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Papers of Moshe Starkman

Identifier: RG 279

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Moshe Starkman contain mainly correspondence between Starkman and various Jewish writers and organizations, as well as some newspaper clippings. There are also several autobiographical sketches of Jewish authors, which Starkman appears to have requested from the authors whom he included in the Anthology of American-Jewish Poetry and the Lexicon of Modern Yiddish Literature. The majority of the letters come from the 1960s and 1970s. Most of the folders have only a few letters from each correspondent or organization. Some important correspondents include A. Almi, Daniel Charney, Jacob Glatstein, Chaim Grade, Alexander Harkavy, Joseph Opatoshu, David Pinski, Melech Ravitch, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shlomo Bickel, Eliezer Greenberg, Malke Heifetz-Tusman, Peretz Hirschbein, Rokhl Korn, Leibush Lehrer, Joseph Margoshes, Yudl Mark, Kalman Marmor, Shmuel Niger, Pinchas Peli, Simon Rawidowicz, Avrom Reisen, Dov Sadan, Senator Herbert H. Lehman, Jacob Shatzky, Khone Shmeruk, Joseph Soloveitchik, Avram Sutzkever, Max Weinreich, the World Congress for Jewish Culture, the Yiddish PEN Club, Aaron Zeitlin, Dr. Chaim Zhitlowsky, and Zalmen Zylbercweig, among others. The authors represented in the autobiographical sketches include Kadya Molodowsky, H. Leivick, Harry Sackler, Joseph Opatoshu, Jacob Adler, Aaron Zeitlin, Leon Kobrin, Melech Ravitch, Ossip Dymow, Berl Lapin, and I.J. Trunk.


  • 1922-1975

Language of Materials

The collection is in Yiddish, with some English, Hebrew, German, and Polish.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Permission to publish part of parts of the collection must be obtained in writing from the YIO Archives.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011


Biographical Note

Moshe Starkman was born on September 25, 1906 in Mosty Wielkie, Galicia (Velyki Mosty, Ukraine), where he received a traditional kheder education. Soon after coming to New York City in 1920, he began publishing articles in a wide variety of Yiddish periodicals, including the Yiddishes Tageblatt, Di Zukunft, Der Groyser Kundes, Der Tog, and the Jewish Daily Forward, for which he later became a columnist. From 1939-1943 he was the city editor for the Tog-Morgn Zhurnal. He was the editor of the Hemshekh Antologye fun Amerikaner-Yidisher Dikhtung (Continuity Anthology of American-Jewish Poetry) as well as the associate editor of the Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur (Lexicon of Modern Yiddish Literature) under the auspices of the World Congress for Jewish Culture. Throughout his life, Starkman wrote extensively in Yiddish and Hebrew and often gave lectures about Yiddish and Hebrew literature, both at conferences and events and on the Forward radio station WEVD. In addition to his scholarly and journalistic writing, he was president of the Yiddish PEN club from 1968-1972, a secretary for the Yiddish Writers’ Union, a member of the Board of Directors of the YIVO Institute and of the Board of Directors of the Congress for Jewish Culture, and editor of the Yiddish section of the Jewish Book Annual. Starkman directed the Yiddish publicity of the United Jewish Appeal and Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Joint Campaign from 1972 until his death at age 68 on February 2, 1975.


5 Linear Feet


This collection is made up of Moshe Starkman’s correspondence with many well-known literary and political figures, as well as with various New York and international organizations. There are also biographical sketches written by several of the authors that Starkman included in the Anthology of American-Jewish Poetry and the Lexicon of Modern Yiddish Literature, of which he was an editor.


It appears that someone, perhaps the YIVO archivist, kept Starkman’s correspondence together as Starkman and, later, his widow sent it in to the archives and organized it some time after Starkman’s death. The materials are arranged in two series. Series I is made up of correspondence between Moshe Starkman and various individuals and organizations. Series II contains biographical sketches. The correspondence folders are in general alphabetical order according to the Hebrew alphabet. Yiddish names have been transliterated according to YIVO standards except when the individual is known in English by another spelling. Additionally, if the name appeared in Latin letters anywhere within the folder, that spelling was used rather than a standard transliteration. The container list has been rearranged into alphabetical order according to the Latin alphabet.

Acquisition Information

Moshe Starkman began sending his correspondence to YIVO in 1951 and continued to do so until 1974. His widow sent additional materials in 1975, after Starkman’s death.

Related Material

The YIVO Archives has the Papers of Jacob Shatzky, RG 356, which contain correspondence between Shatzky and Starkman and which was donated in large part by Starkman, who was the executor of Shatzky’s literary estate. The YIVO Archives also has the Lexicon of Modern Yiddish Literature Collection, RG 1150, containing records about one of the anthologies that Starkman helped to edit, as well as the personal papers of several of his correspondents, including B. Alkwit, Kadya Molodowsky, Shmuel Niger, and Mendel Osherowitch. The YIVO library has several books written and edited by Moshe Starkman, including the Shloyme Bikl yoyvl-bukh (book celebrating his literary activities), the Avraham Golomb yoyvl-bukh, the Yizkor book for Moshe Starkman's hometown, Mosty-Wielkie, and his collected writings.

Processing information

The transliteration and translation of folder titles, as well as the reordering of the folder list into Latin alphabetical order was completed in May 2009.

Guide to the Papers of Moshe Starkman (1906-1975) 1922-1975 RG 279
Processed by Rachel S. Harrison as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Repository

15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States