Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Libraries Receives Single Largest Collection of Recordings
BOCA RATON, FL (March 11, 2008) – The Judaica Sound Archives ® (JSA) at Florida Atlantic University Libraries has received a gift of 4,408 Judaica recordings, many of them rare and in mint condition, from the family of the late Dr. Harold Kahn, of Toledo, Ohio. The collection is the single largest and best preserved collection ever received by the JSA, which houses more than 94,000 tracks of recorded music on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.
“Many of the LPs were still sealed in cellophane and the 78s still snuggled in their original paper sleeves,” said JSA Founder and Director Nathan Tinanoff. “It is amazing to see 78s produced between 1910 and the 1930s in mint condition.”
In addition to the quality and the rarity of the recordings, the collection is comprehensive and includes cantorial, Israeli and Yiddish music. “This collection contained recordings that we didn’t even know existed,” said Tinanoff. “Our JSA collection has grown in both size and quality as a result of this gift.”
Kahn was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917 and died in 2002 at age 85. After graduating from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, he married Dorothy Millsberg, and the couple relocated to Toledo, where Kahn practiced optometry.
For 60 years, Kahn collected Jewish music and humor albums as well as classical music, finding treasures in record stores wherever he traveled.
“Harold’s passion for the music he collected was sharing it with his family and friends,” said his widow Dorothy Kahn.
The Kahns’ children, Linda Weingart, David Kahn and Nancy Lindauer decided to donate their father’s lifelong collection of recordings after their mother moved into smaller housing. Weingart, their oldest daughter, discovered the JSA, and the family agreed to give the collection to the archives so others could appreciate the music Kahn held so dear to his heart.
Dr. Arthur Kiron, the Shottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said the Kahns’ decision to entrust the collection to the JSA highlights FAU’s sterling reputation as a destination for such cherished personal treasures.
“This wonderful gift is a testimony to FAU and to the JSA for the great work that they are doing. Because of the scope and quality of this record collection, it will be a great boon to all who love listening to Jewish music or are interested in researching the history of Jewish sound recordings,” said Kiron. “Collectors such as Dr. Harold Kahn do a service for all of us by spending their lives assembling such extraordinary holdings.”
For more information about the Kahn Collection or the Judaica Sound Archives, call Nathan Tinanoff at 561-297-2207 or Dr. Maxine Schackman at 561-297- 3765. Visit www.fau.edu/jsa for additional information about the JSA or to listen to music.