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
Search the Catalogue
Browse by Topic
Browse by Index
(Author, Title, Illustrator, Periodical, Series)


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The Indices

It may be interesting to browse through the Catalogue to get a feeling of its scope. To locate specific names or titles, however, use of the Indices as summarized in the Finding Guide (p.xlvii) is strongly recommended. Access to names and titles has been provided by the Author, Illustrator, Title, Periodical, and Series Indices. The names of editors, translators and affiliated corporate bodies are included in the Author Index. It should be noted that only "distinctive" titles are included in the Title Index; titles that contain non- distinctive titles like Lider (Poems), or Oysgeveylte shriftn (Selected Works) are not listed.

There is no separate subject index, as such, in this Catalogue; access to subjects has been provided by the headings listed in the Table of Contents, which generally reflect the subject analysis offered by the LC classification scheme. If an author or illustrator is the subject of a book, his or her name will generally be found in the Author or Illustrator Index.

Despite the care that has gone into compiling the Indices, they are, unfortunately, not exhaustive. Because of practical limitations and cataloguing rules, they may not include all the authors and illustrators found in general works or in collections, or all the individual titles listed in the complete works of a prolific author. It was also unfeasible to index the many book review clippings Fishstein inserted into his books. The reviews remain in situ, however, and, when present, are mentioned in the note section of an entry.

Attention should be drawn to the presence of two features not usually found in library catalogues of this nature. One is the Illustrator Index, and the other is the Table of Name Equivalents.

The Illustrator Index constitutes a primary source for researchers in both Jewish and general history of illustration in the first part of the twentieth century. Many of the volumes are enhanced by beautiful graphic design, and illustrations by over 400 artists, some of whom were also to make a name for themselves outside the Jewish world. The names of most of these artists can be traced with the help of the Illustrator Index. A footnote to this Index refers the reader to a supplementary list of entries which contain or discuss work of illustrators whose names could not be included in a catalogue entry because of space limitations.

Several authors were also illustrators, like Moshe Leib Halpern [#1360]. Many artists shared a similar background with Yiddish poets, as Benjamin and Barbara Harshav have pointed out in American Yiddish Poetry, and their art often formed striking parallels to the poetry of their colleagues (1986, p.62).

Table of Name Equivalents. This Table provides a list of names in the original Hebrew characters in which Yiddish is actually written, and links those names to their Roman (Latin) alphabet equivalents used in the Author and Illustrator Indices. The indexed Roman alphabet names are generally "authoritative" LC name headings, which have been chosen according to a complex set of hierarchical rules. Since the name headings generally derive from English language reference sources, and seldom reflect the systematic romanization of the original Yiddish, the Table of Name Equivalents should make the use of the Indices a less frustrating task for Yiddish readers.

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Goldie Sigal
Jewish Studies Librarian
McGill University Libraries