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A little bit of Déjà Vu


Though things may be a bit more closed again these days, the Shaar’s archives are still open and at work. While January 2022 is looking a lot like January 2021, it is also looking a lot like September 1904! For our first item of 2022, we’re featuring an unusual (but incredibly familiar item) that was rediscovered some months ago in our collections – two cards certifying vaccination protection from around 1904 that allowed the card-carrier passage onto ships and any subsequent railroad travel in Canada. 


The back of both read “Keep this card to avoid detention at quarantine and on railroads in Canada.” These may have been issued as a response to ongoing smallpox outbreaks in the United States. The signature of the certifying medical professional on both is visible. It is unclear at this time how the Shaar came to be in possession of these fascinating documents. Though from over 100 years ago, these vaccination passes are similar to our own vaccine passports today. Things that seem new and novel, such measures that encourage vaccination, may not be so novel after all! 


As we start the new year, we at the archives want to know, what kind of items would you like to see and what kind of stories from the Shaar’s collections do you want to hear?

Sunday, April 21, 2024 13 Nisan 5784