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The History of the YIVO Library
Dec 11 2012

This program introduced to the public the fascinating history of the treasures of the YIVO Library and the often dramatic stories of their survival. 2012 year marks the 65th anniversary of the return of the YIVO and Strashun collections from Frankfurt am Main to YIVO's New York headquarters in 1947. The Nazis had looted the books in order to present them as part of the planned Nazi Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question. Speakers included outstanding scholars and historians who have done profound research about the library's collections. The evening included a digital presentation of the YIVO Library materials.

Jonathan Brent (YIVO Executive Director): Introductory Remarks

Lyudmila Sholokhova (YIVO Head Librarian): YIVO Library’s Treasures: Looking Forward into the Future

Cecile Kuznitz (Bard College): Dos zamlen: YIVO's Early Collection/Documentation Efforts

David Fishman (Jewish Theological Seminary): The History of the YIVO Library Collections During WWII

Zachary M. Baker (Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections and Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development, Stanford University Libraries): The Legacy of Mendl Elkin, the New York YIVO's First Librarian

Bella Hass Weinberg (St. John’s University):
· Organization of the YIVO Library Collections: Physical Arrangement, Classification Systems, and Cataloging Principles
· Recollections about Dina Abramowicz
The History of the YIVO Library Video

Zachary M. Baker is the Reinhard Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections, as well as the Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development - Humanities and Social Sciences, in the Stanford University Libraries. Previously he was Head Librarian of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where he started his career as a cataloger of Yiddish books. He has also served as Head of the Yiddish Department and Head of Technical Services at the Jewish Public Library of Montreal. He is a past president of the Association of Jewish Libraries and from 2004 to 2012 served as Editor of its peer-review journal, Judaica Librarianship. Among his publications, he has edited the following books: Yiddish Catalog of the YIVO Library (with Bella Hass Weinberg; G. K. Hall, 1990), Judaica in the Slavic Realm, Slavica in the Judaic Realm: Repositories, Collections, Projects, Publications (Haworth Information Press, 2003), and Ira Nowinski: The Photographer as Witness (Stanford University Libraries, 2004). He contributed two articles to the YIVO Encyclopedia.

David E. Fishman is professor of Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary, teaching courses in modern Jewish history. Dr. Fishman also serves as director of Project Judaica, a Jewish Studies program based in Moscow that is sponsored jointly by JTS and Russian State University for the Humanities. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the history and culture of East European Jewry, including Russia's First Modern Jews (New York University Press) and The Rise of Modern Yiddish Culture (Pittsburgh University Press). He is the coeditor (with Burton Visotzky) of From Mesopotamia to Modernity: Ten Introductions to Jewish History and Literature (Westview Press, 1999). For 15 years, Dr. Fishman was editor in chief of YIVO Bleter, the Yiddish-language scholarly journal of the YIVO Institute. A native New Yorker, David Fishman received his bachelor's degree from Yeshiva University and his master's degree and doctorate from Harvard. He has taught at Brandeis University, Bar Ilan University, Russian State University in Moscow, and Yeshiva University's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.

Cecile Kuznitz is Associate Professor of Jewish History and Director of Jewish Studies at Bard College. She received her Ph.D. in modern Jewish history from Stanford University and has held fellowships at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of several articles on the history of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the Jewish community of Vilna, and the field of Yiddish Studies. Her book, tentatively titled YIVO and The Making of Modern Jewish Scholarship, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

Lyudmila Sholokhova is the Head Librarian of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. She was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and received a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kiev in 2000 (Dissertation, The Formation and Development of Jewish Musical Folklore Studies in 20th Century Czarist Russia). Dr. Sholokhova has worked at YIVO since 2003 and became Head Librarian in 2011. As a librarian and research associate, she previously collaborated with the Hebraic Section of the Library of Congress and the Judaica Division of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine. She is the author of the catalog "Phonoarchive of Jewish Musical Heritage" (Kiev, 2001) and co-author of the multivolume edition of "Historical Collection of Jewish Musical Folklore 1912-1917" (Kiev, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 1997-).

Bella Hass Weinberg began her professional career as YIVO's Associate Librarian, with a master's degree in Library Science from Columbia University. After receiving her doctorate from Columbia, Dr. Weinberg served as consultant to YIVO while teaching in the Division of Library and Information Science at St. John's University, where she holds the rank of Full Professor. She was the founding editor of Judaica Librarianship: the journal of the Association of Jewish Libraries. Currently devoting most of her time to research, Dr. Weinberg focuses on the history of organizing information, specifically on Hebrew indexes. A past president of the American Society of Indexers, she compiled the hundred-page index to Max Weinreich's History of the Yiddish Language. Dr Weinberg also consults for a variety of organizations on indexing vocabularies, search interfaces, and information architecture.