Note from the Project Manager:
After three years of travail, A Garment Worker's Legacy: The Joe Fishstein Collection of Yiddish Poetry is now online. This project began in the summer of 1998. The original plan was to create, quickly, a virtual copy of Goldie Sigal's physical exhibit that was launched in January of the same year. The exhibition coincided with the launch of A Garment Worker's Legacy: The Joe Fishstein Collection of Yiddish Poetry (Fontanus Monograph Series XI, McGill University Libraries, 1998). For a number of reasons, work on the project was slow and sporadic, largely due to lack of funding. It was not until June 2000 that the Digital Collections Program received a modest grant to hire a web designer to create the Joe Fishstein web interface. One of the conditions of the grant was that we mount the printed catalogue online as part of the infrastructure of the site. Although all of the items in the Fishstein Collection are catalogued and accessible in the McGill University Libraries' online catalogue, we undertook the task and now provide enhanced access to the rich contents of the catalogue. Users may search or browse the 2223 records in ways that are impossible in the online catalogue. As well, users can view the enriched virtual exhibit based on Goldie Sigal's 1998 physical exhibit. The virtual exhibit includes over 800 images highlighting the striking visual character and international breadth of the collection.
Despite the sometimes lengthy delays that prevented this project from being completed at an earlier date, the spirit of the project is best symbolized by the dedication of Goldie Sigal, both as the bibliographer/compiler and exhibition curator. She has dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours assisting and guiding the project team in the preparation of this web site. The current staff of the Digital Collections Program deserve special mention, including Elizabeth Thomson, the Program's Web Developer who is responsible for programming the web site, and Eli Brown who has worked over three successive summers to assist Goldie in the preparation of the images that you see on the web site. Finally, a word of thanks to Zeenat Insaf, the Program's former web designer, who has created a superb interface to the Fishstein web site.
The project was funded in part by a grant from the McGill University Internal SSHRC Program.