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American-Jewish Autobiographies

Identifier: RG 102

Scope and Contents

The collection relates primarily to the immigration experiences of Jews who left Europe between 1900 and the 1930s and settled in the U.S. Included are autobiographies entered in the contest as well as autobiographies received after the contest. Correspondence with contestants, lists of contestants, notes, planning and publicity materials.


  • Creation: 1942-1970s


Biographical / Historical

In 1942 the YIVO Institute organized a public autobiography contest on the theme "Why I Left Europe and What I Have Accomplished in America." There were 250 entries and 25 prizes were awarded. Since 1942 about 100 autobiographies on the same topic have been added to the collection.


26.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Boxes 1-49 are arranged; boxes 50-53 are unarranged addenda.

Alternate Form Available

Microfilm MK 508

Legacy Finding Aid

A digitized version of the legacy finding aid is available at

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States