Yiddish Research Bibliography and Guide
- General Resources
- History, Geography, Biography
- Literature and Folklore
- Performing Arts (Theater, Music, Dance and Film)
- Research Guides
Encyclopedia Judaica , 2nd edition. Detroit: Macmillan/Keter, 2007.
This updated 2007 edition has improved access to Yiddish topics, with increased coverage and YIVO transliteration, but the 1972 edition has more pictures.
Jewish Women in America: an Historical Encyclopedia . New York: Routledge, 1997. Good coverage of American female Yiddish cultural figures. Full bibliographies.
Hundert, Gershon, ed. The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. YIVO/Yale University Press (2008). Provides detailed information specific to Yiddish-speakers. For example, an entry on a holiday will only discuss the Eastern European traditions associated with it. Online at:
Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Philadelphia: JPS, 2007. This international encyclopedia of Jewish women, now online, includes coverage of many Yiddish writers and actresses.
This ground-breaking 1904 encyclopedia is much stronger on Yiddish than the later Encyclopedia Judaica or the more informal online encyclopedias.
Jewish Women's Archive
While this resource is about Jewish women generally, you will find many Yiddish figures, such as actors and writers, included.
Pariz : Dubnoṿ-fond, 1934-1966. V. 1-5 are a general encyclopedia: the 7 subsequent "Yidn" volumes are organized by topic. With bibliographies and indexes.
Yidishe folḳs-entsiḳlopedye : far Yidishe religye, geshikhṭe, filozofye... un andere inyonim.
Edited by Symcha Petrushka,. Nyu Yorḳ : Gilad, 709, 1949.
Jewish popular encyclopedia, in Yiddish.
Online Library Catalogs - Open Access
- NYPL online catalog
- Harvard online catalog
- Library of Congress online catalog
- YIVO online catalog
- Malmad: Inter-University Center for Digital Information Services [in Israel]
- Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog
- Rachel: Online Catalog of the European Network of Judaica and Hebraica Libraries
- National Library of Lithuania
- Digital Libraries Federation (Poland)
These are the most extensive holdings of Judaica/Yiddica which allow on-line searching. Use keyword searching to find titles of articles inside a book, chapter headings, illustrators, contributors, publishers and place of publication. Many have language limit features so you can see only those books in Yiddish. Some have Hebrew-alphabet searching capabilities. To see what almost every major library in North America holds (for really obscure titles) use http://www.worldcat.org
Printed Library Catalogs
Many libraries have printed catalogs of their holdings, which include items not yet in the online catalogs, such as YIVO, NYPL, Harvard, Bodleian, British Museum, and Frankfurt am Main. These catalogs may be available in the library itself as well as in other libraries.
Finding a source in a library catalog
If you were researching the Yiddish secular school system in America, you'd be delighted to find Norman Drachler's Bibliography of Jewish Education in the United States. But how can you find out there is such a resource on your topic? In a large online catalog, do a keyword search for your topic and a kind of reference work. For example the keywords "Soviet Jews bibliographies" will retrieve Soviet Jewish History, 1917-1991: an Annotated Bibliography.
Note that in some library catalogs, you need to put the word "and" between search terms ("Soviet and Jews and bibliographies"). Also, most catalogs mention the kind of reference work in the plural (e.g. bibliographies) but some catalogs will put that term in the singular (e.g. bibliography). Finally, you may need to repeat your search using the words "Jews," "Jewish," and Yiddish."
Some kinds of reference books you might want to use in a keyword search are:
- encyclopedias (or encyclopaedias)
- catalogs (or catalogues)
- indexes (or indices)
One kind of Yiddish reference work which is very strong is the biographical dictionary. In addition to those listed in the preceding bibliography, there are also biographical dictionaries of Jews in particular places (e.g. Leksikon fun Yidishe Gezelshaftlekhe Tuer in Argentine). Some yizkor books (Holocaust memorial books) include biographical entries on notable people from that place (e.g. Khurbn Vilne). There is even a yizkor book which is entirely a biographical dictionary: the Lerer Yisker-Bukh, which provides full details on anyone who taught in the Tsisho schools in Poland, among them many cultural figures. To find these books you should add the place name to your search, consult a listing of yizkor books (see JewishGen, p. 6), or browse the Brisman volumes above.
- ArchiveGrid.org Information on nearly half a million archives and manuscripts worldwide.
- YIVO Archives
- ZIH -Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw)
- Archives USA
- Isragen Archives in Israel
- Center for Jewish History Includes online finding aids to collections.
- National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
- Index to Yiddish Periodicals Indexes numerous European Yiddish periodicals from the inter-war period, expanding to include a larger geographic and time spread. Search in Yiddish or English.
- Historical Jewish Press The National Library of Israel has digitized newspapers including the Warsaw-based Yiddish publications Moment (1910 - 1939), Haynt (1908-1939), Literarishe bleter (1924-1939), and Unzer Ekspres (1926 - 1939).
- Forverts (1897-1949) (digitized) ; 1999-present (digitized); 1897-present (microfilm and print)
- RAMBI Index to Articles in Jewish Studies Includes articles on Jewish topics drawn from a variety of mainly scholarly sources, including chapters in books. Not full-text.
- YIVO Library Books Includes books from YIVO’s collection, including YIVO publications.
