The first logical step in inventorying the minutes collection was to create an Excel spreadsheet of the meeting minutes, to track which minutes exist or have been found in the collection. Minutes are a record of notes and actions taken at a meeting. The collection chiefly consists of minutes from the meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (FJP) and the merged UJA-Federation of New York (UJF). The minutes are crucial to understanding how these two organizations operated from 1916 to 2000 and will be a tremendous resource to researchers seeking factual information about these organizations. The minutes contain valuable information such as who attended the meeting, what was discussed, progress reports, future directions, financial information, etc. The minutes are vital because they uniquely document the history of a thriving organization. The minutes of both the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee span from 1916 to 2000, but mysteriously, so far in our processing, the minutes of the latter contain a large gap from 1938 to 1965. Once the finding aid to the collection is online, the Board of Trustees minutes will be found in the FJP Executive series (1916 to June 1986, 24 bankers boxes) as well as in the UJF Executive series (October 1986-2000, 2 bankers boxes). A duplicate set of minutes also exists in the FJP annual bound volumes of minutes, which are more inclusive and for the most part contain the entire run of Board of Trustees minutes from 1916 to 1985. The Executive Committee minutes ranging from 1916 to 2000 will also be split between the FJP Executive series and UJF Executive series and constitute 4 bankers boxes. Four bound volumes contain Executive Committee minutes ranging from 1973 to 1986.
An effort was made to determine the overlap between the minutes in the volumes and with the Board of Trustees’ minutes and the Executive Committee minutes found within the archive. In addition to minutes, the FJP bound volumes contain correspondence, financial records, treasurer’s reports, statements, agreements, brochures, pamphlets, and memoranda, which were distributed as back-up material with the minutes to the board members. This set of minutes now constitutes the copy of record and are a permanent and vital record of the UJA-Federation of New York collection.
Other minutes of important committees found so far within the collection include minutes of the Distribution Committee, the Organizational Committee and the Planning Committee.
We expect these minutes to be available to researchers within the next few months. We’ll announce on the blog the posting of this part of the catalog as soon as it is available.