Preface / Ruth R. Wisse
Introduction / Goldie Sigal
The Collection
Historical Background
Joe Fishtein and his Milieu
The Yiddish Language
Soviet Orthography
The Flowering of Yiddish Literature
The Catalogue
The Indices
Archival Items in the Collection
Technical Aspects
Table of Name Equivalents

The Catalogue Entries
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(Author, Title, Illustrator, Periodical, Series)


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Archival Items in the Collection

In addition to the published works described in this Catalogue, there are a number of archival and ephemeral materials in Joe Fishstein's legacy, some of which offer a vivid glimpse of aspects of working-class and middle-class life in the early twentieth century. As such, they form primary sources both for Jewish and non-Jewish early twentieth century historical and sociological research.

A large envelope, of possible interest to historians of the Labour Movement in America, contains memorabilia from Fishstein's years in the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, including election sheets listing the tally of votes by specialty, e.g., Pleaters, Tuckers, and so on. There are several large, thick albums containing postcards of the time, which were often issued in series. Generally produced in Central or Eastern Europe and the United States, some of these consist of portraits of authors (often studio photographs) - both Jewish and non-Jewish - and other world figures. Some depict sentimental scenes and other subjects popular in the early decades of the twentieth century. There is a scrapbook into which caricatures and other humorous material from Yiddish newspapers have been pasted. Fishstein was also a collector of book reviews and other material which he clipped and inserted into relevant volumes. There are several charming artifacts made by Fishstein in the Collection, including an intriguing wooden plaque dedicated to the klasiker, the "Fathers" of modern Yiddish literature: Mendele Mokher Sefarim, Sholem Aleichem and Isaac Loeb Peretz. It is artfully composed, designed with symbolic material, and adorned with metal buttons and other materials found in the garment trade.

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Goldie Sigal
Jewish Studies Librarian
McGill University Libraries