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Audrey Karsh Collection

Identifier: MS-0578

Scope and Contents

This collection includes research notes, newspaper clippings and copies of original source material on San Diego’s Jewish pioneers, and some notables of the 19th & 20th century. There are personal photos and copies of her short stories, articles and plays.


  • 1869-2007


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Audrey Karsh (1926-2007) was an English teacher who was born in Boston. When she moved San Diego in the 1960’s from Tacoma, Washington, she worked in local government. A prolific writer and historian, she published articles on San Diego Jewish history which appeared in Western States Jewish History Journal: “Mothers and Daughters of Old San Diego”, “San Diego Pioneering Ladies and Their Contributions”, “Hyman Mannasse: San Diego and Arizona Saga”, which later appeared in Old Town New, An Enjoyment of San Diego Jewish History. One article, Mannasse Chico: The Enlightened Merchant, for which she won the 1974 Ben B. Rubin Award from the San Diego Historical Society’s Institute of History, was included in the American Jewish Historical Society’s five-volume work, “Jewish People in America”.

Other articles, “Old San Diego: Daughters of the Diaspora” and “Hannah Schiller Mannasse: San Diego Resident”, appeared in San Diego’s Israel Today newspaper. From the former, Karsh developed a radio program, “Profiles from the Past: San Diego’s Daughters of the Diaspora” in which each pioneer woman was a speaker. Her original research continues to be quoted often in the works of western Jewish historians.

In 1980, she was a charter member of the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego, originally called the San Diego Jewish Historical Society. She remained active in that organization and many other Jewish and secular organizations until her death.

She also wrote secular plays and short stories, including science fiction.


2.0 Linear Feet (Two record cartons)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

In 2001 Audrey Karsh donated correspondence from Sabrina Schiller and the first issue of the San Diego Jewish Historical Society Newsletter from 1980 (JHSSD #2001.01). In April, 2007 upon Audrey Karsh’s death her son, Ron Davis donated her personal notes, research, photographs, newspaper clippings, articles, short stories and plays written by Karsh, some concerning people, places and events in San Diego Jewish History, others of a secular nature.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Jewish Historical Society of San Diego transferred this collection to Special Collections & University Archives in August 2021.


August 2021

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Audrey Karsh Collection
Bonnie Harris, 2008 and Laurel Schwartz, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
Allan and Fern Kohn, Stan and laurel Schwartz, Paula Landau-Cox, and The Norman G. Levi Family Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation and

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US