Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter Database, 1896-1914


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The database was developed in the first instance as a resource for undergraduate teaching and subsequently for historical and genealogical research. The teaching aspect was in the context of the pioneering Computing for Historians programme developed at Leicester between 1988 and 2002. This required all history students to undertake database work as a core element in their degree, involving an assigned quota of data input into one of a range of departmental databases and culminating in a finals project on their designated database. From a research point of view, work on the Shelter database received an important stimulus with the discovery that a substantial proportion of the migrants recorded in the database were bound for South Africa. This discovery attracted funding from the Kaplan Centre at the University of Cape Town, to help speed up the input by employing three postgraduates, and it led to the mounting of a partial online version of the database in Cape Town as part of a project there to research the development of South Africa’s early Jewish community at the beginning of the twentieth century. The database has subsequently been drawn on by two postgraduate theses and a number of publications.

Main Topics:

Between 1886 and the outbreak of war in 1914, the Poor Jews’ Temporary Shelter in London provided a transitory refuge for tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Eastern Europe in search of a better life in the West. The database contains a transcription of the personal and travel details of these migrants as recorded in the Shelter’s surviving registers for the period 1896 to 1914, amounting to almost 60,000 records. Besides their name, age, place of birth, occupation, marital status, and number of children (but unfortunately not for the most part their sex), the records also indicate the migrant’s date of arrival and usually of departure, the amount of money they had with them, the place they were last from and sometimes the ship on which they arrived, and a London address at which they were staying or a destination for which they were bound elsewhere. For migrants travelling on to other countries, the ship on which they left is often given, particularly for those bound for South Africa, where the database makes clear the Shelter’s important links with the Union and Castle shipping lines. There are also sometimes miscellaneous notes recording individual circumstances, such as a relative to whom the migrant was going. Derived columns have been added to the database to help identify migrants travelling together in family groups, and to link records in cases where a migrant’s arrival was entered in both a main and a supplementary register.

No sampling (total universe)

Transcription of existing materials

DOI http://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-6012-1
Metadata Access https://datacatalogue.cessda.eu/oai-pmh/v0/oai?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_ddi25&identifier=24070f632ebcecf9ef8a181b574b099013a56d0a7324be713e128cf0c0e86413
Creator Newman, A. N., University of Leicester, School of Historical Studies; Smith, J. Graham, University of Leicester, Greenwood Institute of Child Health
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2008
Funding Reference University of Cape Town, Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research
Rights Joint owners of the copyright database: Aubrey N. Newman and John Graham Smith, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester <br></br> Owner of copyright in the original manuscript registers from which the database is derived: Jews' Temporary Shelter, 1-2 Endsleigh Street, London, WC1H 0DS; <p>The Data Collection is available to UK Data Service registered users subject to the <a href="https://ukdataservice.ac.uk/app/uploads/cd137-enduserlicence.pdf" target="_blank">End User Licence Agreement</a>.</p><p>Commercial use of the data requires approval from the data owner or their nominee. The UK Data Service will contact you.</p>
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Text; Numeric
Discipline History; Humanities
Spatial Coverage Jewish Pale of Settlement; Kovno (Region); Grodno; Minsk (Region); Vilna (Region); Kiev (Region); Podolia; Volhynia; Bessarabia; Courland; Vitebsk (Region); Mogilev; Kherson; Chernigov; Ekaterinoslav (Region); Poltava; Argentina; Austria-Hungary; Austria; Belarus; Canada; England; Germany (pre-1948); Great Britain; Hungary; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Poland; Romania; Russia; South Africa; Ukraine; United States