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Papers of Chaim Zhitlowsky

Identifier: RG 208

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Chaim Zhitlowsky consist of correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, notes, newspaper clippings, some official documents such as residence cards, a passport, and diplomas, photographs, and financial records. The materials have been divided according to type of records. The papers pertain almost exclusively to Zhitlowsky's political and scholarly activities and reflect to a great extent his creative versatility, particularly the materials found in the Manuscripts and Typescripts series. There are over 900 identified or partly identified items in these two series, and about 820 of these were written by Zhitlowsky. There are approximately 60 manuscripts written by others and 120 manuscripts of no known authorship. It is likely that a substantial number of these unattributed writings are also by Zhitlowsky. Prominent themes include: Yiddish language, Yiddish culture, the future of Yiddish, the Czernowitz Conference of August 1908 and modern Yiddish, Jewish autonomy, Territorialism, Eretz Israel, Biro-Bidjan, political radicalism, Marxism, Socialist thought, Communism and anti-Communism, a history of world philosophy, philosophical systems, Hegel, Kant, and ethics and religion. In addition to the essays and articles there is a multitude of notes which pertain to the above subjects, some biographical and autobiographical materials and clippings of Zhitlowsky's articles published in the Yiddish press between 1916 and 1942, all of which help to augment and contextualize his writings.

Zhitlowsky’s manuscripts are quite relevant to the social and political history of his time. Notwithstanding his scholarly works on philosophy, Zhitlowsky was first and foremost interested in contemporary social and political developments. Therefore many of his writings were created in response to actual events and are stamped with the urgency of a political commentary, a program of action or a resolution. A predominant theme is the gap between the national aspirations of the Jewish people and their actual situation. Another topic which greatly preoccupied Zhitlowsky was how to apply his populist ideas to socialist ideology and to the programs of Russian and Jewish Socialist parties. His changing attitudes towards the Communist movement can also be found in his writings.

Zhitlowsky’s extensive correspondence further augments the collection’s importance for the study of contemporary Jewish social, political and cultural history. Around 1040 individuals and 650 organizations are present, and the correspondents among them represent a broad spectrum of Jewish political and cultural affiliations in America and in Europe, from the turn of the century through the 1940’s.

There is a small group of miscellaneous materials other than writings and correspondence which topically complement the other series. These include photographs, leaflets, programs, minutes, and reports pertaining to the following subjects: The Socialist International, the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party, various Jewish Socialist parties, and Jewish emigration.


  • 1881-1958
  • Majority of material found within 1900-1943

Language of Materials

The collection is in Yiddish and Russian with some German and English and with a small amount of French, Latin, Hebrew, and Dutch.

Access Restrictions

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

Chaim Zhitlowsky was a Jewish philosopher and writer, literary critic, a leading theoretician of the Socialist movement in Russia, a chief exponent of Yiddishism, Diaspora Nationalism and Territorialism, and a social and political thinker. He was a co-founder of the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party and was later connected with various Jewish Socialist organizations, including Poale Zion and the Bund. Zhitlowsky was also a vice-president of the conference on Yiddish language held in Chernivtsi, Romania in 1908.

According to several sources, including a police card and a British passport (folder 1), Chaim Zhitlowsky was born in 1861 in Horodok, Vitebsk province, Belarus. However, his autobiography (folder 2) says that he was born on April 19, 1865 in Ushachy, also in Vitebsk province, and this information has been reprinted in Encyclopedia Judaica and the Lexicon, among other sources. This second date has been generally accepted, as is evidenced by the fact that Zhitlowsky’s 60th and 70th birthday celebration celebrations were celebrated in 1925 and 1935, respectively.

When he was five years old, his parents moved to Vitebsk, the capital of the province. Zhitlowsky’s father, Joseph, was a wealthy merchant and quite learned, having studied to become a rabbi at the Yeshiva of Volozhin before he became a merchant. Joseph Zhitlowsky made sure to give his son a good education at cheder and with private tutors and then at the Vitebsk Gymnasium. While at the Gymnasium, Zhitlowsky met Shlomo-Zanvl Rappaport, who later became a prominent Yiddish playwright using the pseudonym S. Ansky. Their deep friendship lasted until Ansky’s death in 1920 and was to have a profound mutual effect on their political and intellectual attitudes. Zhitlowsky and Ansky both became involved with Russian revolutionary circles while still in Vitebsk before moving to Tula in Central Russia in 1881, where Zhitlowsky was part of the Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will), a Socialist-Revolutionary populist party.

