The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Community Records and Digitization in Dialogue: The Historical Archive of the Jewish Community of Pisa and the ASCEPI Project

Between the end of the 16th and the first half of the 18th century, the Jewish presence in Pisa (already attested throughout the Middle Ages and the early Modern Era) was changed by the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese Jews who, at least in an initial period, they seemed to prefer this city to Livorno. The ancient Jewish Community of Pisa has left us a very rich archive containing material from the 17th to the 20th century. Vital registers (births, marriages and deaths), account books, synagogue registers and burial records are a rich source of data for the study of Jewish history and cultural heritage and of the relationships between the different Sephardic and Italian Jewish traditions. One of the most recent ways to promote material archives is based on the publication of open-access website containing information and interactive activities about these documentary complex. The lecture will focus on the importance of the vast materials of the Historical Archive of the Jewish Community of Pisa as a testimony of the long and uninterrupted Jewish presence in Pisa and on the fruitful collaboration between the Interdepartmental Centre for Jewish Studies (CISE), the National Research Council (CNR) and the Jewish Community. During the presentation the ASCEPI-project and the new website of the archive will be shown, and a practical demonstration of research will be given. We will guide the public to a smart navigation of the web portal through a possible use-case demonstrating all the potentialities of our work. The website with its database represents a useful tool both for scholars studying archival materials and for those who want to approach the world of Historical Archives.