Shtetl Economic History Project

The goal of this project is to enhance the historical understanding of the shtetl (the small and mid-size Jewish communities of Eastern Europe). Professor Thomas Glick began this project in the spring of 2002 with the purchase by Boston University of the Iacob Bercovici Business Archive. The collection includes close to 4,000 documents which reveal the economic and social aspects of the life of Jews living in Bacău, Romania, at the beginning of the 20th century. Soon following, the project obtained a second archive containing around 1,000 postcards from the business of Abe Lieber, a Jewish textile dealer in Austrian Galicia active in the 1880s and 90s. The wealth of documents in these business archives and other materials collected by the project since 2002 provide an invaluable glimpse into patterns of distribution, business and social networks, and daily life in eastern Europe in the 19th century. Thanks to a grant from the Louis Littauer Foundation over 3,500 documents have been transcribed into a database open to use by the scholarly community and general public.

For more information, contact Professor Glick (tglick@bu.edu).

Visit the Project Website