Conference Proceeding: Cooperative Digitization Initiatives to Reveal Hidden Resources from Jewish Latin America and the Caribbean

In 2014, the Judaica Library at the University of Florida was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant in support of building a Cooperative Digital Library of Jewish resources from Latin America and the Caribbean. The new open access database, the Jewish Diaspora Collection (JDoC) at the University of Florida, is being modelled on and in conjunction with UF’s highly successful Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), which is a partnership of 44 libraries and archives in the Caribbean and U.S. To date, five partnerships have been agreed for dLOC/JDoC, including Jewish institutions and research groups from New York, Argentina, Mexico, Barbados, and Jamaica, and new content has been added thanks to contacts in El Salvador, Panama and Cuba. The database now holds over 500 items, including archives, photographs, newspapers, pamphlets, memoires, and ephemera, many of which were previously hidden and unknown. This paper will provide a summary of the JDoC project; it will share examples of the new content available in this database; and it will touch upon some of the project challenges, such as how to find and add content from under-researched areas, like the Jewish community of Peru, or from the endangered community of Venezuela.