- Google Books Search by keyword in books. Some books available online. Includes Yiddish.
- Yiddish Book Center Try their beta keyword search within their collection of scanned books.
- HebrewBooks.org Includes some Yiddish books, including YIVO publications.Hathi Trust
- HathiTrust A surprisingly robust collection of digitized Yiddish books. Searchable in Yiddish.
- CYCO Books Online database of used and new Yiddish books for sale.
- Yiddish Book Center 10,000+ Yiddish books online. They will also sell you a used copy or a reprint.
- Advanced Book Exchange Best commercial site for used Judaica, including Yiddish titles.
- eBay A surprising source for obscure Yiddish books, recordings and ephemera.
- Yiddish Sources Find international sources for research, study and events on this site maintained by Gerben Zaagsma of the European University Institute.
- Az men zukht, gefint men! Yiddish research site of Prof. Dov-Ber Kerler (Univ. of Indiana) with online texts, media and sources on history, literature, language and performing arts, and more. In Yiddish.
- Oxford Bibliographies Online: Yiddish Overview of Yiddish studies and resources in various areas, compiled by Professors Naomi Seidman and Shaina Hammerman.
General Yiddish Websites
- Translators, Speakers, Groups, Events
- YiddishPOP - an animated site for learning Yiddish
- Mendele - listserv for Yiddish language and literature
- Good links pages - http://www.cs.uky.edu/~raphael/yiddish.html - http://www.yv.org/#links
- Yiddish Teachers' Listserv
- Understanding Yiddish Information Processing Everything you need to know to make your computer Yiddish-capable.
These have to be used at a library, or at home with a library card. If you don't have access to these databases at your library, contact a Judaica library to do a search for you.
- Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd edition. Detroit: Macmillan/Keter, 2007. (see Encyclopedias)
- Index to Jewish Periodicals Indexes English-language American Jewish community newspapers and magazines, including some semi-scholarly titles, covering 1988 to the present.
- Ethnic Newswatch Indexes current English-language ethnic community newspapers. You can limit the search to "Jewish" in the Ethnic Group menu. Full-text.
- JSTOR Enormous full-text scholarly database. Most of the journals it covers include the full back run, which means you can search 19th century journals.
- MUSE Selective full-text multi-disciplinary database: covers prominent titles from the mid-1990s on. Useful for finding current, important articles.
Selective Bibliography of Yiddish Dictionaries
Edited by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath and Paul Glasser
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2016
Comprehensive, modern Yiddish-English dictionary with 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries. Emphasizes Yiddish as a living language.
Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary
Edited by Solon Beinfeld and Harry Bochner.
Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, c2013.
Comprehensive, modern, 37,000-word Yiddish-English dictionary with user's guide, cross-references, alternative spellings, feminine suffixes, word genders, sentence examples, Slavic origins, and sometimes the past tense for irregular verbs.
Available online; a subscription is required for some features.
Weinreich, Uriel. Modern English-Yiddish, Yiddish-English Dictionary.
New York: Yivo/McGraw-Hill, 1968.
The only complete modern Yiddish-English dictionary (i.e. using standard orthography). Besides words, Weinreich includes expressions, irregular plurals, past tenses, gender, feminine form of masculine nouns, and pronunciation for Hebrew and Aramaic root words. For best use, consult the table on p. lx-lxi (on the English side of the dictionary) for abbreviations and symbols.
Harkavy, Alexander. Yidish-English-Hebreisher Verterbukh / Yiddish-English-Hebrew Dictionary. Nyu York: Farlag fun dem farfaser, 1925.
Earlier editions of this dictionary are nowhere near as good as those published in the 1920s. While employing inconsistent orthography, many local dialect and non-standard words not in Weinreich can be found in this dictionary. 1910 ed., 1928 ed.
Niborski, Y. ; with Neuberg, Simon; Niborski, Eliezer; and Krynicka, Natalia. Verterbukh fun Loshn-Koydesh-Shtamike Verter in Yidish. Pariz: Medem-bibliotek, 2012.
This is the newest, largest edition of the most complete dictionary of Hebrew and Aramaic-root words in Yiddish. Gives sample sentences from literature, pronunciation (including dialect variants) and plural forms. Entirely in Yiddish.
Idish verterbukh. Dictionary of Yiddish words from Hebrew and Aramaic, compiled by Charles Spivak and Solomon Bloomgarten (Yehoash) in 1911.
Stutchkoff, Nahum. Der Oytser fun der Yidisher Shprakh. New York: YIVO, 1950.
A monumental Yiddish thesaurus. For each noun entry, it gives synonyms; related verbs; expressions and sayings. Arrangement is thematic; includes index. A transliterated, searchable version from Shimen Neuberg and Refoyl Finkel.
Groyser Verterbukh fun der Yidisher Shprakh. Nyu York: Komitet farn groysnverterbukh fun der Yidisher shprakh, 1961-
An unfinished dictionary of 4 volumes covering the letter alef. Entirely in Yiddish.
Jacobson, Steven A. A Guide to the More Common Hebraic Words in Yiddish. 4th ed.
Fairbanks, Alaska: S.A. Jacobson, 1995.
For the Hebrew-impaired, the second half of this dictionary is Hebrew and Aramaic-root words in phonetic spelling, allowing you to look up how they are spelled when you have only heard them spoken. Also useful for decoding Soviet Yiddish texts which used phonetic spelling. Out of print but available online.
