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Guide to the YIVO Archives Online Project

In 1998, YIVO and M.E. Sharpe published the Guide to the YIVO Archives, edited by Fruma Mohrer and Marek Web, which provided descriptions of over 1,200 collections in the YIVO Archives and an index which enabled searches on names, places, and topical subject terms. It was the first such publication in the long history of the YIVO Archives.

Fifteen years later, thanks to a generous grant awarded to YIVO in 2010 by the Kronhill Pletka Foundation, this catalog was enlarged , adapted and improved for the digital age. Thanks to a second generous grant from the Kronhill Pletka Foundation, received in 2012, an additional 30 collections were processed and their descriptions added to the web site.

The new Online Guide builds on what was available in the printed Guide by offering information on several hundred additional YIVO collections, as well as detailed finding aids to selected collections. The sophisticated search engine of its state-of-the-art archival software platform, Archon, offers users worldwide a powerful research tool, permitting simultaneous searching on multiple terms. The individual collections have been indexed by subject term and country. The web site allows researchers to browse all the collections at once by collection title, or to search more narrowly by research subject or keyword.

While the first edition of the Guide to the YIVO Archives included descriptions of more than 1,200 collections, the current web site has expanded to include titles and descriptions of more than 1,800 collections. In 2013, five photographic databases were added to the web site.

The Online Guide is a living catalog, which YIVO will continue to update with newly cataloged and newly acquired collections, as well as enhanced descriptions of collections and comprehensive finding aids, as they are produced, encoded, and become available.

It is envisioned, as the next phase of this project, that the Online Guide will also serve as a portal to digitized YIVO photographs, documents, films, sound recordings, and other material, which will be provided as links from the collection-level records or finding aids of their respective collections.

Note: The Online Guide to the YIVO Archives does not provide access to books and periodicals held by the YIVO Library. For access to library holdings, please consult the Online Public Access Catalog of the Center for Jewish History or contact Lyudmila Sholokhova, Head Librarian at lsholokhova@yivo.cjh.org.

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