As part of the launch of a new digitization project, an exhibition called “Yiddish at Columbia” will be on display in the Chang Octagon Gallery in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library from March 5 – June 15, 2018.
The Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry is a two-year project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. It include digitization of approximately 140,000 pages of interview documents containing data from the interviews.
Curator Michelle Chesner says, “The [Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry] archive is an extraordinary resource for research in Yiddish studies that can shed much valuable light on language, ethnography, literature, folklore and music, anthropology, linguistics, Germanic and Slavic studies, and aspects of Central and East European history. The archive consists of over 600 interviews conducted between 1959 and 1972 with native speakers of Yiddish during a long-range comparative study to document the effects of physical, linguistic, and cultural channels and barriers on the geographic fragmentation of the Jewish and diverse non-Jewish populations that coexisted in Central and Eastern Europe before World War II.”
You can read more about the project and website on the library’s Jewish Studies blog.