Weisbrot, Berl; Niborsḳi, Yitskhoḳ and Noyberg, Shimen. Yidish-Frantseyzish ṿerṭerbukh = Dictionnaire Yiddish-Français . Pariz : Medem-Biblioṭeḳ, 2002.
A comprehensive modern dictionary, worth using (with additional dictionaries) even for non-French-speakers.
- Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary
Edited by Harry Bochner and Solon Beinfeld. Subscription required for some features.
- Yiddish Dictionary Lookup
Look up words, fragments and phrases in English, Yiddish, or transliterated Yiddish in Raphael Finkel's online dictionary.
- Harkavy Dictionary 1910 ed., 1928 ed.
- YIVO-standard Transliterated Dictionary
This project is only just underway. Check back regularly to see its improvements.
- Di geviskn-velt in Yidish (Plant names in Yiddish)
Yiddish-English botanical dictionary by the late Dr. Mordkhe Schaechter.
Jewish Languages Home Page
Basic information on all Jewish languages.
Sound Archives of the Language and Culture of Ashkenazic Jewry
Gathered to provide source material for the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry, the sound clips mounted on these pages allow you to listen to native speakers from different regions.
Lectures in Yiddish, compiled by NYU linguistics student Isaac Bleaman. Includes links.
This helps you use any resource that uses standardized transliteration.
Library of Congress Transliteration (Romanization)
A slight variant on YIVO transliteration (so that it is consistent with library practice), it allows you to understand how to search library catalogs in the roman alphabet and find Yiddish (or Hebrew) texts.
Word Lists by Topic
These can be helpful if you're reading a text with many references to a particular kind of thing, e.g. foodstuffs or plants.
Yiddish Wit and Wisdom
Collection of Yiddish expressions and idioms in Yiddish and transliteration.
BJPA Reader's Guide: Jewish Languages. Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner
Readings on Hebrew, Yiddish, and Jewish language and Jewish life.
Bratkowsky, Joan. Yiddish Linguistics: a Multilingual Bibliography. New York: Garland Pub., 1988.
The Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry . Tubingen: Max Niemeyer ; New York: Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, 1992-
Kumove, Shirley. Words Like Arrows: a collection of Yiddish folk sayings. Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, c1984.
--. More Words, More Arrows. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, c1999.
Sayings in Yiddish and transliterated Yiddish, with English translation.
Bernshteyn, Ignats. Yidishe Shprikhverter. New York: Alveltlekher Yidisher Kultur-Kongres, 1983.
In Yiddish and organized alphabetically by keyword, this work does not explain all the sayings it lists, only the most abstruse ones. Quotations from Jewish texts show how the sayings were used in context.
Guri, Iosif. Klug vi Shloymeh ha-Meylekh: 500 Yidishe folksfarglaykhn fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English un Rusish. Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1999.
--. Vi Kumt di Kats Ibern Vaser?: toyznt Yidishe idiomen fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English un Rusish. Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1997.
--. Vos Darft ir Mer?: 2000 Yidishe bilderishe oysdrukn fartaytsht oyf Hebreish, English, un Rusish . Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 2002.
--. Oyfn Shpits Tsung: 500 Yidishe shprikhverter. Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 2006.
These books give Yiddish expressions, sayings and idioms with idiomatic equivalents in English, Russian and Hebrew. They are not direct translations and do not help you understand each word of a saying, but its overall meaning and usage.
Stutchkoff, Nahum. Mame-Loshn. Edited by Leyzer Burko. New York: Forverts, 2014.
Collection of select episodes from Mame-loshn, Stutchkoff's linguistic radio program on WEVD, where he explains Yiddish idioms and expressions. Includes a detailed introduction and bibliography.
Bunis, David M., and Sunshine, Andrew. Yiddish linguistics : a classified bilingual index to Yiddish serials and collections, 1913-1958 . New York : Garland Pub., 1994.
- MLA Bibliography
Includes articles about Yiddish as well as incomplete coverage of articles in select Yiddish periodicals.
Mohrer, Fruma and Web, Marek. Guide to the YIVO Archives. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1998.
Updated version now online at: http://www.yivoarchives.org/
Universal Jewish Encyclopedia. Eds. Isaac Landman et al. New York: Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, 1939-1943. (10 volumes)
This encyclopedia specialized in biography and lists many individuals not in Encyclopedia Judaica.
Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names: Their Origins, Structure, Pronunciation, and Migrations. Bergenfield, N.J.: Avotaynu, 2001.
--. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Teaneck, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004.
--. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland. Teaneck, NJ : Avotaynu, 1996.
--. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire. Teaneck, NJ : Avotaynu, 1993. Updated edition, 2008.
These books give etymologies of names, variants, lists places they were commonly found. Given name dictionary also lists variant pronunciations and gives short summary of name history.
Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. An Atlas of Jewish History. New York: Routledge, 1994.
Magocsi, Paul R. Historical Atlas of East Central Europe. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993.
Mokotoff, Gary, et al. Where Once We Walked. 2nd edition. Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2002.
An index of shtetlekh throughout Eastern Europe, with cross-references by variant names and spellings. Gives exact latitude and longitude and Jewish population in last pre-War census.
