Posts tagged YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Collections
Posts tagged YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Collections
Translating Charles Darwin
by Melanie J. Meyers, M.S., Senior Reference Services Librarian, Special Collections, Center for Jewish History
November 24 was the 154th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s most famous work, The Origin of the Species. The full title of the work was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, but this title was shortened for the sixth and subsequent editions. Charles Darwin—or Ṭsharlz Darṿin in Yiddish—wrote many other scientific books based on his extensive travels and observations, but Origin remains his most well-known work.
Here at the Center for Jewish History, we have a wealth of material by and about Darwin and his theories. We have copies of works such as The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, The Expressions of Emotions in Man and Animals, and dozens of others including critical essays, biographies and collected letters. We also have copies of another famous Darwin work, The Descent of Man, in many different editions. The YIVO Library holds copies of Descent in both Yiddish and Russian, in addition to works discussing Darwin’s theories, written by Frederick Engels and translated into Russian. Both Leo Baeck Institute and The American Jewish Historical also hold works by and about Darwin, in both German and Yiddish. YIVO Library also holds what appears to be a complete set of Darwin’s works in English, published in New York by D. Appleton and Co. publishers. Appleton, founded in 1831, specialized in science books at moderate prices that were affordable for the layperson.
See above for pictures of The Descent of Man in Russian (courtesy of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research) and Yiddish (courtesy of the American Jewish Historical Society).
by David P. Rosenberg, M.P.A., Reference Services Research Coordinator, Center for Jewish History
November 9th -10th marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a series of attacks on Jews in Germany and Austria that was a turning point for the Nazi Party. Kristallnacht is often looked at as the beginning of the Holocaust.
Each of the five partners of the Center for Jewish History has material on Kristallnacht or the Holocaust. A search of the library catalog, catalog.cjh.org, reveals over 730 records with the word “Kristallnacht” in the description, and over 15,000 with the word “Holocaust.”
The amount of digitized material available to anyone with an internet connection is similarly vast, with 550 results containing the word “Kristallnacht,” including over 100 photographs and over 40 oral histories. Using “Holocaust,” there are over 1,900 results, including more than 300 photographs and 300 oral histories.
The following is a small sampling of relevant holdings from each of our five partners.
American Jewish Historical Society
The oral history of Fred Margulies contains memories of Kristallnacht. It has been digitized and is available online.
There are digitized letters on the conditions in the displaced persons camps. This material was originally in Box 1, Folder 26 of the Abraham Klausner Papers, available here.
American Sephardi Federation
Leo Baeck Institute
One example of the many memoirs in the LBI collections is Kristallnacht and Aftermath, November 1938: German original and English translation of notes written in March 1939, in London, three months after release from Dachau concentration camp by Siegfried Koppel. This material has been digitized and is available online.
One example of the many photographs memorializing the event that have been digitized is Wiesbaden Synagogue Burning; Kristallnacht (see above).
Yeshiva University Museum
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
These ten items are a very small selection of items concerning the Holocaust held by the partner organizations here at the Center. The types of material are as impressive as the scope; the collections contain newspapers, memoirs, ephemera, archival material, oral histories, photographs, artwork, books and other types of material. Click here to explore the materials. You can also start a reference chat here, send an inquiry here or book a librarian here.
Conducting Research on Jewish Fighters, WWII
With a Focus on Ukraine, Belarus and Russia
by J.D. Arden, Reference Services Assistant
with assistance from Aurora Zinder, Volunteer, and David P. Rosenberg, M.P.A., Reference Services Research Coordinator, Center for Jewish History
Above image: Kniga Pamiati Voinov-Evreev and Biographical Dictionary of Jewish Resistance
In the Lillian Goldman Reading Room here at the Center for Jewish History, you can explore Hebrew-language compilations of narratives and historical documents that testify to Jewish armed resistance in Europe during World War II. For example, the YIVO Institute holds three volumes published in Israel: Book of the Jewish Partisans / Sefer ha-partizanim ha-Yehudim, Memories of Partisans and Jewish Partisan Units in Belarus.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, more information about Soviet soldiers (both Jewish and non-Jewish) has become available. A 10-volume alphabetical Memory Book index in Russian of the Jewish soldiers who perished on the Soviet front is available in the Reference Section of the Lilian Goldman Reading Room under the title Kniga pamiati voinov-evreev, pavshikh v boiakh s natsizmom, 1941-1945 / Memory Book of Jewish Soldiers, who perished in combat with Nazism. This index is organized alphabetically by last names, and in most cases includes the birth date, death date and hometown of the soldier, and information on whether he died in action or subsequently from battle-related injuries. Some black-and-white photographs are available in a separate chapter.
