The Stories of Tapestries and Books: Exploring the Past through Heritage Objects
The project had three main goals: to restore hand-embroidered tapestries in particular deterioration and clean and care for others, providing them with appropriate and safe storage facilities; to clean, catalogue, and properly store the books, primarily siddurim, from the Jewish community that had been left in the women’s balcony (functioning as a genizah); and to accomplish these actions through the use of community involvement, where possible, while also incorporating the items of local Jewish heritage into our ongoing outreach and cultural work.
All of these objectives have been met: six large, handmade and embroidered textiles (the chuppah and five curtains probably used for the aron kodesh) exhibiting considerable deterioration were restored by experts at the Brukenthal Museum. Fifteen embroidered tallis and tefillin bags in relatively good condition have been catalogued and cleaned and cared for by our own staff.
The siddurim were transferred from the women’s balcony to the house next to the synagogue. Shelving was constructed and books placed on shelves, divided by language. A cataloguing handbook was created in English and Romanian. Students from local schools were recruited to catalogue the German language and Hungarian language books and a catalogue training session was held. The students spent a total of approximately 150 hrs cataloguing close to 250 books. The books that were catalogued and now form part of the online Mediaș Jewish Library are available via the Leo Baeck Institute’s JBAT (Jewish Bukovina and Transylvania) website.
This project ran from 2016-2017 and was administered through the Mihai Eminescu Trust and financed through the generous help of an outside foundation.
For more information: https://jbat.lbi.org/items/browse?tags=Media%C8%99