19:30, 12/9/12, Beit Fisher, 5 Klausner Street, Raanana, 20 NIS guest fee – IGRA members free.

The most comprehensive and the only set of documents for the Jewish population in 19th century Eretz Israel, covering most of the Jewish settlements, is the set of five censuses commissioned by Sir Moshe Montefiore spanning the period of 1839-1875. In the fall of 2007, a group of volunteers lead by Mathilde Tagger, Billie Stein and Rose Feldman undertook the project of transcribing, transliterating and translating these five censuses into one database, under the auspices of the Montefiore Endowment in London. As of December 2011, the following censuses are online in their database: 1839, 1849, 1855, and 1866 for Eretz Israel and the 1840 census for Alexandria. This lecture is an introduction to the information available in these censuses. The 1839 census collected information on 6,300 inhabitants, and the 1855 census on 9,891 inhabitants. When all the censuses are combined in the database, it is estimated that the database will contain over 45,000 entries for a 36 year period in Eretz Israel.