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Ruth Bass Jacobs papers

 Collection
Identifier: Mss 1010

Collection Overview

Newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence, newsletters, memoirs, recordings, and other papers of Ruth Bass Jacobs. Included are biographical papers and documents regarding the Bass and Jacobs families, including Noach Bass, Nathan Bass, members of the Pearlstine family, and Ruth Jacobs's siblings, husband, and children. Materials also relate to Jacobs's involvement in Charleston's Jewish community, particularly Brith Sholom Beth Israel and the Addlestone Hebrew Academy. Also included are Jacobs's newspaper clippings on individuals and topics of interest, and Jacobs's audio and video recordings of family events, oral history interviews, and religious ceremonies.

Dates

  • 1882-2011

Creator

Language of Material

Materials in English, Hebrew, and Spanish

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Ruth Bass Jacobs (1923-2007) was born in North, South Carolina, to Esther Cohen Bass and Nathan Bass.

Nathan Bass (1887-1958) was born in Vasilishok, located in modern-day Lithuania, and in 1901, immigrated to the United States. He and his cousin left New York City in 1908 for Charleston, South Carolina. Four years later, Bass relocated to North, where he established the Bass Mercantile Company, a clothing and textiles store.

Esther Cohen (1889-1974) was born in Bialystok, Poland, and immigrated to the United States in 1891 with her parents and older sister. She grew up in New York City and worked for a jewelry wholesaler until she met Nathan Bass, who was visiting the city to purchase merchandise for his store. They were married in 1917 and settled in North.

The Basses had seven children: Samuel "Bernie" Bass, Herbert "Herbie" Bass, Ruth Bass Jacobs, Frances Bass Ginsberg, Marcia Bass Brody, Lucille Bass Lipsitz, and Jack Bass. Samuel Bass graduated from the University of South Carolina and Herbert Bass graduated from the Citadel and both served in World War II. In 1943 Herbert Bass was killed in action during a failed mission in Guadalcanal. Frances Ginsberg and Lucille Lipsitz both operated family-owned businesses- Ginsberg Ladies Shop in Bishopville and Lipsitz Shoe Store in Beaufort. Marcia Bass Brody co-authored Vos Makhstu Y'all: The Bass Family of North and has documented the family's activities and achievements in the Bass family newsletter. Jack Bass, a journalist and professor, has co-authored several publications on the political culture of the American South.

Ruth Bass graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1943 with a Secretarial Science Certificate. She was working for the South Carolina State Board of Health in Columbia when she met Isaac Jacobs, a travelling salesman for Jacobs Hosiery Company based out of Charleston. Bass and Jacobs were married in 1951 and raised six children in Charleston. The Jacobses were members of the Brith Sholom Beth Israel (BSBI) Congregation.

While raising her children, Ruth Jacobs worked part-time as an office assistant for BSBI and the Addlestone Hebrew Academy, formerly known as the Charleston Hebrew Institute. She was an active member of several Jewish communal organizations, including the BSBI Sisterhood and Charleston Jewish Community Center; she edited the BSBI newsletter The Messenger; and served on the board of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina (1999-2006). Jacobs also volunteered with the Jewish Heritage Collection by recording and transcribing oral history interviews. In 2004, she was honored by BSBI as "A Woman Who Makes a Difference." Ruth Jacobs passed away in 2007.

Extent

7.0 linear feet (11 document boxes, 1 flat file box, 1 rolled item box, 17 audiocassette tapes, 1 microcassette tape, 42 videocassette tapes)

Abstract

Newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence, newsletters, memoirs, recordings, and other papers of Ruth Bass Jacobs. Materials relate to Jacobs's family history and involvement in Charleston's Jewish community, particularly Brith Sholom Beth Israel and the Addlestone Hebrew Academy. Included are biographical papers and documents regarding the Bass and Jacobs families as well as newspaper clippings on topics of interest. The collection also consists of audio and video recordings of family events, oral history interviews, and religious ceremonies.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Biographical, 1920s-2007
  2. Ruth and Isaac Jacobs family, 1941-2000s
  3. Bass family, 1890s-2011
  4. Jacobs, Karesh, and Pearlstine families, 1882-2003
  5. Brith Sholom Beth Israel, 1904-2007
  6. Addlestone Hebrew Academy, 1965-2005
  7. Organizations, 1957-2006
  8. Topical files, 1935-2007
  9. Audiovisual material, 1985-2000, undated

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2002 by Ruth Bass Jacobs and in 2007 by Susan Sonenthal.

Related Material

Related materials in Special Collections include three oral history interviews with Ruth Bass Jacobs and Isaac Jacobs, 1995 and 1998 (Mss 1035-005, Mss 1035-009, Mss 1035-173), and several manuscript collections and oral histories relating to the Bass, Jacobs, Pearlstine, Karesh, and Cohen families. Special Collections also holds copies of Vos Makhstu Y'all: The Bass Family of North by Marcia Bass Brody and Ken Bass (2011) and two of Tzvi Jacobs's publications: Truths Revealed: Modern day stories of faith and miracles (1996) and From the Heavens to the Heart: True stories of extraordinary happenings in the lives of ordinary people (2000).

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Dorpinghaus, June 2011.

Creator

Source

Title
Inventory of the Ruth Bass Jacobs Papers, 1882-2011
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by: Sarah Dorpinghaus; machine-readable finding aid created by: Sarah Dorpinghaus
Date
2011
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the processing of this collection and encoding of the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)