Pinḳas ha-ḳehilot : entsiḳlopedyah shel ha-yishuvim ha-Yehudiyim le-min hiṿasdam ṿe- ad le-aḥar shoat Milḥemet ha-olam ha-sheniyah. Yerushalayim : Yad ṿa-shem, rashut ha-zikaron la-Shoah ṿela-gevurah, 730- [1969-
The encyclopedia of Jewish life before and during the Holocaust. Editor in chief, Shmuel Spector ; consulting editor, Geoffrey Wigoder ; foreword by Elie Wiesel. Jerusalem : Yad Vashem ; New York : New York University Press, 2001.
The Hebrew original and English edition (with summarized translations) document Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and beyond. The English edition includes photographs.
Kagan, Berl. Sefer ha-prenumeranṭn : ṿegṿayzer tsu prenumerirṭe Hebreishe sforim un zeyere hos ̦ mim fun 8,767 ḳehiles ̦ in Eyrope un Tsofn-Afriḳe.
This book of "Hebrew subscription lists" is organized by town name and lists books whose publication was supported by town residents. In the books themselves, names of supporters are listed. Also online at: http://archive.org/details/nybc212411
- JewishGen: Jewish Genealogy http://www.jewishgen.org
Locate a shtetl, a family name, or a book about a place. Includes some translations of yizkor books and a listing of others, as well as numerous databases and regional special interest groups (SIG's).
- Yizkor Books Online http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/jws/yizkorbooks_intro.cfm
Read 650 yizkor (Holocaust memorial books written by survivors, each focusing on a town or a region, and including individuals and organizations, plus pictures, maps, and other visuals. Some English translations online: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor
- Yiddishland: Countries, Cities, Towns, Rivers http://yivo.org/publications/index.php?tid=170&aid=667
A gazetteer of Yiddish place names of Central and Eastern Europe, including a detailed index. Compiled by Dr. Paul Glasser of YIVO.
- Yad Vashem Database http://www.yadvashem.org/lwp/workplace/IY_HON_Welcome
Central repository, which anyone can add to, of names and information on those who died in the Holocaust.
- Ellis Island, Castle Garden http://www.ellisisland.org http://castlegarden.org/
Search databases of New York boat-docking records from Castle Garden (1820-1892) and Ellis Island (1892-1924) for information on passengers.
- CJH Holocaust Resources http://www.holocaustresources.cjh.org
An annotated bibliography of materials held in New York's Center for Jewish History (includes YIVO and other organizations). Included are almost 3,000 individuals' names, over 300 organizational names, and close to 700 locations (countries, cities, towns) with alternate languages and spellings.
- AHEYM: The Archives of Historical and Ethnographic Yiddish Memories
Archive of ethnographic interviews with elderly Jews in contemporary Eastern Europe. Includes online exhibits and videos, searchable by name, subject and place. http://www.aheym.org/
- American Jewish Committee Oral History Collection, New York Public Library http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/american-jewish-committee
Includes 350 digitized oral history transcripts, searchable online, include many Yiddish figures. In all, there are 2,250 oral histories (transcripts and audio) in the collection: http://legacy.www.nypl.org/research/chss/jws/oralhistories2.cfm
- Wexner Oral History Project https://archive.org/details/ybcvideos
270 interviews in Yiddish and English, from the Yiddish Book Center.
- Yiddish Lives http://www.yiddishlives.org
Video interviews in Yiddish and English.
- Ancestry.com Library Edition
Find birth, death, immigration records and more for the U.S. and other countries.
- America: History and Life
Good coverage of U.S. and Canadian history journals and books. Virtually all Jewish topics covered. Not full-text.
- Historical Abstracts
This covers the rest of the world. Not full-text. If your library has a subscription to both America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts, you can search both at once by entering either.
- Central and Eastern European Online Library (www.ceeol.com)
This article index allows free searching even if your library does not subscribe to the full content database. You can then use the citation to get the article in print from your library, or can pay a small fee to get the article immediately online.
Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur. Eds. Sh. Niger and Yaakov Shatski.
Nyu-York: Alveltlekhn Yidishn Kultur-Kongres, 1956-1981. (8 volumes)
The most complete of the biographical dictionaries of Yiddish writers. Note that some authors refused to be included and are not listed. Arrangement is alphabetical; information is only moderately reliable.
Kagan, Berl. Leksikon fun Yidish-Shraybers: mit hesofes un tikunim tsum Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur, un 5,800 psevdonimen. Nyu-York: R. Ilman-Kohen, 1986. Online at: http://www.archive.org/details/nybc213586
No entry is given if there was nothing to add to the Leksikon entry, but it is always worth checking because Kagan corrected errors in the Leksikon, added writers left out or refusing to be included, and updated death dates and publications. Organized alphabetically, with an appendix of late additions and a separate list of pseudonyms.
Rejzen, Zalman. Leksikon fun der Yidisher Literatur, Prese un Filologye. Vilna: 1928-1930. (4 volumes).
--. Leksikon fun der Yudisher Literatur un Prese. Varshoy: Tsentral, 674 .
