YIVO Receives $260,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
May 16, 2016
New York, NY – The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) is pleased to announce that is a recipient of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the Vilna Collections Project, a seven-year initiative to preserve, digitize and virtually reunite YIVO’s prewar archives and library located in New York City and Vilnius, Lithuania, through a dedicated web portal.
The NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access has awarded $260,000 over two years for the processing, conservation and digitization of rare archival documents rescued from the destruction of the Holocaust. The materials, looted by the Nazis and recovered with the help of the U.S. Army, were brought to New York in the late 1940s. They are a diverse resource on Jewish life, community and culture in Europe. They span the range from handwritten autobiographies by Jewish youth and humble folktales and folk songs to the archives of scholars, such as that of Simon Dubnow, known as the father of Russian Jewish history. They include photographs, Yiddish theater and political posters and the administrative records of Yiddish and Hebrew schools and yeshivas.
As City University of New York historian Jack Jacobs noted in a letter of support for YIVO’s application to the NEH, “It is simply impossible to write a dissertation or do any serious research project related to Eastern European Jewry without consulting the YIVO materials.”
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