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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2712/GTS
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1591-1975
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 11.58 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Great Synagogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Great Synagogue was founded in 1690, and was situated on Duke's Place, near Aldgate in the City of London. The Synagogue was the first in England built for Ashkenazi Jews and for many years it was the centre of Ashkenazi life in London. It was one of the original five synagogues which grouped together to form the United Synagogue in 1870. The Hambro Synagogue was incorporated into it in 1936. Chief Rabbi Nathan Adler was the rabbi there 1845-1890, succeeded by his son Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler, 1890-1911. The synagogue was destroyed by enemy action in 1941.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Great Synagogue, consisting of minutes of the Committee of the Great Synagogue; Vestry minutes; Financial Committee minutes; Building Committee minutes; laws and rules of the Great Synagogue; letter books; wills and bequests; registers of distribution of unleavened bread at Passover and of Passover flour; title deeds for property at Duke's Place; financial accounts; financial accounts of the Burial Society; papers relating to charities; notices and circulars; and registers of kethubot [marriage contracts] and chalitzah undertakings.

PLEASE NOTE: Records can only be accessed with the written permission of the depositor. Contact the Chief Executive, United Synagogue.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged in two series: Synagogue records (ACC/2712/GTS-1) and Membership (ACC/2712/GTS-2).

Conditions governing access:

All records relating to members of the synagogue are closed to public inspection. Other material is available for consultation only by written permission of the United Synagogue's Chief Executive.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited as part of a larger accession of material from the United Synagogue. The administrative, financial and charity documents (items 1-368) form part of the original deposit. The registers (items 369-382) are part of an additional deposit.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Roth, Cecil: The Great Synagogue London 1690-1940 (published 1950), available online here: (accessed March 2010).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Description prepared in March 2010.

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