Earlier versions of the Leksikon which are sometimes more accurate or complete than their successor. Both online at:
Psevdonimen in der Yidisher literatur [Pseudonyms in Yiddish literature]. Vilne; Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institut, Filologishe Sektsye, 1939. Reprint from "Yivo-bleter, " vol. Xii, no. 7-8, online at. http://yivolibrarybooks.org/
Beyder, Khayim . Leksikon fun Yidishe shrayber in Ratn-Farband = Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union. Mit a verterbukh fun Sovetizmen fun Genadi Estraykh Nyu-York : Alveltlekhn Yidishn kultur-kongres, 2011.
Covers Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union, and includes photos and a dictionary of Soviet terms.
A shpigl oyf a shṭeyn : anṭologye : poezye un proze fun tsṿelf farshniṭene Yidishe shraybers in Raṭn-farband / tsunoyfgeshṭelṭ, Binyamin Hrushovsḳi, Avrom Sutsḳeṿer, Khone Shmeruḳ ; biografyes un bibliografishe miṭarbeṭ, Mendl Pyeḳazsh.
A classic scholarly collection of works by Soviet Yiddish writers, including bibliographical resources.
Fox, Chaim Leib. 100 Yor Yidishe un Hebreishe Literatur in Kanade. Montreal, 1980.
--. Cent Ans de Litterature Yiddish et Hebraique au Canada. trans. Pierre Anctil. Sillery, Quebec: Septentrion, 2005.
Covers Canadian writers thoroughly. The French translation also updated and corrected the original. Yiddish version online at: https://archive.org/details/nybc209440
Schulman, Elias. Leksikon fun Forverts-shrayber: zint 1897. New York: Forward Association . Provides bio-bibliographic information about editors and contributors to the Forverts, the largest-circulation Yiddish daily paper (now weekly) since 1897 in New York.
Prager, Leonard. Yiddish Literary and Linguistic Periodicals and Miscellanies. Darby, PA: ASJL/Norwood Editions, 1982
This work describes several thousand Yiddish journals, magazines and newspapers, giving years of publication, editors, sample contributors.
Yiddish Culture in Britain. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1990.
Bibliography of British writers, groups, periodicals, and other cultural manifestations.
Jeshurin, Ephim. 100 Yor Moderne Yidishe Literatur. Nyu-York: Arbeter-ring, 1965.
The table of contents at the back of the book has thematic entries on topics in literature and education. Listings are given for Yiddish articles and articles in other languages. He also wrote many bibliographies of individual writers and created a bibliographic index at YIVO.
Dictionary of Literary Biography , volume 333: Writers in Yiddish. (Detroit: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2007)
The first English-language biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers. It is highly selective with only a few dozen writers represented, but all entries are long and include primary bibliographies (writings by the author listed) and secondary bibliographies (books and articles about the author).
Muraskin, Bennett. The Association of Jewish Libraries guide to Yiddish short stories. Teaneck, NJ : Ben Yehuda Press, c2011. Arranged by topic, it an annotated summary of 130+ stories available in English translation, with brief author biographies, and bibliographic details on the originals and translations.
Singerman, Robert. Jewish Translation History: a Bibliography of Bibliographies and Studies. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia, Pa.: John Benjamins Pub., 2002.
Not a list of translations but a bibliography to facilitate study of translation practice. Chapter 7 gives translations to and from Yiddish.
Chajes, Saul, 1884-1935. Otsar beduye ha-shem : hu mafteaḥ ha-shemot ha-beduyim she ha-meḥabrim be-sifrut Yiśraʼel be-ʻIvrit uve-Idit ... mi-teḳufat ha-geʼonim ʻad ha-ʻet ha ḥadashah / me-et Shaʼul beha-gaʼon Yitsḥaḳ Ḥayot. Ṿina ; Yerushalayim : Bamberger et Ṿarman, 693 . Acronyms and pseudonyms of Yiddish and Hebrew writers.
Weinreich, Uriel and Beatrice. Yiddish Language and Folklore: a Selective Bibliography. Gravenhage: Mouton, 1959.
Weinreich, Beatrice, ed. Yiddish Folktales. Trans. Leonard Wolf. New York: Pantheon Books/YIVO, 1988.
Folktales arranged thematically; includes a bibliography, glossary of Yiddish words, and scholarly introduction.
Nigal, Gedalyah. Leksikon ha-Sipur ha-Hasdi. Jerusalem: ha-Makhon le-heker ha-sifrut ha-hasidit, 765/2005.
Comprehensive Hebrew-language encyclopedia of Hasidic literature, authors, characters, tales, ritual concepts, places, and works.
Yassif, Eli. Jewish Folklore: an Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1986.
Elswit, Sharon. The Jewish Story Finder: A Guide to 363 Tales, Listing Subjects and Sources. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2009.
Folktales are listed by theme. Each story is summarized, variant versions noted, and detailed bibliography given. A story title index allows another way to search.
Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore. Raphael Patai, founding editor; Haya Bar-Itzhak, editor. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2013. Includes some Yiddish folklore, although coverage and transliteration is uneven.
- National Yiddish Book Center - Stephen Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library
10,000+ Yiddish books online and downloadable through the Internet Archive.
Includes audio of Yiddish writers reading at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, plus podcasts and oral histories.
- Di velt fun yidish http://yiddish.haifa.ac.il/contents.htm
Text and audio of classic Yiddish literature and the Bible (Tanakh).
