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Records of the Zukunft

Identifier: RG 362

Scope and Content Note

This collection relates to the publication of the Zukunft monthly journal over the course of its long publishing history. The materials in the collection include correspondence with writers, financial records, minutes of meetings of the editorial staff, subscription lists and correspondence, printed materials and mailings, editorial and administrative materials relating to conferences, functions and anniversary issues, and numerous typed and handwritten manuscripts submitted to Zukunft.

The collection contains correspondence and manuscripts submitted to Zukunft from some of the most important names in Yiddish literature and thought. These include Dina Abramowicz, Rachel Auerbach, Menashe Unger, David Ignatoff, Shmuel Izban, Joseph Okrutni, Jacob Botoschansky, Menachem Boraisha, B.J. Bialostotzky, Joseph Hayyim Brenner, Boruch Glassman, Chaim Grade, Ossip Dymow, Mattes Deitch, Esther Hirschbein-Shumiatcher, Julian Hirszhaut, Freed Weininger, Herschel Weinrauch, Berish Weinstein, Pearl Weissenberg, Morris Winchevsky, Abraham Zak, Jacob Zipper, Chaim Zhitlowsky, Malke Tussman, Abraham Twersky, Joseph Tenenbaum, Isaiah Trunk, Daniel Charney, Shaul Tchernichovsky, Mark Yuviller, Yehudis, Louis Lamed, Zishe Landau, Berl Lapin, H. Leivick, Abraham Liessin, Leibush Lehrer, Jacob Lestschinsky, David Mowshowitch, Kadya Molodowsky, Mani Leib, Yudel Mark, A. Mukdoni, Kalman Marmor, Jacob Maitlis, Moshe Nadir, Emanuel Nowogrodzki, Shmuel Niger, Rosa Nevadovska, Abraham Sutzkever, Aaron Zeitlin, Moshe Ettinger, Melech Epstein, Jacob Pat, David Pinski, Sholom Perlmutter, Shikl Fishman, Leon Kobrin, Rivke Koplevicz, Uriah Katzenellenbogen, Rokhl Korn, Moyshe Kulbak, Simon Rawidowicz, Melech Ravitch, M.M. Rosenbaum, Chava Rosenfarb, Mark Schweid, Joseph Schlossberg, Moshe Starkman, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, and many others.

The collection dates from 1894-1997 and is in 20 manuscript boxes, measuring 8.33 linear feet. These include 4 boxes of administrative materials and correspondence and 16 boxes of manuscript submissions.


  • Creation: 1894-1997, undated

Language of Materials

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

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


Historical Note

The Zukunft (Future) monthly journal was originally founded in New York in January 1892 as a publication by and for the Yiddish-speaking members of the Socialist Labor Party. Its early editors included Philip Krantz (Jacob Rombro), Abraham Cahan and Morris Winchevsky. The periodical ceased publication between September 1897 and 1902 in connection with various upheavals within the Jewish Socialist movement and when it resumed publication in January 1902, it shared little more than a name with its prior incarnation. This Zukunft was no longer directly connected with the official Socialist Labor Party or one of its factions, but was now published by the Zukunft Press Federation, a voluntary association of Socialist groups. The journal had expanded its contents to cover all sectors of opinion in American Yiddish life in its publishing, although the paper itself remained secularist and Socialist. While this new Zukunft continued to publish articles on matters of social and political interest concerning the American and international Socialist world, increasingly there were also general articles on history, science, and literature, especially original Yiddish literature, rather than Socialist materials translated into Yiddish. The Arbeiter Ring/Workmen’s Circle urged its branches to take out a subscription for each member, and progressive independent branches of the Bund also offered similar support.

In 1912, the Forward Association acquired the Zukunft, which it published from 1912-1940. From 1913 until 1938, Abraham Liessin was the editor of the Zukunft and under his editorship it became one of the leading Yiddish literary journals, publishing the work of practically every Yiddish writer and thinker of note, both those from the United States as well as from many other countries, including poetry, literary reviews and essays in Yiddish. After Liessin’s death, editors included Hillel Rogoff, David Pinski, Shmuel Niger, Jacob Glatstein, Nochum Boruch Minkoff, Eliezer Greenberg, H. Leivick, and others. The Zukunft was published by the Central Yiddish Culture Organization from 1941-September 1960, after which point the Congress for Jewish Culture took over publishing, which it continues today.


8.33 Linear Feet

20 Manuscript Boxes


This collection contains records of the Zukunft monthly journal, which was devoted to publishing political, scientific and literary articles in Yiddish. It contains newspaper clippings, correspondence, meeting minutes, materials relating to conferences and anniversary issues, financial reports, programs, mailings, subscription materials, and typed and handwritten manuscripts submitted for publication.


The collection is arranged by format. The correspondence in Series I and the manuscripts in Series III are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent or author. These materials are arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet even when the contents are written in Russian, English and German. Each correspondence folder represents a Hebrew letter or series of letters while the manuscripts are arranged by individual author. Personal 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. Alternate forms of names, including pseudonyms, are in parentheses following the name. Series III, Manuscripts, was originally formatted as a supplement to the collection. Thus, these folders begin again from number 1. The collection is arranged in three series.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Zukunft in 1956 and 1984.

Related Material

The Records of Zukunft Monthly, RG 1457, contains many of the same types of materials as this collection. In addition, many of the manuscripts in RG 108, YIVO Manuscript Collection, were originally sent to Zukunft for publication. The YIVO Archives also has the papers of several of the editors of Zukunft, including Abraham Cahan, RG 1139, Abraham Liessin, RG 201, Hillel Rogoff, RG 646, David Pinski, RG 204, Shmuel Niger, RG 360, Jacob Glatstein, RG 353, Nochum Boruch Minkoff, RG 398, Eliezer Greenberg, RG 752, and H. Leivick, RG 315.

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

Hinde Jacobs created Yiddish folder lists for the original collection of administrative files and correspondence as well as for the manuscripts supplement. Translation of the folder titles and contents, arrangement of the collection and creation of a full finding aid completed by Rachel S. Harrison in October 2013, made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History."

Guide to the Records of the Zukunft 1894-1997, undated RG 362
Processed by Rachel S. Harrison in 2013, made possible by the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support "Illuminating Hidden Collections at the Center for Jewish History."
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