Sophie A. Udin fought for women's rights and equal pay, but she is best known for helping found the first libraries in Israel and creating important American archives about Zionism, helping preserve vital documents and make them accessible. Udin's work for Zionist and Jewish causes began early—she helped found the American Magen David Adom in 1918 and served as its first national secretary for two years. She began working at the New York Public Library in 1914, specializing in foreign collections, and continued there until she earned her master’s of library science from Columbia in 1929. In 1924, she raised funds to create the first bibliography of the holdings of the National Library in Jerusalem. The following year, she took a two–year leave of absence to travel to the National Library, convincing the director to adopt the Dewey decimal system instead of German cataloguing and to train the staff in library sciences. During her time there, she also helped found Pioneer Women, a labor Zionist group. On her return to the US, Udin established and directed the Zionist Archives and Library in New York, collecting documentation and several annual bibliographic listings. She made Aliyah in 1949 when Ben Gurion appointed her director of the Israel State Archives.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Sophie A. Udin." (Viewed on April 19, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/udin-sophie>.