Under the influence of the Russian revolutionary movement, Zhitlowsky began to move away from Jewish life and Jewish concerns. He began to think about the question of nationalism, particularly Jewish nationalism. He advocated Jewish assimilation in several articles before the anti-Jewish pogroms of 1881 made him reevaluate his position and his sympathy for the Jewish people and their national aspirations. These pogroms started in April 1881 in Elisavetgrad (Kirovgrad), Ukraine and swept through dozens of towns and villages in Ukraine and Russian Poland all the way to Warsaw.

Zhitlowsky ultimately rejected assimilation and demanded Jewish national equality and social and political rights, thereby combining Jewish national aspirations with Socialist ideology into what became known as Diaspora Nationalism. This theory was focused on Jewish nationalism in the Diaspora, in opposition to the ideology of Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) and political Zionism, which advocated Jewish settlement in Israel. He disliked the religious character of political Zionism. Zhitlowsky first formulated this theory of Diaspora Nationalism in a book called Evrey k'Evreyam (A Jew Speaks to Jews), published under the pseudonym of I. Khisin in 1893 by the London Fund for the Free Russian Press. In this work, he maintained that the Jews should be afforded national equality because, “The Jews are not 4 percent of somebody but 100 per cent of themselves.” This work was later followed by a multitude of essays, articles and lectures. His most important publication on the subject of the Jewish national question was the introduction to the Russian edition of Otto Bauer’s The National Question and the Social Democracy, written in 1909 (folder 2124).

During his lifelong search for a practical political party that would fit his theory of Diaspora Nationalism, Zhitlowsky embraced many different ideologies and movements. As a young man, he was an ardent populist, working for the Narodnaya Volya in Tula (1882-1883), in Vitebsk (1883-1886) and in St. Petersburg (1886), where he went to study Jewish history. His first work, a treatise in Russian entitled “Thought of the Historical Fate of the Jewish People” was published in Moscow in 1887. The liberal Russian press enthusiastically greeted and responded warmly to his ideas, but the treatise met with scant favor among Jewish critics, because it contained no solution for the problems it discussed. In 1888 he left Russia for Berlin where he resumed his study of Jewish history, Marxism and philosophy. He was expelled from Germany under the anti-Socialist law and went to Zurich, and there he founded the Verein fuer Wissentschaft und Leben des Judischen Volkes (Association for Science and Life of the Jewish People), in order to spread Nationalism and Socialism among the Jewish masses. He then traveled to Bern, where he received his doctorate in 1892 from the University of Bern. His dissertation, which was in German, was on “Abraham ibn Daud and the Beginning of the Aristotelian Period in Jewish Religious Philosophy.”

In late 1893 in Bern, Zhitlowsky, aided by Shlomo Rappaport (Ansky), M. Rosenbaum and several other Russian radicals, co-founded the Union of Russian Socialist Revolutionaries Abroad, which was reconfigured as the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party in 1901, which Zhitlowsky later represented in the Socialist International in Stuttgart in 1907. Zhitlowsky contributed articles on Marxism and philosophy to several well-known Russian magazines, such as Russkoye Bogastvo, the Jewish—Russian Voskhod, Sozialistische Monatshefte, and Deutsche Worte, among others. When the first Yiddish daily in Russia, the St. Petersburg Frajnd, was founded, Dr. Zhitlowsky, under the pen name N. Gaydaroff, contributed a series of articles entitled “The Jewish People and the Yiddish Language,” a theme which he often treated in later years. In 1896 he organized the Group of Jewish Socialists Abroad. Their purpose was to prepare revolutionary propaganda literature in Yiddish, beginning with the first Yiddish daily in Russia, the Communist Manifesto. Zhitlowsky wrote an introduction entitled “Yiddish—Why?” in which he expressed the belief that the rebirth of the Yiddish language and literature would lead to the national and social awakening of the Jewish people.

