Friday, January 7, 2011

"Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" Museum Transliteration Project

The Museum is currently in the midst of a small project to transliterate (in this case exchange the Yiddish/Hebrew letters listed for the English) Zalmen Zylbercweig's six-volume "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre."

This is a bit of an undertaking as these volumes are rather large, but the project is at least halfway done. The names listed in volumes 3, 4 and 5 have been transliterated to date, and Volume 1 will be completed shortly.

Even though the transliterated names and associated page numbers for Volume 5 can be found on JewishGen by clicking here, the Museum's name listings are more complete. The Museum has corrected many errors and omissions that were found in the Volume 5 listing.

Also the Museum's own listings for each of the volumes, not only have surnames, given names and "alternate names" been included, but when listed, the individual's date of birth and death are given, as well as the town/city and country of their birth. The Museum has tried to use the YIVO orthographic standards in the spellings of the names, though there are no doubt errors here too.

You can now find Zylbercweig's six volumes online (for free) by clicking here. Simply search for these volumes by using the words "Leksikon fun Yidishn teater".

Also, not only are the actual page numbers listed for each entry as in the original Yiddish-language volume, but the pdf page number has been added too, so all you have to do is enter that page number where the individual's name (and most often photos) appears.

It might be interesting for those of you who have familial ties with European countries and towns to see what person associated with the Yiddish theatre in some way came from that town or city. It should be to no one's surprise that the towns/cities that are most associated with these many names are Warsaw, Lodz, Vilna and Lemberg(L'viv).

The Museum hopes to complete this project within the next two or three weeks. If you need any lookups, please let the Museum know by e-mail. Of course you might want to wait till the Museum is finished with all six volumes. I understand that Volume 7 has never been published, and that parts of it sit in various repositories, so it is unlikely that the Museum be able to transliterate the names in that volume unless the institution/person that has it makes it available.

The Museum is hoping to put this information, once completed, on a free, online searchable database.

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