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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Polish-Jewish Studies

The guide serves as an introduction to Polish-Jewish studies and draws on Polish and Jewish studies collections of the UIUC Library.

Published Primary Sources

Guides to Archival Collections of Primary Sources

Guide to the YIVO Archives (1998) - Compiled and edited by Fruma Mohrer and Marek Web
ISBN: 0765601303
A finding aid to the YIVO Archives, focusing on Eastern European Jews and Judaism. The archive was founded in 1925 in Vilna, Poland (now Lithuania) and is now headquartered in New York. It contains 23,000,000 items, including manuscripts, documents, photographs, sound recordings, art works, films, posters, sheet music, and other artifacts. This guide is organized alphabetically by collection name and includes a brief description of each collection.

Guide to the Sources for the History of the Jews in Poland in the Central Archives (1988) -  Compiled by A. Teller.
This guide to primary sources held by the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is organized geographically. It includes material collected by the Archives in Europe since the 1940s, as well as microfilmed material (primarily from Polish state archives). The Archives’ website also allows one to search holdings, but warns that the listings are partial. 149pp.

Memorial Volumes to Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust: A Bibliography of British Library Holdings (2004) - Ilana Tahan 
Call Number: 016.9405318 T13m
ISBN: 0712348204
Syndetics: “This fully indexed bibliography brings together for the very first time some 300 memorial books drawn mainly from the wide ranging Hebrew collection of the British Library. In the main sequence of the work, entries are arranged in place name order and each includes a copious bibliographic description and references to relevant sources. The titles of individual books appear both in Hebrew script and Roman transliteration. An essential reference aid to research libraries and students concerned with Jewish history and genealogy.”

Jewish Roots in Poland: Pages From the Past and Archival Inventories (1997) - Miriam Weiner
Call Number: 943.8004924 W431j
ISBN: 9780965650809
This guide is aimed at those interested in genealogical research and local history. Published by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in cooperation with the Polish State Archives, it provides overviews of the collections of major archives in Poland, including the Polish State Archives, Urzad Stanu Cywilnego Offices, the Jewish Historical Institute, and the Concentration Camp Archives, as well as a lengthy listing of archives by town and useful entries on 28 cities with information about local sites and selected sources. Nicely designed with many color photographs, it would be especially useful for anyone interested in doing archival research in Poland. [Would this and the next actually go under an archives/primary sources tab?]

Ringelblum Archive

Jewish Memorial Books

From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry (1998) - Jack Kugelmass and Jonathan Boyarin
Call Number: 305.8924 F925:E1998
ISBN: 0253333946
This second edition updates the 1983 edition, which “cause[d] an entirely new genre of studies to open up” by collecting and translating excerpts from over 70 Jewish memorial (yizkor) books from Poland, most of them originally in Yiddish or Hebrew, which capture everyday Jewish life before the war. In addition to an extensive and revised introduction, “The 1998 edition contains four new chapters and a revised bibliography by Zachary Baker, the head librarian at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. [...] This extensive bibliography, along with the geographical index and gazetteer, make this book an indispensable source of information on Eastern European communities.” (Shofar vol. 18, issue 2)

Memorial Books of Eastern European Jewry: Essays on the History and Meanings of Yizker Volumes (2011) - edited by Rosemary Horowitz 
Call Number: 940.5318 M51941
ISBN: 9780786441990 
This edited collection includes useful overviews of Yizker books and their history, as well as eight analytical essays that either take Yizker books as their subject or draw on them as evidence. Perhaps most useful for the researcher are the five reprinted review essays (some translated from Yiddish) that provide a valuable guide to other Yizker books, as well a bibliography of Yizker-focused reference books and a survey of library collections of Yizker books.

Tam był kiedyś mój dom-- : księgi pamięci gmin żydowskich / My home used to be there-- : memorial books of Jewish communities - Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska, Adam Kopciowski, Andrzej Trzciński
Call Number: 305.89240438 T15
ISBN: 9788322729779
This is an extensive Polish language resource on Jewish Memorial Books. Taken from the summary, “The present book is an anthology of more than 160 texts from approximately eighty Jewish memorial books.” “Although some of them concern whole regions, e.g. Galicia, Podlasie or Zaglembie, or even whole countries, memorial books are usually devoted to Jewish communities in concrete cities and towns.” Memorial book books consist typically of three parts concerning the history of a community before, during, and after the Holocaust. Special note should be made to the book’s immense and detailed bibliography, which organizes sources by region and town. In cases of towns that today no longer exist within the post WWII borders of Poland, information of the town’s pre-war and post-war names, regions, and nationalities are included.

Zagłada Biłgoraja Księga pamięci : materiały zebrane przez Abrahama Kronenberga - Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska, Andrzej Trzciński i Marzena Zawanowska
Call Number: 305.89240438 Z132
A Polish language resource on Jewish Memorial Books.

Księga pamięci żydowskiego Lublina / wstęp, wybór i oprac. - Adam Kopciowski
Call Number: 305.892404384 K949
ISBN: 9788322732946
A Polish language resource concerning the Jewish memorial books of Lublin, Poland. From the summary: “The present publication consists of two main parts. In the first one the wide context of creating the Lublin memorial book is presented, including the history of Lublin Jews in the first years after World War II, an outline of activities of Lublin landsmanshaftns in France, Israel, Poland and the United States, the process of creating the book, and presentation of tis contents” The second part contains a selection of more than thirty translations of the most important and most interesting texts from the Lublin memorial book” these contents include the Lublin memorial book’s table of contents, introduction, history of early Jewish settlement in Lublin until WWII, testimonies and articles accounting the destruction of Lublin’s Jews, the early post-war period, and an obituaries of Lublin’s Jewish population.