Zhitlowsky was present at the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, although he did not support political Zionism and even wrote an article in the The Jewish Daily Forward against it. He believed in the necessity of a League for Jewish Colonization, a league that would appeal to all those opposed to Herzl’s political Zionism. A day after the Congress, Dr. Zhitlowsky addressed the delegates and guests on Yiddish and the purposes of the Yiddish publishing house Zeit Geist, which had been founded by a group of Jewish intellectuals and revolutionaries. In this speech were first laid the foundations of Yiddishism, which subsequently became deeply rooted in Eastern Europe and America. He became a member of the Jewish Socialist Bund. His essay “Zionism or Socialism,” published in 1898 in Yiddish in the Bund organ Der Yidisher Arbeter laid the groundwork for the party's program of Jewish national and cultural autonomy.

In 1903, partially in response to the Kishinev pogrom, Zhitlowsky revised his Jewish program and became a Territorialist, which was a movement to establish an autonomous settlement of Jews in a sufficiently large territory, of which Palestine was considered as just one of the possibilities. In the following years he made many efforts to reconcile theoretically the principles of Territorialism and Socialism. He was also instrumental in founding several political organizations that would incorporate the ideas of Territorialism and Socialism in their political platform.

In 1904 Zhitlowsky left Europe for North America, having been sent there by the Socialist-Revolutionary Party as its emissary and fund-raiser. Together with Ekaterina Breshkovskaya (known as the “Grandmother of the Russian Revolution”) he toured the U.S. spreading propaganda on behalf of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, and at the same time speaking and writing on Jewish national culture, autonomy and territorialism. His articles appeared in the Forverts, Zeitgeist, Zukunft, Warheit, and Dos Folk. Zhitlowsky returned to Europe in 1906. Unable to enter Russia for fear of being arrested, he stayed in Lwow (Lemberg). There he participated in the formation of a new Jewish Socialist group, the SERP (Sotsyalisticheskaya Yevreyskaya Rabotchaya Partya - Socialist Jewish Workers Party), popularly called the "Sejmists" because it advocated a Jewish autonomous governing body (‘Sejm’ refers to the Polish parliament) within the Russian Empire. He was nominated by the Socialist-Revolutionary Party to run for a seat in the second Duma (folder 1524) and was elected in the Vitebsk district. However, the police authorities annulled his election.

Zhitlowsky spent 1907 spreading Socialist-Revolutionary propaganda in Finland with Gregory Gershuni. Also in 1907, the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and the Sejmists sent him as their delegate to the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart. In 1908 Zhitlowsky left Europe again for the U.S. as the Socialist-Revolutionary Party's envoy, this time with the intention of settling in America. In New York, Zhitlowsky founded a publishing house which issued the monthly, Dos Naye Lebn. Under the editorship of Zhitlowsky, this journal exercised great influence on Yiddish culture, literature and the development of free Socialist thought. After a brief stay in America, Zhitlowsky returned to Europe, where he participated in the conference for the Yiddish language which was held in Chernivtsi (Czernowitz), Bukovina, August 30-September 4, 1908. This conference, of which Zhitlowsky was both the initiator and chairman, along with I.L. Peretz and Nathan Birnbaum, and which hosted leading Yiddish authors of the day, proclaimed Yiddish as a national language of the Jews. After the conference, Zhitlowsky returned to the U.S.

In the United States, Zhitlowsky distinguished himself in work to promote and strengthen the Yiddish language and culture. He became the standard-bearer of Yiddish, which he considered a prerequisite for the survival of the Jewish people. While many thought that his attitude towards Yiddish was dogmatic and irrational, he persevered nevertheless in lending his unqualified support to any and all efforts on behalf of Yiddish. In Dos Naye Lebn in 1909, Zhitlowsky raised the question of founding Yiddish secular schools in America and in 1910, at the Convention of the Poale Zion Party in Montreal, Canada, he helped to usher in the inauguration of this type of school. The first Folkshul in New York City was opened at 143 Madison St., and Dr. Zhitlowsky took an active part in the growth of this school. His influence was also considmerable in the creation of the Jewish secular schools of the Workmen’s Circle, the Jewish National Workers Alliance and the radical International Workers Order.

