The archive is a unique source of information about personalities in modern Jewish history. It also contains valuable material concerning events, institutions and places in modern Israel, and the history of the Jewish press. About half of the total cuttings haven been microfilmed with the aid of a grant from the British library. The Archive is organised as follows:
Newspaper Cuttings. The Collection contains some 400,000 cuttings from Jewish newspapers dating from about 1935 to 1980. The great majority of the newspapers are from Israel (including mandatory Palestine), but Jewish newspapers in various languages from Europe and America are also represented. The Collection itself is subdivided into four sections, the largest being the one on Personalities, which contains clippings on 16,000 people: political and religious leaders, writers, scholars, artists, etc. The aim has been to include anyone of importance in Jewish life from Moses Mendelssohn onwards, though it is in the nature of the material that twentieth-century figures are the best represented. The clippings include news items, obituaries, biographical and autobiographical memoirs, polemics, information about publications and translations, book reviews, notices of prizes and awards, etc. Many of the files also include extensive references to other sources of information about the person. There is further documentary material other than newspaper cuttings: letters, invitations, and longer articles.
The second section contains information on about 600 Yishuvim, i.e. places of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel in modern times (towns, kibbutzim, moshavim, etc.), the third on Jewish newspapers, and the final section is that of miscellaneous subjects, such as the State of Israel, the Histadrut, the Israeli Army, political parties in Israel, the Arabs in Israel.
Newspapers. The Archive holds representative issues and jubilee numbers of many newspapers, which shed light on the history of the Jewish press. For more recent Israeli newspapers the aim has been to keep the first and any other special issue. In some instances the Collection does contain complete, or nearly complete, files of such papers.
The library recently joined the Mapping Asia database (www.asiamap.ac.uk) where all Asian and Middle East newspapers available in the UK are stored. Altogether the Archive has, in the form of cuttings, jubilee numbers, and other issues, informative material on about 850 newspapers.
Pamphlets. The Archive contains over three thousand pamphlets, filed according to the name of the person of interest, being either the author or the subject of the pamphlet.
Manuscripts. The Collection also contains many thousand of letters written to Getzel Kressel by writers, scholars and other leading personalities in Israel and elsewhere, and hundreds of short autobiographies of writers produced at Kressel’s request.