Page 122 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
The resources of the YIVO library in that area were used as a
basis for the work of the “Bibliographic Series” conducted by the
YIVO “Documentary Projects” in conjunction with Yad Vashem
in Jerusalem. There have been increasing contacts between YIVO
and the individual scholars as well as with research organizations
in Israel. The YIVO library is absorbing that portion of Israeli
literary output which is related to the field of its interests.
Summary and Conclusions
The present survey deals only with the library proper of the
YIVO. The division of archives which is a separate unit, contain-
ing unpublished materials, is of unique research value and re*
quires a study of its own.
This brief article points to a general characterization of the
YIVO library as a collection which covers the whole range of
Jewish subjects with special concentration on the East and Central
European Jewry, the Yiddish literature and linguistics, the im-
migrant experience and the Catastrophe. The bulk of its hold-
ings consists of materials already rare and unique. This is espe-
daily true of the East European materials which suffered heavy
losses during the war and are no longer available even in the
countries of their origin.
As a depository of historically valuable research materials, the
library is confronted with the urgent problem of preservation.
Most of its materials are fragile because of age and the wear and
tear to which they have been exposed. Some funds have been
made available to the library for microfilming of its periodical
collection, but considerably more is required to extend the preser-
vation operations to all areas.
Another overwhelming problem is that of space. Since the
nature of the collections does not permit any “weeding,” and since
new materials accumulate from current acquisitions and from
gifts of older material, the library is rapidy outgrowing its
quarters. Storage space outside the headquarters could be a pos-
sible solution if the financial means for such additional facilities
could be provided for in the library’s budget.