The processing of the budget files is now complete! The files of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are the largest series in the entire collection. The budget files themselves are over 500 linear feet after being processed (that’s over 5 football fields!). The budget files consist of a variety of budgetary files such as annual agency files, Budget Department subject files, financial reports, agency financial reports, audited agency reports, Distribution Committee reports, functional committee reports, Greater New York Fund files, and Financial Experience of Affiliated Societies files.
Of significance to researchers is the completion of the annual agency files. This means that agency files from 1917-2000 are now available to researchers, spanning 84 years and 9 decades. The files cover the entire Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (FJP) lifespan, plus 13 years of UJA-Federation (UJF) files after the merger, from 1986 to 2000. This sub-subseries is the largest of any in the collection. The files comprise 293.5 linear feet (294 bankers boxes and over 8,000 folders). The processing of the agency budget files is the culmination of more than a year’s work of arduous processing by a single archivist. The FJP Annual Agency Budget Files finding aid is now available online (http://digifindingaids.cjh.org/?pID=1944047) and the files are available for research.
This sub-subseries will be indispensable to researchers seeking information about a particular agency that Federation funded in a particular year or across many years. In addition to the expected budgetary details, the files give a snapshot of the scope of Federation’s work in any given year or decade. Without even looking at the files themselves, the folder lists are evocative of the time they represent just in the names of the agencies (Brightside Day Nursery – Auxiliary Guild, 1917; Recreation Rooms and Settlement, 1918; Hebrew Orphan Asylum – Ladies’ Sewing Society, 1919). Because Federation provided funding where the need was greatest, it is possible to see the evolution of social services in the boroughs of New York City as more funding was provided by the government and as the City as a whole became wealthier. Initially saving a poor population from starvation with funds for Passover food, and by supporting hospitals, care of the elderly and of orphans, Federation grew to support a more middle-class Jewish community that had spread out to Long Island and Westchester with summer camps, community centers and Jewish education, while continuing to support formerly Jewish hospitals in neighborhoods that remained poor.
We will continue to post more about our progress on the project as more series and subseries are completed.