Personal Archives

Since its establishment in 1919, the Central Zionist Archives has collected archives of personalities who were active in Zionism worldwide, or were active in Palestine/Israel over the last 120 years. The list of the private archives is accessible on this website.
Sometimes these archives contain documents of interest in the field of genealogical research, data on the person himself, letters from his relatives, articles and other material.
Usually there are Hebrew lists of files for these papers; however, there are many lists that are in English. The material itself is in many languages, according to the country of origin of the owner of the archive and the correspondents.
It should be noted that some private archives are very big and may contain 10, 15 or even 20 meters, i.e., 60, 90 or 120 boxes of material. However, most archives are smaller, containing a smaller number of files. Then again, each file may contain anything from a small number of documents, up to a hundred or two hundred documents, so that there is no way of knowing ahead of time how many documents it will be necessary to browse in a particular file.
Browsing restrictions
Usually the personal archives are accessible for browsing by the public. However, there are a small number of files which are inaccessible for browsing, in keeping with the request of the person who deposited the archives.
The use of the files by the visitors of the Archives
Scholars in the field of family roots are invited to visit the Central Zionist Archives and browse the inventory lists of the various personal archives. Then they will be able to order the files to the reading room and locate the documents that they need.
Remote use of the files
There is no remote access to the information and the Central Zionist Archives cannot conduct such a study for the applicants.
Private collections of scholars who researched family roots, preserved at the Central Zionist Archives.
Among the personal archives, there are two that contain much general material on family research: the Paul Jacobi archives and the Benjamin Ben Eliezer Rivlin archives.
The Jacobi archives (A482): the material was deposited by his relatives in the National and University Library at Givat Ram in Jerusalem, the Central Zionist Archives and Beth Hatefutsoth.
The Rivlin archives (A486): the index of the Benjamin Ben Eliezer Rivlin archives contains data on the history of several Jewish families.