Zhitlowsky’s political affiliation in the U.S. remained with the Socialist movement, and especially with the Jewish Socialist groups. At first he joined the Socialist Territorialists. Then, in 1909 he initiated the merger of the Socialist Territorialists, the Sejmists and Labor Zionists, but the unified group did not last long. In subsequent years he moved closer to the Labor Zionists. He supported the movement for an American Jewish Congress, which held its first session in 1918. He returned to America from Europe at the outbreak of World War I. Until then, he had been a contributor to the Warheit, edited by L. A. Miller. He now joined the staff of the newly-organized Tog. At the same time, he continued his tracts on philosophy and sociology in the Yiddish magazine Zukunft and, from 1920-1921, Die Zeit, a Poale-Zion daily. In 1922, Dr. Zhitlowsky and Shmuel Niger renewed the publication of Dos Naye Lebn, which lasted until 1923. In 1923, when the magazine was discontinued, Dr. Zhitlowsky returned to Europe in order to complete his work, “The Spiritual Struggle of the Jewish People for Freedom.”

On November 28, 1925, Zhitlowsky’s sixtieth birthday was celebrated at the Manhattan Opera House in New York. Similar celebrations were held in other American and European cities visited by Dr. Zhitlowsky. A Zhitlowsky Memorial Volume was published in Berlin. It contained articles and reminiscences of his intimate friends and disciples. At Zhitlowsky’s suggestion, the proceeds from the book were turned over to the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO) of Vilna, where he was a member of its Honorary Board of Directors, along with Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, among others. Through the initiative of Dr. Zhitlowsky, and his lifelong friend, Dr. S. Ellsberg, the Yiddish Culture Society was founded in September 1929. The purpose of the organization was to unite all adherents of Yiddish to enable them to work in common for the development of Yiddish, Yiddish schools and Yiddish culture in general. He was also one of the editors of the weekly Yiddish, issued by the Yiddish Culture Society.

Zhitlowsky was a bitter foe of dogmatic Marxism. He began the dispute back in 1888 in Zurich where his lecture on Plekhanov stirred a debate lasting 72 evenings (it was called afterwards the "72 Zurich Nights"). He later pursued his arguments against Communist ideology and against the Bolshevik regime in post-1917 Russia. He broke with the pro-Soviet camp over the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, but later returned in the wake of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. From 1936 until his death he moved closer to the radical, pro-Soviet groups active in the Jewish community in the U.S. such as IWO (International Workers Order), IKUF (Yiddisher Kultur Farband -Yiddish Culture Society), ICOR (Association for Jewish Colonization in Soviet Union), and others. During this last period of his life he came to the conclusion that Communist ideology incorporated many of the ideals for which he had always fought. He was convinced that the creation of the Jewish autonomous province in Biro-Bidjan was a true realization of his Territorialist dream. He believed that the Communist claim about promoting cultures which are "Socialist in content and national in form" spelled a brighter future for Yiddish as well.

Zhitlowsky was more of a theoretician than an organizer. He exerted great authority and influence among the Socialist groups and in the Jewish community, chiefly through writings, debates and lectures. He contributed to and was editor of many publications, including the organ of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party Russky Rabochy (The Russian Worker), 1893, the organ of the Jewish Socialist Territorialists in the U.S. Dos Folk (The People), 1904-1906, the periodical Dos Naye Lebn (New Life), 1908-1913, and the Yiddish daily Der Tog (The Day) in which he wrote from its inception in 1916 until his last days. He wrote the first serious history of philosophy in Yiddish, 1910, translated Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, 1919, and wrote scholarly essays on Kant, Einstein, Job, and Faust. His collected works were published twice during his lifetime (in New York, 1912-1919, 10 volumes; in Warsaw, 1929-32, 15 volumes).

"As the outstanding ideologist of Diaspora Nationalism and Yiddishism, Zhitlowsky influenced the programs of all Jewish national parties, but only in his struggle against assimilationism was his influence profound and enduring… More important than his theoretical justification for the existence of Yiddish was his practical application of Yiddish in a journalistic and scholarly style which delineated ideas and philosophical systems." (Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 16).

