Page 117 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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A b r a m o w i c z
—YIVO
L i b r a r y
Literature on the Jews in Russia
Materials on Jews in Eastern and Central Europe are an im-
portant component of the YIVO collections. To the student of
Jewish history in Russia the library can offer such rare publica-
tions of source materials as
The Acts A bou t the Jews,
published
as volumes 28 and 29 of the “Acts” by the Vilna Commission for
the Research of Historical Documents (Vilna, 1902), as well
as
The Russo-Jewish Archives
and
The L ithuan ian Jews
by
S.A. Bershadskii. The vexing question of Jewish civil rights in
Russia is reflected in numerous compilations of laws concerning
the Jews, like V.O. Levanda’s (1874), I.G. Orshanski’s (1877), an
anonymous “List of Laws Limiting the Jews” (1890), the later
collections by M.I. Mysh (1904) and J.U. Gimpelson (1914). Im-
portant data on the economic and demographic situation of the
Jews in Russia are contained in the
Collection of Materials on
the Economic S ituation of the Jews in Russia
published by the
Jewish Colonization Association (St. Petersburg, 1904, 2 vols.)
and the volumes of the
First Census of the Russian Empire
(1897).
The library possesses a number of memoranda on the Jewish
question prepared for government and legislative bodies, the so-
called “zapiski” (by G. Margulis, 1881, A.P. Subbotin, 1905,
Julius Gessen, 1906, and M. Vinaver, 1915), as well as a great
number of non-official enunciations on the subject by individuals.
A meeting of Jewish communal leaders took place in Kovno on
November 19-22, 1909. The stenographic record of its proceed■
ings is of unique value, as it reflects various trends and tensions
within the Jewish community. At the same time it presented a
unified front to the outside world, determined to “raise a voice
full of despair and sorrow to reach the heart of the great Russian
people.”16 Of the same period is the “Declaration of the Rabbis
of Russia” (St. Petersburg, 1911), signed by hundreds of rabbis
throughout Russia, in refutation of the blood accusation. The
library has also a stenographic report of the famous Beylis trial,
as well as the memoirs of Gruzenberg and Beylis. There are books
and pamphlets by notorious Russian anti-Semites, as well as the
enunciations of great Russian writers on behalf of the Jews. Of
great importance is the collection of periodicals and newspapers
published in and outside of Russia by Jewish refugees who fled
the country during the pogroms and revolutions. I t covers the
period from 1860, when
Hakarmel
and
Razsvet
were published,
to the present; it extends from Odessa and Vilna to Harbin in
China where the last issue of
The Jewish L ife
(formerly
Siberia-
Palestine)
was published in 1939.
M
Soveshchanie evreiskikh obshechestvennykh d e ia te le i v K ovn e
. . . St.
Peterburg, 1910, p. 128 (Speech of Dr. Jacob Wygodzki, delegate from V ilna).