Tag Archives: Parkes Institute

Digitised audio recordings of Revd James Parkes

22 December marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Revd Dr James William Parkes. The transfer of his Library and archive to the University of Southampton in 1964 marked the start of a half century of significant growth, both in the Parkes Library and in Jewish archive collections, transforming Southampton into a major Jewish documentation centre. Amongst the predominantly paper based archive collection were a series of audio material in analogue or obsolete formats. This material, which includes recordings of sermons and talks during the 1960s and 1970s, has been transferred to digital to make it available for research.

Revd James Parkes in studio for a radio broadcast [MS 60/34/6]

Revd James Parkes in studio for a radio broadcast [MS 60/34/6]

The sermons include “The End of the Way” delivered by Parkes at the Church of St Edward King and Martyr, Cambridge, at the close of the conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) on Jewish-Christian co-operation in 1966 [MS 60/4/6]; and “The Road to Jerusalem” consisting of five sermons for Lent given at Salisbury Cathedral in 1967 [MS 60/4/8/5], sequentially titled “Jesus Clears His Mind – The Temptations”, “The Road Through Tradition”, “The Road Through Teaching”, “The Road Through Healing” and “The Road Through Suffering”.

Recordings of talks by Parkes include “Israel, the diaspora and the world outside” recorded for the BBC, 1 September 1966 [MS 60/4/6]; “Jewish Students between the Wars” delivered to the Oxford University Jewish Society on 14 May 1967 [MS 60/4/8/8]; and “Tradition and Adventure” given at the Westminster Synagogue on 13 June 1967 [MS 60/4/8/8].

The collection also contains two recordings focusing on the life of James Parkes. These include “Journeying” recorded by Parkes’ wife, Dorothy, on 29 April 1977 [MS 60/37/1]; and “Word of Greeting” recorded by Dr Morton C Fierman, California State University, for a colloquium held by the International Council of Christians and Jews in honour of Rev Dr James Parkes and Professor Jules Isaac at Connaught Hall, Southampton, on 20 July 1977 [MS 60/37/1].

The earliest recording is of the opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton on 23 June 1965 [MS 60/4/6]. The event included speeches by Edmund Leopold de Rothschild, and Lord Perth, Vice President of the Council of Christians and Jews. In his introductory speech, the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor announced the establishment of the Parkes Library Fellowship, a post intended to raise the profile of the collection and to help secure funding for the international research centre envisaged by James Parkes.

Photograph of the official opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton Library, 23 June 1965 [Univ. Coll. Photos LF 789.5L46]

Photograph of the official opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton Library, 23 June 1965 [Univ. Coll. Photos LF 789.5L46]

The following thirty years saw a series of distinguished Parkes Library Fellows working on the collection, but it was not until 1996 — the year of his centenary — that Parkes Centre for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations was launched. Five years later the Parkes Institute was created to coordinate and expand the activities of what had become the AHRB Parkes Centre, and the associated library and archive collections.

All of the recordings are now available to access in the Archives and Manuscripts reading room.

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Ian Karten, MBE

The papers of Ian Herman Karten, MBE (1920-2011) [MS 409 A4140] have recently been listed and are now available for research. Ian Karten was born in Vienna although to a family of Polish nationality.  At the age of 3 he moved to Duisburg in Germany where his father started a business.  Facing anti-Semitism at his German school, at 16 Karten was sent to a Jewish School in Cologne.  In 1938 he obtained a visa to come to England and studied Medical Engineering at Battersea College (now the University of Surrey).  He served in the RAF during World War Two.  At the end of the war he was assigned to an air disarmament unit which was set up to take over German airfields.

Kartenwithplanes

After the war, Karten worked with the RAF disarmament wing in Denmark and Germany

Almost all of Karten’s family died in the Holocaust including his father Israel, his brother Max, his sister Fanny and his grandfather Gedalia.  After the War, his mother Helen (Chanah) came to live with him in the UK.

IanFannyandMax

Karten (front) with his siblings Fanny and Max

In 1946 Karten joined Multitone Electronic Ltd.  He managed to turn this company around becoming Managing Director, Chairman and the CEO.