For research on soldiers (and some civilians) who were from the republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, and were killed during the War, YIVO has a large series of “Memory Books” in Ukrainian, Belorussian and Russian languages. These extensive volumes are indexed by individual towns and regions of each republic. The soldiers of each town are listed alphabetically with brief biographical information (including Jewish or other ethnicity, in some volumes). These and similar books (some that are not related to World War II) are searchable in our catalog under the keyword “pamiati.”
If you are interested in researching topics related to the geography and history of the War, there are many resources available across the collections of all of the partner organizations of the Center for Jewish History. For example, in the collections of the the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute and the YIVO Institute: Jewish documentary sources in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus : a preliminary list edited by Dorit Sallis and Marek Web (Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1996. Online resources include “Letters from the Front: Jewish War Heroes” from the Center for Jewish History and Blavatnik Family Foundation, Memorial Database of Jewish Soldiers, Partisans and Workers Killed in Action during the Nazi Era by the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York; Pobediteli - Soldiers of the Great War, in English and Russian; and a website in Russian with more listings of Jewish Soviet soldiers who perished in detention brigades (shtrafnoi battalion). On the topic of forced labor, search our archival collection here.
An Archive of My Own
October 2 – November 9, 2013
Meet the artist, Nino Biniashvili, on Sunday, October 6 from 12pm to 6pm.
In An Archive of My Own, Nino Biniashvili commits acts of artistic recovery. She rescues rare archival materials from obscurity and transforms them into compelling art exploring Georgian-Jewish experience.
In an exhibition that challenges traditional methods of history-making, Ms. Biniashvili brings history home. She answers Virginia Woolf’s insistence that a female artist have access to a personal study. An Archive of My Own is Biniashvili’s “room of her own”—a space that feels at once domestic and revolutionary.
A wooden table, chair and lamp, a large picture-book, a house plant and projected slides invite you into a world of actively engaging with the past for a meaningful experience of the present.
Ms. Biniashvili grew up in Georgia during the last years of the Soviet Union. As a Prins Fellow at the Center for Jewish History, she focused her historical inquiry on material available from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, one of the Center’s partners. The slides that she found inspired her drawings.
In her art Ms. Biniashvili challenges borders between external and internal, collective and individual, historic specificity and timelessness. Her project explores the role an artist can have in investigating, interpreting and representing history—and the ways in which delving into archives can help us discover new things about our families and ourselves.
by Sarah Ganton, Reference Services Research Intern, Center for Jewish History
The ways in which we preserve history for future generations are particularly relevant during holiday seasons, when we remember traditions and objects that mark special days. We might save our grandmother’s menorah, or pass down the secret family recipe for hamentashen. The yearly Sukkah is, of course, too big to save for future generations, but, nonetheless, we remember many happy times during Sukkot.
While looking through archival items housed at the Center for Jewish History that pertain to Sukkot, I stumbled upon three children’s books. All are sweetly illustrated and fun to read, but they represent something much deeper than nostalgia for childhood. These books, with their Sukkah-building bears and prayer-chanting children, are essentially teaching aids, helping to introduce young children to their Jewish heritage and the traditions of Jewish culture.
One of the books, The Sukkah and the Big Wind by Lily Edelman, was published in 1956 by the United Synagogue Commission on Jewish Education and features a discussion of decorating the Sukkah, children singing a Hebrew song of welcome to their friends, and a nightly Hebrew bedtime prayer.
Similarly, Leo and Blossom’s Sukkah, by Jane Breskin Zalben, depicts two baby bears building their own Sukkah next to that of their parents, and shows the family equating the harvest feast of Sukkot to American Thanksgiving.
Succos Time with Fishele and Fraydele, self-published by author Faige Shain, is part of a series of books that show an observant family as they celebrate Sukkot, buying the appropriate decorations and attending services together. Succos Time in particular includes many Hebrew Sukkot-related words that a Jewish child might need to know, such as s’chach, the material used to make the roof of a Sukkah, and arba minim, the Four Species of plant that are waved in a traditional Sukkot ceremony.
The Sukkah and the Big Wind, by Lily Edelman. United Synagogue Commission on Jewish Education, 1956. YIVO Archives 000131676
Leo and Blosssom’s Sukkah, by Jane Breskin Zalben. H. Holt, 1990. AJHS Archives BM695.S8 Z3 1990
Succos Time with Fishele and FraydeleI, by Faige Shain. Self-published, 1974. AJHS Archives PZ7.S4 S8