Zhitlowsky lived and worked in the times which saw the formation of modern Socialist ideologies and the creation of radical mass movements. He himself was very much an inspirational force in this process, attaining a position of leadership in international, Russian and Jewish Socialist groups. He witnessed and often subscribed to the birth of the many factions of populist, Socialist, Territorialist and Communist persuasions and at various times he was involved as theoretician and political activist with such major political parties as the Narodnaya Volya, the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party, the Jewish Labor Bund, and the Poale Zion, among others. He was the founder of the theory of Jewish national self-determination in the Diaspora, to which he remained rigidly faithful until the end of his life and which in fact prompted him to wander from movement to movement, in his search for a political solution to the theory.

Zhitlowsky was a forceful orator, a formidable polemicist, a prolific writer and talented popularizer of knowledge. A philosopher by training, he had to his credit as many theoretical works as popular essays, articles and lectures on philosophy, psychology, religion, ethics, literature, and history. Zhitlowsky’s role in the Jewish community in the U.S. and abroad was that of a spiritual leader for the major segment of the Jewish community. Many considered themselves his disciples and stood by him when his popularity and influence began to wane in the 1930's in the wake of his pro-Soviet stance.

Chaim Zhitlowsky was married twice. His first wife was Vera Lokhova whom he met in Vitebsk and married in 1888 in Berlin. Vera Lokhova was a populist (they both worked in the Narodnaya Volya organization in Vitebsk) and an author in her own right. They separated in 1903 but were formally divorced until 1929. In 1930 Zhitlowsky married Nora Van Leuven. Chaim Zhitlowsky died in Calgary, Canada, May 6, 1943, while on a lecture tour for the IWO.


26.25 Linear Feet


This collection contains correspondence between Chaim Zhitlowsky and many important political figures and organizations, as well as manuscripts and other writings, some written by Zhitlowsky and some written by others. There are also notes and other materials from speeches and lectures that Zhitlowsky gave, financial documents, articles written about Zhitlowsky, newspaper clippings of articles by Zhitlowsky, materials from celebrations held in Zhitlowsky’s honor, photographs, excerpts from his works, and various other assorted items. These materials serve to illustrate both Zhitlowsky’s importance in the Yiddish and Russian literary field and his deep involvement in the American and Russian-Jewish Socialist, Territorialist and Diaspora Nationalism movements.


The first attempt to arrange the Zhitlowsky papers was made in 1941 by B. Dworkin. He found the papers in a garage in Zhitlowsky's house at Croton-on-Hudson bound in small bundles and packed in crates. He identified with Zhitlowsky's help some of the correspondence and left a listing of it (folder 3).

Another early listing of the papers was made by Eva Zhitlowsky (Ch. Zhitlowsky's daughter) and Mendel Elkin, the YIVO Librarian, on accession of the papers, in January and February 1945. At that time, the papers were in 347 folders or packets, but not arranged in a meaningful manner (with exception of the correspondence processed previously by B. Dworkin).

The unarranged part of the collection was in poor physical condition and was completely disorganized. The processor's major task was therefore to piece together and identify thousands of items by correspondent or writer and title. Many items, especially among the manuscripts, have been only partially identified, but even these were included in the description of the papers, sometimes with a substitute title provided by the original processors. Only those fragments which could not be identified at all were placed in specially designated folders at the end of each series. The miscellaneous series includes materials which are too small in quantity to form a separate series, the photographs and certain historical documents.

The collection was arranged in a Yiddish alphabet mode and the description was originally written in Yiddish. An exception was made for the manuscripts and typescripts in languages other than Yiddish and for the correspondence of those institutions that did not use Yiddish. These materials are arranged in Latin alphabetical order, including Russian manuscripts and correspondence, the titles and names of which have been transliterated and translated, and German materials, which have been translated. The inventory lists for correspondence with individuals has been rearranged according to the Latin alphabet, although the folder organization has not been changed. Personal names have been transliterated, journal titles and organization names have been transliterated and translated, and the titles of speeches and writings have been transliterated and translated. 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 languages of correspondence that is not in Yiddish are in parentheses following the listing of the material. All manuscripts and typescripts have been arranged alphabetically by title rather than by author. While there are only a few Yiddish manuscripts without a known author, among the non-Yiddish materials there is a large number of unidentified items. The collection has been microfilmed and so any misfiling has been maintained to correspond with the microfilm. Microfilm reel and frame numbers follow the folder titles. The dates are exact on the folders but the folder list has condensed the dates. The page numbers sometimes refer to the number of sheets and sometimes, for double-sided documents, to the number of sides.

