Archives of the London Board of Shechita

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Minute books of the Board, 1801-93; minute book of the sub- committee on Shechita, 1841-86, with copies of letters at the end of the volume; minute book of the executive committee, 1880-1913, with a report on the butchers' agitation, its origins and objects, 1908; agenda books for the executive sub- committee, 1877-87 and for the executive committee, 1916-24; minute book of the executive committee, 1924. Financial papers: account books, 1809-98; wages books, 1838- 1900; Yehidim annual debtors accounts, 1841-60; receipt books, 1930-5; invoice book, 1945-6; general accounts with Joseph Sebag and Company, 1965-9; investment papers, 1965-7; investment ledgers, 1950-71; general revenue account sheets, 1969-70; poultry fees, 1973-8; nominal ledgers, 1962-70, 1972- 8, 1981; and cash books, 1963-80. Correspondence, including letter books, 1876-85 and 1898-1905; correspondence, accounts, 1840s-1850s, 1941-2, and 1953-72; correspondents include synagogues, butchers, meat suppliers, the Ministry of Food, the Board of Deputies, the Beth Din, the Chief Rabbi, etc. Applications for licences. Volumes of butchers' licences, 1973.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Board was constituted in 1801 by representatives of the congregations of the Great, the Hambro and the New Synagogues to regulate matters connected with the slaughter of poultry and livestock and preparation of meat according to Jewish practices. From 1804 the Board included representation from the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue. The activities of the Board have grown to encompass many aspects of a wide range of foodstuffs and their consumption by the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and other Jewish communities.

Conditions Governing Access

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material. See our website for more details.