Collection Spotlight: The Leo Baeck Institute

Joseph Roth and Friederike Roth horseback riding with
an unidentified man / Photo © Leo Baeck Institute

The Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin is a research library and archive focused on the history of German-speaking Jews. Its extensive library, archive, and art collections comprise one of the most significant repositories of primary source material and scholarship on the centuries of Jewish life in Central Europe before the Holocaust.

New Synagogue, Berlin-Oranienburgerstrasse, 1865 (colour litho)
/ Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History, NY, USA

LBI is committed to preserving and expanding access to this rich body of material, and it has digitized millions of pages of documents, books, and artworks from its collections—from rare Renaissance-era books to the personal correspondence of luminaries and ordinary people alike.

Portrait of Albert Einstein, 1923 (etching & drypoint), Emil Orlik (1870-1932)
/ Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History, NY, USA

Artwork and photographs depicting historic figures, such as Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Abraham Lincoln, Sigmund Freud and Theodor Herzl form a substantial part of the collection. LBI also promotes the study and understanding of German-Jewish history through its public programmes, exhibitions, and support for scholars.

Woman in a Cabbage Field, 1923 (oil on canvas), Max Liebermann (1847-1935)
/ Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History, NY, USA

The Leo Baeck Institute was founded in 1955 by leading German-Jewish émigré intellectuals including Martin Buber, Max Grunewald, Hannah Arendt and Robert Weltsch, who were determined to preserve the vibrant cultural heritage of German-speaking Jewry that was nearly destroyed in the Holocaust.

Leon Feuchtwanger, portrait / Photo © Leo Baeck Institute

They named the Institute for Rabbi Leo Baeck, the last leader of Germany’s Jewish Community under the Nazi regime, and appointed him as the Institute’s first President, overseeing independent centers in New York, London, and Jerusalem.

Jerusalem X, c.1924 (ink on paper), Hermann Struck (1876-1944)
/ Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History, NY, USA

LBI – New York is a founding partner of the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan and maintains an office in Berlin and a branch of its archives at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Discover the current collection of LBI images available through Bridgeman here. We are constantly updating our archive and additional images are still being added.

Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche, 1911 (ink on paper), Hermann Struck
(1876-1944) / Leo Baeck Institute at the Center for Jewish History, NY, USA

 

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