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Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records

Collection ID

SCRC 198

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)


Collection Summary 
Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records
1934-1970, bulk 1949-1970
Collection ID
SCRC 198

Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)

0.63 linear feet (2 boxes)
Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Materials in English.

Detailed Collection Information

Historical Note
The Jewish Ceremonials Club was organized in December 1956 by Harry M. Buten, who then served as its president for the duration of its operation. The first meeting of the club took place on January 27, 1957. Its purpose was to provide a venue for the study of Jewish ceremonial objects, promotion of their design and production, and to increase the use of such objects in both the home and the synagogue. Harry M. Buten along with his wife, Nettie, operated a museum out of their home known as the Buten Museum of Wedgwood that included Jewish ceremonial objects made of Wedgewood. The club ceased activity sometime circa 1970.

Description of Collection
The Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records include exhibition catalogs and brochures, auction catalogs, correspondence, meeting minutes, press releases, and newspaper clippings. The various exhibition catalogs and brochures as well as the Parke-Bernet Galleries auction catalogs document the rare Judaica in private collections in the mid-twentieth century and provide context for the object materials discussed amongst the members of the Jewish Ceremonials Club. Included in the correspondence are communications with Jewish historian and author, Cecil Roth who attended a meeting of the Jewish Ceremonials Club in 1958 to discuss ceremonial art objects. Also within the collection is an outline for a presentation given by Harry and Nettie Buten titled “Gracious Jewish Living” on using and implementing Jewish ceremonial art and objects in the average home. The visual media in the collection includes postcards of the Synagogue of the Transito in Madrid Spain and ceremonial objects from the collection at the Jewish Museum at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and photographs of Nettie Buten.

Organization and Arrangement
The records are arranged alphabetically.

Patron Information

Catalog Record 

A record for this collection is available in Temple University’s online library catalog: [URL]

Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research.

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research. 

Publication and Copyright Information
The Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records are the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Preferred Citation
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records, SCRC 198, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Donated in 1981 by Nettie Buten, wife of the founder of the Jewish Ceremonials Club and in 1996 by Judith Maslin, daughter of Sarah Blumberg, secretary for the Jewish Ceremonials Club. Collection previously administered by the Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center, acquired by Temple in June 2009.
Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid prepared in 1981 by L. Leopold and W. McCalley. Finding aid revised according to contemporary archival standards in 2012 by Jessica Lydon, Project Archivist.

Index Terms

The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in the Temple University Libraries’ electronic catalog.

Personal Names:
Buten, Harry M.
Buten, Nettie 
Roth, Cecil, 1899-1970

Corporate Names:
Jewish Ceremonials Club (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Ceremonial objects
Jews -- Social life and customs

Philadelphia (Pa.)

Material Types:
Exhibition catalogs
Press releases

Collection Inventory

Box    Folder     Description

1          1          Attendance record book           1957
1          2         “Club Chats” newsletter           1962 February
1          3          Correspondence           1949–1956
1          4          Correspondence           1957
1          5          Correspondence           1958
1          6          Correspondence           1959
1          7          Correspondence           1960–1962
1          8          Correspondence           1963–1970, undated
1          9          Gracious Jewish Living program outline           1957–1968, undated
1          10          Jewish art and ceremonial objects exhibition catalogs and brochures           1950–1958, 1960
1          11          Meeting minutes           1957–1958
1          12          Meeting notices and programs           1957–1960
1          13          Miscellaneous           1950–1961, undated
1          14          Newspapers clippings           1954–1968, undated
2          1          Observances on Jewish holidays           1961, undated
2          2          Parke-Bernet Galleries auction catalogs           1949, 1955–1957, 1960
2          3          Photographs           1957, 1959, undated
2          4          Postcards           1934, undated
2          5          Press releases           1956–1957, 1961
2          6          Sales catalogs for Judaica           1949, 1952–1957, undated