Karten met Mildred Hart at an Anglo-Jewish Association gathering in the 1960s; they married at the Chelsea Affiliated Synagogue in December 1968.

Ian and Mildred's wedding

Ian and Mildred’s wedding

The Ian Karten Charitable Trust was created after Karten sold his share in Multitone Electronics.  Its was established as a grant-making trust in 1980 to offer educational opportunities to those in need.

In 1996 the Trustees decided to devote a substantial part of the Trust’s resources to the establishment of centres for disabled people to be known as Computer-Aided Training, Education and Communication (CTEC) Centres. The first CTEC Centre was established in 1997 in Berkshire.

Since the 1990s, the Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton has been a benefactor of the Karten Trust with the endowment of a lectureship, a fellowship and most recently, a post in outreach work.

After being awarded his honorary degree from the University of Southampton

Karten in his University of Southampton degree robes

In 1998 Karten was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Southampton. In 1999 he was awarded an MBE for his ‘services to charity’.  In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of Haifa.

The collection includes correspondence with lawyers concerning reparations for losses suffered during the Holocaust, an extensive photographic collection including many photographs of Karten and his family in Germany prior to the war, papers respecting Karten’s purchase of shares in Multitone Electric Company and commemorative photographs, certificates and objects respecting the CTEC Centres.  Please see our website to find out how to access this material.

The Ian and Mildred Karten Memorial Lecture is part of the Parkes Institute annual lecture series and has been named to honour the generosity and interest shown by Ian and Mildred in the Parkes Institute. This year’s lecture “Imagining the Jewish Past: writing The Wolf in the Water, a play about Jessica, Shylock’s daughter?” is being given by Naomi Alderman. It takes place on 10 May 2016.

Exhibition: Creating a Legacy: the Parkes Library

Creating a legacy: the Parkes Library

Drawing on material in the Special Collections, the exhibition will consider the legacy created by Revd Dr James Parkes, through his library and his research on Jewish/non-Jewish relations. James Parkes began collecting material in the 1930s and by the time it arrived at Southampton in 1964, the Library consisted of 4,000 books, 2,000 pamphlets and 140 journals. It has developed into one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe and complements the Anglo-Jewish Archives, also part of Special Collections, which is one of the largest collections of Jewish archives in Western Europe. These research collections have led to the development of the Parkes Institute, which is a research centre focusing on Jewish history and culture, and which continues Parkes’s legacy of teaching and research.

The exhibition will run in conjunction with the Parkes Institute Jubilee Conference, the climax of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations 2014-2015. It will open on Monday 7 September and run until 6 November 2015.

During exhibitions the Special Collections Gallery is open to the public Monday to Friday 1000 to 1600. Admission is free. Visitors may be asked for proof of identity by Library Reception staff.

Claude Montefiore and the Montefiore Lecture 2015

The Montefiore Lecture 2015 will take place this evening at the Avenue Campus. Titled ‘Magna Carta, British Values and Religious Minorities’ the lecture will be given by Professor Maleiha Malik, King’s College London. The Montefiore Lecture is part of the Parkes Institute annual lecture series and is the oldest lecture in the University’s calendar.

Bust of Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore

Bust of Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore

Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore (1858-1938) was a Jewish theologian, Reform leader and philanthropist. He was the son of Nathaniel Montefiore and Emma Goldsmid, and the great nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore. Noted as a great scholar, Montefiore was educated privately and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a first class degree. He was Hibbert Lecturer in 1892 and was awarded the British Academy Medal for Biblical Studies in 1930.

In 1890 Montefiore founded and edited, together with Israel Abrahams, the Jewish Quarterly Review. From 1892 to 1921 he was President of the Anglo-Jewish Association. He was President of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue and Acting President of University College, Southampton, 1910-13 and then President, 1913-34.

The Special Collections Division holds a small collection of Montefiore’s  papers. The collection contains a volume of manuscript notes, chiefly on Aristotle’s politics; an address to Montefiore, written on vellum and signed by members of the senate of University College, Southampton, 1913; a letter from D.D.Balfour, 1885; and a typescript of ‘Some old fashioned opinions and reflections about the Jews: a die-hard’s confession’, 1935. In addition to the manuscript collection, Montefiore donated his private book collection the University which now forms part of the Library’s Printed Special Collections.

