Overview

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Digital Maps of Jewish Populations in Europe (1750-1930)

Principal Researcher: Dr. Laurence Leitenberg
Technical Map Specialist: Sandy Crystall

Abstract

Population movement has been a central aspect in Jewish history for millennia. Academic researchers, using modern demographic and statistical techniques, have collected and aggregated large amounts of data and cartographic material relating to this phenomenon. However, the results are diffused in scholarly works and obstacles exist, especially for the non-specialist, to access and comprehend the data in their historical and geographic context. This project seeks to use existing information, together with recently researched material on Jewish populations in Europe in the modern era, and using mapping software, transform it into a spatial format that will result in digital maps that can be made available online for use by the public.

Sophisticated Geographic Information System (GIS) software will be employed to produce digital maps that depict hundreds of localities of Jewish communities and their populations between the years 1750-1930 (i.e. covering a period of almost two centuries). Maps of this kind, which are unavailable at present, will be of immense value to historians, genealogists and social scientists in general. In addition, they will open new vistas for family historians and wider audiences with an interest the changing nature and dimensions of Jewish populations in specific geographical areas.