Located in Jerusalem, the Central Zionist Archives has a vast array and amount of materials pertaining to modern Jewish history and particularly the history of modern Zionism. There are files dealing with all aspects of the modern Zionist enterprise, Zionist history in eastern and western Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere. The files go back in time to the middle of the 1800s and sometimes earlier. At the CZA one can find the records of the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund and Keren Hayesod, as well as the archives of the World Jewish Congress and various other bodies.
From these organizational files and many others, one can reconstruct modern Zionist history. For example, the Political Department of the Jewish Agency has more than 20,000 files that detail the Agency’s role in Jewish nation building, relationships with Jewish communities abroad, the great powers, the League of Nations, UN, the British administration in Palestine, and Arab leaders inside and outside of Palestine. The CZA also holds the private papers of individuals who were major and minor actors in the Zionist movement and in the development of Palestine and Israel. These individual files are invaluable for understanding the motivation and engagement of the men and woman that contributed to the Zionist movement. In addition, the CZA houses over half a million photographs, 50,000 maps and plans, over 18,000 posters and announcements, a large collection of ephemera, 13,000 newspapers and periodicals, a vast book library in many languages and a microfilm collection.
Along with the Hebrew University, the CZA also runs the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, which houses over 3,000 film and video titles. For more detailed information go to http://www.zionistarchives.org.il/ZA/pMainE.aspx.
The few summaries, surveys, and analyses in our collection focus primarily on Zionism, Jewish nation-building, and relationships with the Arabs. This sampling is not indicative of the vast richness of materials in the CZA.
- 1937 “David Ben-Gurion on Relations with the Arabs in Palestine.” Palestine Royal Commission Notes of Evidence, CZA, S25/4642.
- 1937 “Economic and Social Transformation of Palestine.” Jewish Agency, CZA, S25/5934.
- 1943 “Survey of Arab Affairs.” Jewish Agency, CZA, S25/5934.
- 1945 “Jewish Colonization and Arab Development in Palestine.” Jewish Agency, CZA, S90/76.
- 1946 “Reports of the Jewish Agency Executives Submitted to the Twenty Second Zionist Congress at Basle, Excerpts.” Jewish Agency.
- 1947 “The Jewish Plan for Palestine, Excerpts.” Memoranda and Statements presented by The Jewish Agency for Palestine to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, Jewish Agency.