The Breman Is Losing Its Archivist

The Breman Is Losing Its Archivist

Jeremy Katz has played a key role in bringing the museum’s archives and oral histories to a wider audience.

Jeremy Katz has put most of the Breman’s visual archives and oral histories online.
Jeremy Katz has put most of the Breman’s visual archives and oral histories online.

The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum’s archivist, Jeremy Katz, who has helped to bring a renowned public records collection to a broader audience, has resigned. After eight years as the head of the Ida Pearl and Max Cuba Archives for Southern Jewish History, he is leaving to become the archivist of Hamilton College in upstate New York. Hamilton is among the oldest colleges in America, tracing its beginnings back to 1793, just after the Revolutionary War.

Katz’s historical book, “The Jewish Community of Atlanta,” was published earlier this year.

“I will miss working at the Breman Museum and with our amazing community members,” Katz said. “I accepted the new position after careful consideration. It came down to growing professionally and relocating close to family.”

In his time in Atlanta, Katz initiated the complete overhaul of the Cuba Archives, which is considered the largest such collection in the southeastern United States. He described the online accessibility of the collection today as rivaling those of some of the leading educational institutions in the United States, such as the archives of Yale and Harvard universities.

However, he pointed out that the Breman has also integrated the hundreds of oral histories in their collection with the catalog system they’ve used for paper archives, photographs, and other materials. Katz pointed out that they are one of only two archives in the country that have made it so easy to access their complete collection.

“The software that we are using is a great tool that allows for an oral history, for example, to be displayed alongside a transcript so people can jump to any point in the interview. They can search across it for keywords and jump right to that point in the interview. It’s really powerful stuff.”

His book, “The Jewish Community of Atlanta,” drawn largely from the Breman’s photo archives, was published in March. The museum’s executive director, Leslie Gordon, described Katz, who was chosen as one of the AJT’s exceptional 40-Under-40 in 2017, as an invaluable member of the museum’s team.

The archives of the Breman Museum are expected to play a major role in their 25th-anniversary exhibition.

“Jeremy has attracted new collections to the museum; expanded our presence nationally; and provided leadership in his field that has catapulted us to the forefront of the Jewish archives field.”

The archives are expected to play a central role in the Breman’s 25th anniversary exhibit, “History With Chutzpah,” which opens on September 19th.

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