Skip to main content

Papers of Zemach Shabad

Identifier: RG 19

Scope and Content Note

Zemach Shabad Collection documents Dr. Shabad’s career as a physician in Vilna (Vilnius) and to a smaller extent his involvement in Vilna’s (Vilnius) civil and communal lives.

The larger segment of the collection consists of patient’s medical records that provide information such as patient’s name, age, address, diagnosis, and proposed treatment. Earlier records are in Russian while starting in the mid-1920s the language changes to Polish.

A much smaller segment of the collection includes travel documents and correspondence with government officials regarding travel permits, correspondence with German officials, collections of folk songs, and materials pertaining to VILBIG (Vilna Jewish Education Society/ Vilner Yidishe Bildungs Gezelshaft).


  • 1907-1934


Language of Materials

The collection is in Russian

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is closed for digitization.

Use Restrictions

The images, documents, film footage, audio materials, and texts displayed in any portion of this web site may be copyrighted. Permission to use this web site is given on condition that the user agrees to follow U.S. copyright laws. The user agrees that she or he assumes liability for any copyright violations resulting from unauthorized use of items appearing on this web site and to hold YIVO harmless from any action involving copyright infringement. It is the responsibility of the user to carry out a due diligence search under U.S. copyright laws to determine the copyright status of items displayed on this web site.

Biographical Note

Zemach Shabad, physician, Jewish public figure, was born on February 5th , 1864 in Vilna, Russian Empire (now Vilnius, Lithuania). After receiving a medical degree from the Moscow University, Zemach Shabad practiced medicine in Moscow and other localities in Russia, before settling in Vilna in 1894.

In 1905, he was arrested for participating in anti-government activities and spent 6 months in a prison, before he was expelled from Russia. In 1907, Zemach Shabad was allowed to return to Vilna, where he opened a private medical practice.

By the end of World War II, Dr. Shabad played an important role in the life of the Vilna Jewish community. He was an active member of OZE and was chair of the Jewish Committee for the Relief of War Victims (Evreiskii Komitet Pomoshchi Zhertvam Voiny; EKOPO).

In 1925 he was one of the founding members of YIVO, while in 1927 he served on the Vilna city council and in 1928 was elected to the Polish Seim as a member of the Folkspartey.

Zemach Shabad died in Vilna on January 20, 1935.


11.1 Linear Feet


Zemach Shabad Collection documents Dr. Shabad’s career as a physician in Vilna (Vilnius) and to a smaller extent his involvement in Vilna’s (Vilnius) civil and communal lives. The collection consists of medical records, correspondence, reports, minutes, financial records, travel documents, and conference materials.

Custodial History

During the Nazi occupation of Vilna, in 1942, the records were looted by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and sent to the NSDAP Institute Zur Erforschung der Judenfrage in Frankfurt-am-Main. In 1945 they were recovered by the U.S. army and returned to the YIVO in New York, via the U.S. army archival depot in Offenbach. The records arrived in New York in 1947.

Guide to the Papers of Zemach Shabat 1907-1936 (1864-1935) RG 19
Under Revision
Processed by Yakov Il'ich Sklar
© 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processed, conserved and digitized as part of the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Online Collections project (2015-2022)

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States