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Vilna Collection

 Collection
Identifier: RG 90

Scope and Contents

The Vilna Collection represents fragmentary materials that were part of the original YIVO collection in Vilna before WWII. The collection includes a wide array of materials dealing with a great variety of aspects of Jewish life in the Pre-revolutionary Russian Empire and post-revolutionary Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Soviet Russia.

The Collection consists of personal correspondence, official correspondence with organizations and governmental institutions, financial and statistical reports, minutes of meetings of Jewish communal and political organizations, bibliographic materials, including card catalogues and bibliographies. Also included here are vital documents, such as birth certificates and birth registers, affidavits, certificates, diplomas, and travel documents. Additionally, there are petitions, resolutions, appeals, printed materials, manuscripts, lists, and questionnaires. There is a wealth of materials dealing with various aspects of the Jewish book trade and publishing. There are materials on Jewish booksellers and Jewish libraries, most notably Leon Lipschutz. These materials consist of correspondence, lists, bibliographic and printed materials, financial documents, and manuscripts. A large portion of the collection deals with Jewish publishers, such as Rosekranc and Schriftsetzer Publishers, Romm Publishing House, Krejnes Printing House, and other smaller publishing houses across Europe. These materials consist of correspondence, financial documents such as receipts, contracts, bills, lists, manuscripts, and printed materials, including lists of publications and catalogues. Materials pertaining to Jewish youth and sports organizations mostly deal with the Zionist Blau Weiss youth movement, Jutrzenka w Tarnowe, and many local Maccabi Sports Societies. These materials consist of correspondence, statutes, minutes of meetings, lists, clippings, statistical tables, reports, printed materials, appeals to members, field trips materials, financial documents, newsletters, questionnaires, diplomas, and invitations.

Another aspect of Jewish life that is well represented in this collection is Jewish education. These materials pertain to private and state schools, both, secular, religious. There are also materials dealing with technical and vocational schools, as well as institutions of higher education, such as YIVO Vilna Aspirantur. Materials on Jewish education consist of lists, certificates, statutes, diplomas, correspondence, minutes of meetings, resolutions, lists of teachers, student ID cards, school newspapers, certificates, diplomas, teaching materials, and reports and evaluations. There are materials dealing with schools as well as educational and vocational institutions such as ORT, Tarbut Hebrew Teachers Seminary, Chojrev, and Technikum Wilenskie. Furthermore, there are materials pertaining to the Jewish Teachers' Union and Union of Mutual Aid to Assist Jewish Teachers. Materials concerning local Jewish communities pertain to a variety of subjects including everyday activity of Jewish Communal Councils, WWI, pogroms, charitable work, and political activities. These materials consist of correspondence, minutes of meetings, lists, petitions, registries, and financial documents. The Vilna Collection also includes materials on Jewish cultural, social, and political organizations. There are materials pertaining to the Jewish Folks Congress in Poland and Czernowitz Conference, with the original materials from Dovid Pinski and Max Weinreich, materials dealing with Folkspartei, Frayland-lige, Keren Hayesod in Vilna, Kultur Lige, Mizrachi Party, HIAS, OZE, and professional unions. The Yiddish intellectual scene is represented by leading figures such as Elye Spivak from the Institute for Yiddish Proletarian Culture, Herman Krug, Alfred Landau, Y. Lichtenstein, Janus Korczak, Jacob Shatzky, YIVO’s Max Weinreich, Nochum Shtif, Zalmen Reyzen, Elias Tcherikower, and many others. There is correspondence, manuscripts, printed and conference materials that shed light on the leading figures of the Yiddish renaissance.

Dates

  • 1717, 1758, 1812, 1841-1874, 1881-1896, 1901-1947

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection has been digitized and is available online without restrictions. The physical collection is closed.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Extent

15.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

Yiddish

Hebrew

Ukrainian

Russian

German

English

French

Dutch; Flemish

Polish

Lithuanian

Belarusian

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These records were among the Jewish collection looted by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in Vilna under the Nazis and brought to Germany in 1942. Placed after the war in the U.S. military Offenbach Archival Depot, they were returned to the YIVO in New York in 1947.

Title
Guide to the VIlna Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Materials processed, described, prepared for digitization and finding aid encoded by Yakov Il'ich Sklar in 2021.
Date
©2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
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

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States