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Fromer (Seymour) papers
BANC MSS 2010/771  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Related Materials
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • System of Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Seymour Fromer papers, 1912-2010
    Creator: Fromer, Seymour, 1922-2009
    Creator: Judah L. Magnes Museum
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 2010/771
    Physical Description: 16.5 Linear Feet 13 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize folder
    Date (inclusive): 1912-2010
    Date (bulk): 1950-2009
    Abstract: The Seymour Fromer papers document the life and work of the founding director of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, CA (now the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life). A large portion of the collection is dedicated to Fromer's directorship of the Magnes, including the Western Jewish History Center and the Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks, and includes correspondence and working files for its various exhibits and programs, as well as financial and administrative records. Also documented is Fromer’s involvement with various Jewish agencies and organizations, such as the Agency for Jewish Education, the American Association for Jewish Education (including performances organized by its Festival of Faith and Freedom Committee), the Jewish Education Council, B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay, and various other societies and institutions. The collection also contains Fromer’s personal files and correspondence.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Access

    Collection is open for research, with exception of unprocessed digital material.
    Inquiries regarding digital materials should be submitted to The Bancroft Library via the Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections form: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/libraries/bancroft-library/unprocessed-collections-form
    Box 1: NEGATIVES RESTRICTED. Available for use by appointment only.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Seymour Fromer papers, BANC MSS 2010/771, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Related Materials

    Judah L. Magnes Museum records, 1962-2006, BANC MSS 2010/764, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Western Jewish History Center Vertical Files, BANC MSS 2010/775, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks records, BANC MSS 2010/716, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Jewish Education Council records (bulk 1950-1980), BANC MSS 2010/748, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
    Further material relating to this collection can be found by searching The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Acquisition Information

    Transfer; Judah L. Magnes Museum; 2010.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Lori Dedeyan in 2016.

    Biographical / Historical

    Seymour Fromer was the founding director of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, CA. Born in the Bronx, NY, on October 3, 1922, he attended Brooklyn College and Columbia University and worked as a school administrator in New Jersey until moving to Los Angeles in the 1950s. In Los Angeles, he worked with the American Association for Jewish Education to present the Darius Milhaud opera “David” at the Hollywood Bowl. He later moved to Oakland, CA, where he was a founding director of the Jewish Education Council of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and helped form the Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks, which was responsible for the preservation of seven gold- rush era Jewish cemeteries.
    In 1962, he and his wife, Rebecca, co-founded the Judah L. Magnes Museum, which found its permanent home in an old mansion on Russell Street in Berkeley. The museum collected Jewish art and cultural artifacts from around the world, including objects gathered by the Fromers during their travels through North Africa and Southwest and South Asia. In 1967 Fromer started the Western Jewish History Center, which became the largest regional repository for artifacts documenting the contributions of Jews to the settlement of California and the West. He remained the director of the museum until his retirement in 1998.
    Fromer was active in the Jewish community throughout his life, with involvement in Jewish organizations such as the Agency for Jewish Education, the American Association for Jewish Education, the Jewish Education Council, B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay, and various other societies and institutions.
    Fromer died on October 25, 2009, at age 87.
    In 2010, the Judah L. Magnes Museum transferred its collections to the University of California, Berkeley. As part of the agreement, the collection was moved from its Russell Street location to a new building on Allston Way in downtown Berkeley. It is now known as the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.

    Scope and Contents

    The Seymour Fromer papers document the life and work of the founding director of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley, CA (now the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life). A large portion of the collection is dedicated to Fromer's directorship of the Magnes, including the Western Jewish History Center and the Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks, and includes correspondence and working files for its various exhibits and programs, as well as financial and administrative records. Also documented is Fromer’s involvement with various Jewish agencies and organizations, such as the Agency for Jewish Education, the American Association for Jewish Education (including performances organized by its Festival of Faith and Freedom Committee), the Jewish Education Council, B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay, and various other societies and institutions. The collection also contains Fromer’s personal files and correspondence.
    Series 1 (Judah L. Magnes Museum) is divided into six subseries: Administrative files; Board of Directors records; Program files; Western Jewish History Center; Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks; and Research files.
    Series 2 (Jewish Agencies and Organizations) contains the correspondence and working files for various organizations.
    Series 3 (Personal files) contains Fromer's personal correspondence, writing, and documents.
    Series 4 (Photographs) contains photographs relating to the Magnes Museum, various Jewish organizations, and personal and family pictures.
    Series 5 (Audiovisual) contains various recordings for music and interviews.
    The collection also contains digital material: video interviews with Seymour and Rebecca Fromer and Ruth Eis, as well as photographs of the Molekumne Hill and Placerville Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries. This material is unavailable until processed.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Fromer, Seymour, 1922-2009--Archives.
    Judah L. Magnes Museum--Archives.
    Judah L. Magnes Museum. Commission for the Preservation of Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries and Landmarks--Archives
    Western Jewish History Center--Archives
    Jewish museums--California--Berkeley
    Jewish pioneers--West (U.S.)
    Museum directors
    Jewish cemeteries--California
    Jewish art
    Fromer, Seymour, 1922-2009
    Judah L. Magnes Museum