- Old Yiddish literature http://www.literatur-des-judentums.de
About 800 16th to early 20th century books, all of them full page image. There is a text search feature but it's not exact. Allows browsing by author, title, and other fields, as well as detailed searching capabilities.
- Yiddish texts http://www.cs.uky.edu/~raphael/yiddish.html
These are in PDF or unicode-compliant formats. Many can be read on palm pilots. They are not usually full books but stories, poems, and other short items. Great for learners, reading groups or classes.
- Yiddish Literature Collection http://www.polona.pl/dlibra/collectiondescription2?dirids=31
Read 221 pre-WW II Yiddish works, with brief biographies of major authors.
- YIVO Library Books http://yivolibrarybooks.org/
Includes books from YIVO's collection, including YIVO publications.
- HebrewBooks.org http://www.hebrewbooks.org
Includes some Yiddish books, including YIVO publications.
- Hathi Trust http://www.hathitrust.org
A surprisingly robust collection of digitized Yiddish books. Searchable in Yiddish.
- Yiddish Poetry http://yiddishpoetry.org/
Features Yiddish poetry, with translations in English, French, Polish and Hebrew, edited by Andrew Firestone.
- Candles of song/Liderlikht http://shevazucker.com/blog/
Yiddish poems about mothers, presented by Sheva Zucker in memory of her mother, Miriam Pearlman Zucker. In Yiddish, transliteration and English translation.
Sholem Aleichem index http://yiddish.haifa.ac.il/SholAley/FridIntro.htm
This is best used printed out. Look a story by Yiddish title to find a translation; or by English find its original title and publication details.
Zagorin, Neil. The Noah Cotsen Library of Yiddish Children's Literature.
Downloadable from http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/node/396
An annotated bibliography of hundreds of children's books in Yiddish.
Baker, Zachary. Essential Yiddish Books.
Downloadable from http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/+10310
A "core collection" guideline to the 1,000 most important Yiddish books available from the National Yiddish Book Center.
Covers literature and folklore, including the only Jewish folklore journal (Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review). Some articles are full-text, most citations.
Note : scholarly Yiddish-language journals are indexed here, but incompletely.
Ephim Jeshurin card index (YIVO)
This work of a single mad indexer is a list of works about an author. For each Yiddish author, a series of cards notes where that person's work was reviewed or mentioned in the Yiddish press, or where biographical or interview material was published. So extensive that at times he notes small mentions that are not worth pursuing; otherwise it is an extraordinary resource. This card file is in a closed area at YIVO. Ask an archivist to make you copies of the cards you need (there is a charge for this service), or promise to be very careful replacing the cards in order and they might let you use them yourself.
See also Ephim Jeshurin's published bibliographies of Yiddish writers.
Zylbercweig, Zalmen. Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater. Nyu York: Farlag "Elisheva", 1931-1969. (6 volumes).
Available online at: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=zylbercweig
Jones, Faith. Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater: Index. New York: Dorot Jewish Division, The New York Public Library, 2001. Available for free download at: http://www.nypl.org/collections/nypl-recommendations/guides/leksikon
This encyclopedia is the first stop for Yiddish theater research. There are entries on individuals, theatrical companies, movements, and unions. Because organization varies among the volumes, access is best facilitated through the freestanding index on the New York Public Library's web site.
Mestel, Jacob. 70 Yor Teater-Repertuar: Tsu der Geshikhte fun Yidishn Teater in Amerike. Nyu York: Ikuf farlag, 1954.
--. Undzer Teater. Nyu-York: Shrayber-sektsye baym Ikuf, 1943.
Search indices for play titles and authors; they guide you to the text where you can find out date of first production, stars, and sometimes other production history.
Online at: http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=mestel%20jacob
Sandrow, Nahma. Vagabond Stars: A World History of Yiddish Theater. New York: Harper & Row, c1977.
This essential, classic work provides a highly readable and informative overview of Yiddish theater.
NYPL Digital Gallery http://digitalcollections.nypl.org
Type in the words "Yiddish theater" (American spelling) to see about a hundred New York and Buenos Aires Yiddish theatre posters from the 1910s to 1930s.
All About Jewish Theatre http://www.jewish-theatre.com
Collates web articles and information on Jewish theatre in all languages.
Index to Yiddish plays in Jewish Division, New York Public Library (Faith Jones)
Index to Yiddish plays in the American Jewish Archives (Leonard Prager)
Part One http://shakti.trincoll.edu/~mendele/ytf/ytf02002.htm
Part Two http://shakti.trincoll.edu/~mendele/ytf/ytf02003.htm
Index to Yiddish plays in the Library of Congress (Zachary Baker)
Use these indices to find play manuscripts, since most Yiddish plays were never published.
Selected Yiddish plays in the Library of Congress, full-image
77 full Yiddish plays, full-image. They are manuscripts and hard to read, but each page image links to a high-resolution TIFF for better decipherment.
Center for Jewish History: Yiddish Theater Collection (online)
Museum of the City of New York - Digital Gallery
Includes images and photographs from the Yiddish theater in New York.
Mlotek, Chana and Joseph. Mir Trogn a Gezang! 4th edition. New York: Workmen's Circle, 2000.
--. Songs of Generations. New York: Workmen's Circle, 1997.
--. Pearls of Yiddish Song. New York: Workmen's Circle, 1988.
