February 19, 2009
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- An archive of over 10,000 works of modern Yiddish literature has gone on-line.
The collection of full texts, comprising the National Yiddish Book Center's Steven Spielberg Digital Library, can be read, downloaded and printed free.
The project of putting 3 million pages online was undertaken by the Yiddish Book Center and the Internet Archive of San Francisco.
“It’s an historic moment for Yiddish culture,” said Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the nonprofit Yiddish Book Center. “The magnificent record of a civilization the Nazis sought to destroy has been brought fully into the 21st century.”
The collection includes original novels, stories, poetry, drama and nonfiction titles published in Yiddish over the past 150 years. Most out-of-print Yiddish works are already in the public domain.
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, said, “This is the first time a full literature of a people has been available online. We hope others follow the Yiddish Book Center’s pioneering example.”