Nokhem Shtif
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Brief Description:

The collection consists of correspondence of a personal and professional nature, research papers, typed and handwritten manuscripts, transcripts of articles, memoirs of writers, newspaper clippings, research works by other scholars, Sifrei Musar (religious morality books), bibliographic and autobiographic notes that were later used for Zalman Reisen’s Leksikon fun der yidisher literatur prese un filologye (Lexicon of Yiddish Literature, Press, and Linguistics), Vilna, and materials pertaining to the Kiev-based Institute for Proletarian Yiddish Culture and other Soviet academic institutions with which Shtif was affiliated, including teaching materials, Yiddish language lesson plans, reports, minutes, and course lectures.

The bulk of the materials in the collection pertain to Yiddish language, philology, stylistics, and literature, Yiddish research activities in the Soviet Union, and Jewish cultural history.

The collection consists of 1 foot 5 inches and dates from 1910-1933. The materials are mostly in Yiddish, although there is some Russian, German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Hebrew.

The papers most likely derive from the Kiev Institute for Proletarian Yiddish Culture, where Shtif directed the Institute’s philological section. The Institute was ransacked in 1942-1943 by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, a Nazi unit involved in looting Jewish cultural property in the occupied countries. The looted property was then sent to Germany. After the war, looted Jewish materials were placed in the Offenbach archival depot by the U.S. Army. During this movement, Shtif’s papers were mixed with archival materials that belonged to YIVO prior to World War II. The YIVO in New York recovered this and other collections in 1947.

The Shtif papers were originally part of the materials arranged as RG 3, Collection of Yiddish Literature and Language, by Ezekiel Lifschutz, ca. 1950, who also created a finding aid in Yiddish. RG 3 is arranged as a reference collection in which documents from various individual collections that refer to Yiddish writers are assembled in folders according to the writer’s name. In 2007-2008 the finding aid for RG 3 was translated into English by Chava Lapin and edited by Rivka Schiller.

Held at:
YIVO Online Guide
Record Series Number: RG 57/RG 57
Volume: 0.0
Arrangement: The collection was formerly part of Record Group 3, from which it was extracted to form a separate record group, RG 57. The folder arrangement was maintained. RG 3 is a segment of a larger block of the Vilna YIVO records within which all folders are numbered consecutively. Record Group 3 begins at folder 1701 and continues through folder 3402, within which the folders of RG 57 are numbered from 3022-3080. The folders have also been renumbered, starting at #1, so that each folder has two numbers. The Shtif materials are arranged in one series, primarily by topic.
Subject Index
Soviet Union
Yiddish Language and Linguistics
Yiddish secular movement
Languages of Materials
Finding Aid Revisions: 2012/06/08 ; 2012/08/13 ; RCS
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