Combined index for all three books is in Mir Trogn a Gezang; also available at:
http://www.derbay.org/a-k.html and http://www.derbay.org/a-l-z.html
Arranged thematically, so you can find songs on topics. These books give YIVO-standard transliterations for lyrics. Many of the songs are poems by literary authors set to music, which means these books are the only source for transliterated Yiddish poetry using a standard transliteration.
--. Pearls of Yiddish Poetry. Jersey City: KTAV Publishing, 2010. By Joseph and Chana Mlotek, ed. Mark Mlotek, translated by Barnett Zumoff.:
Read English translations of Yiddish articles from the column "Perl fun der yidisher poezye" in the Forverts. Each article includes an author biography and text(s) in the original Yiddish and in English translation.
Vinkovetsky, A. et al. Anthology of Yiddish Folk Songs. Jerusalem: Magnes Press,
1983 - . 6 volumes. In Yiddish, Hebrew and English, with songs divided thematically, including volumes devoted to individual authors Mordecai Gebirtig, Mark Warshawsky and Itzik Manger.
Heskes, Irene. Yiddish American Popular Songs, 1895-1950. Washington: Library of Congress, 1992.
Yiddish sheet music deposited for copyright purposes at the Library of Congress is listed here. Full details are given and cover art is described for exact identification. Some inconsistencies in transliteration and some dubious composer/lyricist attributions; nonetheless it is very useful in tracking down American Yiddish songs.
Finding Yiddish Music: A Quick Online Guide. Amanda Seigel, Dorot Jewish Division, New York Public Library. A quick reference guide to Yiddish music online and in libraries and archives, including sheet music, audio recordings,catalogs, and print anthologies.
Yiddish Song of the Week http://yiddishsong.wordpress.com/
Listen to field recordings of Yiddish songs, presented with texts and detailed notes by researchers and edited by Dr. Itzik Gottesman. Sponsored by the An-Sky Jewish Folklore Research Project, part of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.
Stonehill Jewish Song Archive. http://www.ctmd.org/stonehill.htm Archival field recording of Holocaust survivors in New York City, 1948, by Ben Stonehill. Includes recordings, as well as transcribed and translated texts by Dr. Miriam Isaacs.
Judaica Sound Archives http://faujsa.fau.edu/jsa/home.php
Listen to hundreds of albums and songs from the Judaica sound archives at Florida Atlantic University. Search or browse by artist, title or genre. Some errors in attribution so use Mlotek or Heskes books to confirm data.
Catalog of Recorded Jewish Music http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/freedman/
Allows you to search for recordings and printed music for songs.
Jewish Music Research Centre http://www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il/
Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Music Department, National Library of Israel
Yiddish Sheet Music http://dl.lib.brown.edu/sheetmusic/yiddish/
Brown University's smallish collection of Yiddish sheet music is online full-text. Searching is available in transliteration; browsing can be done by creator (lyricist/composer/singer), title, or cover art.
Library of Congress (LOC)
Find Yiddish sheet music at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/search?view=thumbnail&memberOf=yiddish&sort=titlesort&query=yiddish&submit=GO
Listen to Yiddish songs through the "National Jukebox" collection:
Jewish Music Web Center http://www.jmwc.org/
Created by Brandeis librarian Judy Pinnolis, this comprehensive site includes bibliographies, reviews, links, and much more.
Der Yidisher Gramofon http://www.yidisher-gramofon.org/
Michael Aylward's site updates his Discography of Early European Recordings of Jewish Music, and articles on Jewish commercial recordings in Europe.
Milken Archive of Jewish Music http://www.milkenarchive.org/
Biographies and articles include Yiddish theater composers, lyricists and singers, with some free audio content, as well as audio for purchase.
Zemerl: Jewish song database http://www.zemerl.com
Full lyrics of many songs; some sound clips. Buyer beware: many weird transcriptions and mistakes, as this is a volunteer database to which anyone can contribute. Use the Mlotek books for preference and this as a backup.
Klezmer Shack http://www.klezmershack.com/
Calendar, band listings, musician contact information.
Save the Music -Jewish Music Archive http://savethemusic.com/
Search and browse musical and spoken-word recordings, in Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino, French, and English. Enjoy the content, but beware: information and organization is often incorrect, inconsistent and/or incomplete.
Goldman, Eric. Visions, images, and dreams : Yiddish film, past and present.
Teaneck, NJ : Holmes & Meier Publishers, 2011 (Revised and expanded edition).
The history of Yiddish film, with filmography, bibliographical references, and index.
Hoberman, J. Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds
Hanover, N.H. : Dartmouth College : University Press of New England/National Center for Jewish Film, ©2010.
Comprehensive, illustrated history, with DVD documentary, "The Yiddish cinema".
Film Literature Index http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/fli/index.jsp
Scholarly index (no full-text) of film criticism and theory 1976-2001. More recent criticism is in subscription databases (p. 14).
Internet Movie Database http://www.imdb.com
Internet Broadway Database http://www.ibdb.com
Locate Yiddish actors and films, often with detailed biographies, and, in the case of IMDB, accurate spellings of Yiddish and Eastern-European names and places.
Yiddish Dance Home Page http://www.yiddishdance.com
One of the least-researched and least-documented areas of Yiddish culture, dance has only one resource and this is it. Note bibliography and online collection of dance descriptions.
