursing Collection that has been acquired by the UB Archives.

"The Glyn T. Evans collection is important because Evans, whom I knew quite well even before I came to UB, was a visionary who made a tremendous impact on the ability of college and university libraries to connect and interact with each other."

The Selig Adler Jewish Archives of Greater Buffalo and the Rabbi Isaac Klein Papers were presented to UB by the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo.

Edens says the collection's two parts document Buffalo's Jewish community from the 1880s to the mid-20th century and contain source materials for the study of Judaism in America. Selig Adler (1904-1984) joined the UB faculty in 1947 and served as Samuel P. Capen Professor of American History from 1959 until his retirement in 1980. In 1960, he co-authored the outstanding scholarly book "From Ararat to Suburbia: A History of the Jewish Community of Buffalo" with UB English professor Thomas Connolly. He also amassed the records of local Jewish organizations and synagogues, information on community matters of religious and general interest, information on Israeli issues, interviews with prominent Buffalo Jews and personal papers.

Rabbi Isaac Klein (1905-1979) was a leader in the Buffalo Jewish community and the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El and subsequently Temple Shaarey Zedek after the merger of Temple Emanu-El and Temple Beth David Ner Israel.

He wrote many books and responses, but his best known work is "A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice" (1979), a comprehensive practical guide to Jewish practices for laymen that is sometimes called the Conservative shulkhan aruk (a codex of Jewish law written in the 16th century). His papers include correspondence and manuscripts that provide a picture of Conservative Judaism in America from 1920-1979.

The Buffalo General Hospital School of Nursing Collection contains photographs of students, faculty, class reunions and facilities at Buffalo General Hospital; early student rosters, recruitment material, student yearbooks; and minutes of faculty meetings. Also included are student uniforms from several different eras. The collection was presented to the UB Archives by the Alumni Association of the Buffalo General Hospital School of Nursing.

The Buffalo General nursing school, which closed in 1987, was founded in 1877, more than five decades before the founding of the UB School of Nursing, and was the second oldest nursing school in the United States.

The Glyn T. Evans papers document the early career of Evans and his establishment, in the 1970s, and continuing development of the SUNY Online Computer Library Center, or OCLC (now known as Nylink), a nonprofit membership organization consisting of all types of libraries and information organizations throughout New York State and surrounding areas.

Nylink facilitates collaboration among its members and enhances access to and supports implementation of high quality, cost-effective information technologies, resources and associated services. It was one of the first library networks to be established in the early days of library automation and continues to be affiliated with the worldwide library cooperative OCLC.

The collection also documents Evans' activities as SUNY assistant vice chancellor for library services and extensive research material on the development of library networks being used by Evans at the time of his death in 1998.

The collection was presented to UB by Evans' family with the assistance of John W. Ellison, professor, and June M. Abbas, professor, both in the Department of Library and Information Studies.