The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

I think I've mentioned this resource in the past, but I have been searching through it the past few days and came up with some terrific nuggets. Here is the description from the Carnegie-Mellon University Libraries page:

The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project is composed of The Jewish Criterion (1895-1962), The American Jewish Outlook (1934-1962), and The Jewish Chronicle (1962-Present). This project serves as both an online reference source and as a digitized historical documentation of the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and its outlying areas.

The search functionality is terrific. I plugged in a few names and came up with a lot of accurate hits. The only drawback is that when the actual page comes up (scanned both as a small and large image) it doesn't highlight your search results in any way. So you have to read the entire page to look for the phrase you searched for.

I am constantly amazed at the level of detail in these old newspapers. The first thing that struck me was the donation listings. There are a lot of people donating all sums of money and everyone is listed. Even a 50 cent donation.

The second thing I noticed is the 'In Memoriam' sections. Families kept posting these for decades after loved ones had passed away. There are a lot of other family events such as births, marriages, engagements and obituaries. It has proven to be a very valuable and accurate resource for me.

Here are some of the funny snippets I have found these past few days. I guess that almost 100 years ago, other than word of mouth, this was one of the better forms of communication. I can't imagine some of these things showing up in local papers today.

On July 27th, 1923:
Miss Mabel Hytowitz, of Beeler
Street, is spending a few weeks in
Atlantic City.

On May 6th 1923:
On Sunday, May Sixth, Miss Es-
ther Weisberg, of Black Street, en-
tertained the members of the Sigma
Delta Phi Sorority with a card par-
ty. Prizes were awarded the Misses
Minnie Cooper, Mabel Hytowitz, Ruth
Schmidt and Selma Goldstein. After
a dainty luncheon had been served,
Miss Rhoda Selznick entertained with
several ukelele numbers, after which
the Misses Ruth Spector and Sara
Sbarsky, accompanied by Miss Ma-
thilda Miller, entertained with dance
and song numbers.

One of the things I noticed is that at the end of a lot of the clippings they add 'no cards':

On January 10th, 1922:
Miss Hazel Weiner, daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Weiner, of At-
lantic Avenue, has chosen Tuesday,
January tenth, as the date for her
marriage to Mr. Benjamin Hytowitz,
of this city, which will be solemnized
in the Rittenhouse. A dinner for the
immediate families will supplement
the ceremony, and will be followed by
a reception. No cards.

Does anyone know what that means?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 11:49 PM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


It means "Don't send sympathy cards." These days, an obituary might say "No cards or flowers" and might name a charity or other organization to donate money to in the decedent's name.

August 23, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Joy, thanks for the comment. I thought this was the meaning for obituaries, but I don't understand why they would put that on engagements and wedding announcements.

August 24, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Post a Comment