The collection has been divided into 11 series, some of which have been further divided into subseries.

  1. Series I: Personal Documents, 1887-1944
  2. Series II: Family Correspondence, 1886-1943
  3. Series III: General Correspondence: Individuals, 1882-1955
  4. Series IV: General Correspondence: Organizations, 1892-1943
  5. Subseries 1: Correspondence in Yiddish, 1897-1943
  6. Subseries 2: Correspondence in Other Languages, 1892-1943
  7. Series V: Manuscripts, 1881-1942
  8. Subseries 1: Yiddish, 1882-1942
  9. Subseries 2: Russian, 1881-1931
  10. Subseries 3: German, 1885-1902
  11. Subseries 4: English, undated
  12. Series VI: Typescripts and Printed Materials, 1885-1938
  13. Subseries 1: Yiddish, 1908-1938, undated
  14. Subseries 2: Russian, 1885-1933, undated
  15. Subseries 3: German, 1930, undated
  16. Subseries 4: English, 1917, 1936, undated
  17. Series VII: Miscellaneous Speeches, 1910, 1937-1943
  18. Series VIII: Financial Records, 1897-1942
  19. Series IX: Newspaper Clippings, 1916-1942
  20. Subseries 1: Articles Published in Der Tog, 1916-1942
  21. Subseries 2: Articles Published in Various Periodicals about Dr. Zhitlowsky, 1921-1942
  22. Series X: Records of celebration Celebrations for Zhitlowsky, 1912-1942
  23. Series XI: Miscellaneous, 1883-1958
  24. Subseries 1: Materials about Zhitlowsky, 1914-1958
  25. ubseries 2: Documents about Various Political Parties and about Jewish Immigration and Colonization, 1883-1937
  26. Subseries 3: Photographs, undated
  27. Subseries 4: Bibliography of Zhitlowsky’s Writings, undated
  28. Subseries 5: Miscellaneous, 1897-1945

Acquisition Information

Zhitlowsky willed his papers to YIVO in his testament of February 6, 1941, but the donation was contested in court by his widow following his death in 1943. Eventually YIVO received half of his archives and library. The official transfer of the papers took place in December 1944-January 1945.


The collection is on thirty-six reels of microfilm (MK 505)

Related Material

The YIVO Archives contains collections of several of Zhitlowsky’s most prominent correspondents, including Mordechai Barlas, Abe Cahan, J.A. Cherniak, Simon Dubnow, William Edlin, Jacob Lestschinsky, Kalman Marmor, and many others. There are also materials by and about Zhitlowsky in the collections of various organizations he was involved with, including the Association for Jewish Farm Settlements, of which Zhitlowsky was honorary chairman, the I.L. Peretz Yiddish Writers Union, and the periodicals Dos Naye Lebn and Der Tog, which he edited. The YIVO Library has several books by and about Zhitlowsky, including a book by James Globus, two books by Chaim Lieberman, copies of Zhitlowsky’s translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra, Zhitlowsky’s collected works, his memoirs, photographs, and books and publications in honor of various celebrations for Zhitlowsky.

Separated Material

There is no information about materials that are associated by provenance to the described materials that have been physically separated or removed.

Processing information

In 1941 B. Dworkin identified, with Zhitlowsky’s help, some of the correspondents. In 1945, on accession of the collection to YIVO, Eva Zhitlowsky, Chaim Zhitlowsky’s daughter, and Mendel Elkin, the YIVO Librarian, made another early list of correspondents. Khayim Gininger partially processed the collection in the 1950s by adding more names to the list of correspondents and identifying a number of the manuscripts but left about 50% of the collection untouched. Felicia Figa completed the processing of the collection in March 1981 as part of the Finding Aids Project supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and wrote a full Yiddish finding aid. Marek Web prepared an English finding aid in November 1981 with an expanded introduction and abridged contents list. The full Yiddish finding aid was translated into English in 2010.

Guide to the Papers of Chaim Zhitlowsky (1865-1943) 1881-1958 RG 208
Processed by Felicia Figa and Marek Web as part of the Finding Aids Project supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional processing 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

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New York NY 10011 United States