YIVO and the Lost Jewish Library of Vilna

YIVO and the Lost Jewish Library of Vilna


Jan 21 2018
, 1PM- 2:30PM

Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture

Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 1:00pm

Speaker: Jonathan Brent, Executive Director and CEO of YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Included with Museum Admission – Get Tickets Now

Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats!

Chart from a rare 1886 edition of Itim le-vinah by Joseph ben Moses Aaron Ginzberg. From the YIVO Library (Strashun Library Collection). Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collections.

Join us as we learn about a collection of 170,000 pages saved from the Nazis and recently found in the basement of a Lithuanian church. The collection includes works by Yiddish novelist Chaim Grande, Sholem Aleichem, and Marc Chagall.

YIVO was founded in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925 as an institute for Jewish research. During World War II, its extensive Archive and Library were looted by the Nazis. Antanas Ulpis, a Lithuanian librarian, risked capture and death to rescue much of the library’s contents, hiding them in the basement of The Church of St. George in Vilnius, Lithuania. Rediscovered in 1988, these books and documents are known as YIVO’s “Vilna Collections,” and contain works by Chaim Grande (the Yiddish novelist), Sholem Aleichem, and Marc Chagall.

This past October, YIVO announced the discovery of even more materials saved from the Nazis–an immense new collection of documents, literary manuscripts, letters, diaries, religious works and communal registers.   Dr. Jonathan Brent will discuss the internationally acclaimed Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collections Project and the new discoveries, in the context of the recovery of Jewish identity and memory and building the Jewish future.

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