International Index for the Performing Arts
Coverage begins in 1864. Indexes major English-language journals and magazines in all areas of entertainment and the performing arts. Recent articles are full-text.
International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance
Index (some full-text) of current periodicals (1980-present) including entertainment industry publications (such as Playbill) and some scholarly journals.
New York Times 1851-2003
Another surprising source: the Times covered Yiddish theatre fairly extensively in the 1920s and 30s. This database is full-text. If your library does not subscribe to it, search for article citations web site (http://www.nytimes.com) then find the article itself on microfilm in the library, to avoid paying the Times' fee of $5 per article.
RILM: Abstracts of Music Literature
RLIM is a continuously updated bibliography of music literature with broad international coverage in over 202 languages from 3,700 journals, including hundreds of articles on Jewish and Yiddish music.
YIVO Sound Archives - Blog at: http://yivosounds.com/
Make an appointment to listen to recordings of music and spoken word, including ethnographic recordings. Transfers can be made for a fee. A few sample sound files are online athttp://www.yivoinstitute.org/library/index.php?tid=45&aid=191
Jewish Music ListServ: http://lists.jmwc.org/listinfo.cgi/jewish-music-jmwc.org
Discussion/resource group on Jewish music.
These examples show you how you can find reference sources such as bibliographies, glossaries, citations and other useful material in everyday books.
Use scholarly editions of individual authors' works to find overview (introduction), bibliography and biography. Use notes to translations as a resource for studying translation issues. Use bilingual editions as teaching or self-instruction tools.
Weinreich, Uriel. College Yiddish. (numerous editions)
Use the synopsis of Yiddish grammar at the back for quick reminders. Use the "Supplementary Readings" section (which includes glassaries for hard vocabulary) to improve your reading skills, or provide reading materials for a learners' group.
Sapoznik, Henry. Klezmer!: Jewish music from old world to our world. New York: Schirmer Books, c1999.
Use glossary at the back when you come across a musical term you don't know. Use bibliography to find further readings on traditional Yiddish dance music.
Howe, Irving and Eliezer Greenberg, eds. A Treasury of Yiddish Stories. New York: Viking, 1989.
Use scholarly introduction and short biographical note on individual authors to get a quick overview of how each author fits in the Yiddish literary tradition.
Kreitman, Esther. Deborah. New York: Feminist Press (CUNY), 2004. Trans. Maurice Carr; afterword Anita Norich.
Forman, Frieda, et al, eds. Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish women writers. Toronto: Second Story Press, 1994.
Use this book to get information about the women Howe and Greenberg omitted. Includes extensive glossary, scholarly introduction with bibliography, biographical notes on authors and original publication information.
Peretz, Isaac Leib [Yitskhok Leyb]. Selected stories: bilingual edition. Translation and introduction, Ei Katz ; [selected and edited, Itche Goldberg and Eli Katz]. New York : Zhitlowsky Foundation for Jewish Culture, 1991.
Harshav, Benjamin and Barbara, eds. American Yiddish Poetry. Berkeley: University of California, 1986.
Use extensive indices (translations of most important documents of the inzikhist literary movement) rather than hunting them down in Yiddish in their original periodical publications. Use introduction to put them in context. (Note: this is another all-male anthology. A book with better gender balance that still has plenty of study resources is ProletPen, an anthology of poets of the political left).
Manger, Itzik. The World According to Itzik. Trans. and ed. Leonard Wolf; introduction David G. Roskies and Leonard Wolf. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
Molodowsky, Kadya. Paper Bridges. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999. Trans. Kathryn Hellerstein.
Sholem Aleichem. The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl; Motl, the Cantor's Son. Trans. and introduction Hillel Halkin. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2002.
Tregebov, Rhea. Arguing with the Storm: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers. New York : Feminist Press, 2008. With introduction by Kathryn Hellerstein and bibliography.
Brisman, Shimeon. A History and Guide to Judaic Bibliography. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1977.
--. A History and Guide to Judaic Encyclopedias and Lexicons. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1987.
--. History and Guide to Judaic Dictionaries and Concordances. Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Pub. House, 2000.
Cutter, Charles. Judaica Reference Sources: a selective, annotated bibliographic guide. 3rd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
Shunami, Shlomo. Bibliography of Jewish Bibliographies. 2nd edition. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1965. Supplement. Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 1975.
YIVO/Center for Jewish History
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Dorot Jewish Division, The New York Public Library
Room 111, 40th Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10012
Phone: (212) 930-0601
Web site: http://www.nypl.org/locations/schwarzman/jewish-division
Hebraic Section, Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE, Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 220,
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660 Phone: (202) 707-5422
Web site: http://www.loc.gov/rr/amed/hs/hshome.html
National Library of Israel
Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram, POB 39105 Jerusalem, Israel,
29, rue du Château-d'eau, 75010 Paris
Tél. : +33(0)1 47 00 14 00, Fax : +33(0)1 47 00 14 47
Web site: http://www.yiddishweb.com/medem/
Jewish Public Library, Montreal
1, carré Cummings Square (5151 Côte Ste-Catherine) Montréal, Quebec H3W 1M6
Phone: (514) 345-2627
Web site: http://www.jewishpubliclibrary.org