It was through the collections of Montefiore and the library of Dr James Parkes that the University formed a special interest in papers concerning the relations of the Jewish people with other peoples. Since 1989 this has been developed with a particular focus on the records of Anglo-Jewry, of national organisations, and of individuals, leading to the acquisition of the Anglo-Jewish Archives in 1990. The Special Collections Division has continued to receive a considerable number of major accessions relating to Anglo-Jewry and this remains an area where collecting is most active.

For further details on this year’s Montefiore Lecture please visit the Parkes Institute Events page.

50th Anniversary of the arrival of the Parkes Library

Consisting of over 4000 books, 2000 pamphlets and 140 journals, the private library of Revd. Dr James Parkes was transferred to Southampton University Library in 1964, making 2014 the 50th anniversary of the transfer.

Revd Dr James Parkes devoted his life to combating anti-Semitism, which he first encountered in European universities while working for the International Student Service. He helped rescue Jewish refugees during the 1930s and campaigned for the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. During the Second World War he helped found the Council of Christians and Jews and worked throughout his career in promoting religious tolerance and mutual respect.

Official opening of the Parkes Library

Official opening of the Parkes Library

As part of his campaigning, he built up the Parkes Library and associated archive, and completed a thesis entitled The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue: a study in the origins of anti-Semitism. This publication of this work established him as a specialist in the fields of Jewish-Christian relations and the history of anti-Semitism.

The Parkes Library is now one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe and the only one in the world devoted to Jewish/non-Jewish relations. It has led to the development of the Parkes Institute, which provides teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as having a thriving doctoral programme and a range of outreach activities engaging the general public, local communities and colleges.

Along with the Parkes Library, Revd James William Parkes also transferred his papers to the University of Southampton (MS 60). These contain correspondence and notes relating to his publications, as well as newspaper cuttings on significant events such as the Suez crisis of 1956, the Palestine question, anti-Semitism and fascism. Other sections of the archive include the personal financial papers relating to the administration of the Parkes Library.

User perspectives: Discovering the situation for Jews and Jewish Refugees during the twentieth century using the Anglo-Jewish archives

The University of Southampton holds one of the largest collections of Jewish archives in Western Europe. The holdings partly grew out of the association with the Parkes Library, originally the private library of Reverend Dr James Parkes. Parkes devoted his life to investigating and combating the problem of anti-Semitism and since the arrival of Parkes’ Library at the University in 1964 the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations has developed significantly.

Books within the Parkes Library

Books within the Parkes Library

Alice Caffull, a former University of Southampton Modern History and Politics undergraduate student, and now a Master’s Jewish History and Culture student, explains how she has used the Anglo-Jewish archives for her research.

“I consulted the “Refugee Voices” Association of Jewish Refugees collection in both my undergraduate and postgraduate degree because of my interest in personal testimony and memoirs. I used this collection in various essays and found it an easy-to-navigate and fascinating source. I study MA Jewish History and Culture and therefore the wealth of Jewish history contained within the archives is extremely useful and exciting for me. I spent a whole module (an Individually Negotiated Topic module) on the diaries of Samuel Morris Rich, a Jewish teacher who kept a diary from 1905 until his death in 1950. I really enjoyed getting into the content of these diaries and assessing the situation for Jews particularly before the First World War through his diaries.

MS 168 AJ 217/4 Diary of Samuel Morris Rich, 1908

MS 168 AJ 217/4 Diary of Samuel Morris Rich, 1908

The archives were also one of the main reasons that I stayed at Southampton to do my Master’s degree, as well as of course for the fantastic Parkes Institute. For my MA dissertation I will be spending many more hours in the Archive, looking at Rabbis Hertz and Schonfeld’s papers, the papers of James Parkes and Carl Stettauer, and the records of various Councils and committees such as the Council for Christians and Jews. These will hopefully aid my discussion of the work of the Salvation Army in England with refugee groups in the first half of the twentieth century, a previously unstudied topic. Through these documents I am looking for information on the work of Christian and Jewish groups together, and for any references to the work of the Salvation Army within wider Christian and philanthropic movements at this time.”