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Sephardic Editions, 1550-1820: Installment 3
Spanish and Portuguese books written and/or published by Sephardic Jews of Early Modern Europe

Library of Jewish heritage
The present selection reflects the impressive cultural achievements of these "New Jews" and former conversos, who are also called Western Sephardim. In communities such as Ferrara, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and Bayonne, these Iberians - who had been raised as Catholics, and were largely unaware of Hebrew and formal Judaism - reconnected with their ancestral faith through the creation of an authentic library of Jewish heritage in the Spanish and the Portuguese language.

Modern Jews
Numerous Bibles, prayer books, and a whole range of works on the essentials of Judaism and the duties of a Jew were published in the vernacular. However, book-printing was not limited to re-education in Judaism alone; many of the works written or printed by the former conversos also reflect the broad cultural interest, and the academic background, they had brought with them from Spain and Portugal. Precisely the encounter between Iberian Renaissance culture and the rediscovered Judaism in environments such as the cosmopolitan, tolerant city of Amsterdam, turned these Western Sephardim into the first "modern Jews," as is exemplified by the life and works of such eminent figures as Uriel da Costa, Menasseh ben Israel, and Joseph Penso de la Vega.

Most influential works
This selection comprises the most influential works written or printed by the Iberian Jews in the major centers of the Western Sephardi Diaspora (e.g., the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, England); it includes all genres and reflects both their religious and their secular culture. Many of the editions included in Meyer Kayserling's bibliography are exceedingly rare and are available only in specialized collections of Judaica. The aim of the present selection is to make the Sephardi heritage generally available in order to meet the needs of modern scholarship.

Harm den Boer, University of Amsterdam

Various Authors & Editors

Various Authors & Editors

Various Authors & Editors

Various Authors & Editors

Karaite Printing
Rare publications from the 16th century until World War I

The Karaites are the oldest living Jewish sect, distinguished by their Biblicism and general rejection of the Talmud and rabbinic oral law. Originating in Babylonia in the eighth century, various dissident groups coalesced into a more or less unified sect by the end of the ninth century. The Karaites flourished in Jerusalem in the tenth and eleventh centuries and for a time posed a serious threat to rabbinic hegemony. The most important late medieval communities were in Egypt and Byzantium. The Byzantine community was established in the late tenth century but grew dramatically in the twelfth century after the fall of Jerusalem to the Crusaders in 1099. From Byzantium, the Karaites gradually moved on into Eastern Europe following the paths of the major trade routes to the Baltic Sea. Major communities during the late Middle-Ages and the early modern periods were established in Crimea, Galicia, and Lithuania. The introduction of the printing press and the mass production of books using movable type seem to have had little impact on this insular community. For several centuries only a handful of Karaite works were printed and these by non-Karaite publishers. It was not until the 18th century that the first Karaite press was established, in Chufut-Kale, only managing to produce an edition of the Karaite liturgy before closing down. In 1804 another press was established in Chufut-Kale, but it too was short-lived and its output limited. It was not until 1833 that a longlasting Karaite press was established, this time in Eupatoria. This was a time when the Karaite community in Eastern Europe was asserting its independence and forging a new identity separate from that of the Jewish community. The press in Eupatoria produced a steady stream of important Karaite works for over thirty years, before closing in 1867. During the remaining part of the century Karaite works were published by Rabbanite presses in Vilna, Vienna and Odessa. In 1894 the Karaite press was revived in Eupatoria and functioned until the outbreak of the First World War.

The Collection
Karaite works were produced in small print runs and are therefore very scarce. Many of the more obscure items can only be found in the libraries of the Former Soviet Union, in other major Judaica libraries in Israel, Europe or the United States, or in private collections. IDC’s staff combed the holdings of the major depositories of Karaite works and put together a comprehensive collection of Karaite published works, comprising the bulk of the publishing output of this community until the early twentieth century. These works, which include prayer books, biblical commentaries, philosophical works, halakhic treatises, works on astronomy and the calendar, textbooks and works of general interest published to educate the Karaite reader, offer a unique opportunity to explore the intellectual and spiritual world of this important but somewhat neglected sect. In recent years, since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the opening of the great Soviet libraries to scholars form the West, much interest has been generated by the vast manuscript collections in St. Petersburg and Moscow which hold many Karaite works as yet unpublished. This collection offers the reader an almost complete view of what the Karaites were reading in the nineteenth century, or at least of what the leaders of the community thought their members should be reading.

This collection should be of interest to scholars of sectarianism, Karaism, History of Judaism, and East European Jewish History.

The works have been filmed in the following libraries:
Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam; British Library, London; Ets Haim Livraria Montezinos, Amsterdam; Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati; Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem; Russian National Library, St Petersburg; Russian State Library - Oriental Centre, Moscow
Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic Printing in Baghdad
Rare Printed Books from the Valmadonna Trust Library, London

Printing in Baghdad
The Hebrew press in Baghdad was one of the last Hebrew presses established in the Orient. In the 1860s a journal and a few books were produced by lithography, among them Masa'ot shel Rabi Binyamin [the medieval travelogue of Benjamin of Tudela], one of the lengthiest lithographic books ever printed in Hebrew. Before 1870, movable Hebrew type was introduced by a printer trained in Bombay, and Baghdad became the most prolific center of Hebrew printing in the Orient after Jerusalem and Istanbul. Over the course of 75 years, the Hebrew printers of Baghdad issued over 400 books and pamphlets.

Early printers
Most active of the early printers was the scholar and entrepreneur Solomon Bekhor Hutsin (1843-1892), who began as a bookseller. (Hutsin's catalogue of 1872 was the first Hebrew bookseller's catalogue printed anywhere in the Orient.) In 1888 Hutsin launched a new press using type from Leghorn, Italy, an international center of Hebrew printing. Hutsin's more than 70 books, which stand out in aesthetic and content from those of his predecessors, include liturgical works for local use, some older Baghdadi writings, and reprints of Hebrew books first issued in India and Europe.

Dangoor printing house
With permission of the Sultan, a new Hebrew printing house was established in 1904 by Ezra Reuben Dangoor (1848-1930), a native of Baghdad who had served as rabbi of Rangoon in Burma. Dangoor, who also used presses and type imported from Europe, was the most productive of the Baghdad printers, issuing over 100 books largely edited by himself. During the British Mandate, several new Hebrew presses were established, notably El Wataniyah Israiliyah, and the press of Elisha Shohet which functioned until 1940. A small number of Hebrew and Judeo- Arabic books were printed during and after the War.

Special liturgies
The Hebrew printing at Baghdad covers a limited range of traditional Jewish literature, especially hagiographies and liturgical texts, perhaps the widest variety of special liturgies ever issued in a single Hebrew printing center. The Baghdad imprints also comprise a rich resource for Hebrew liturgical poetry and related poetic compositions ( piyutim), which are often incorporated in non-liturgical works. There are many editions of the Mishnaic treatise Avot and of the Passover Hagadah, most with Judeo-Arabic sharh.
Works printed at Baghdad are almost all of Iraqi or oriental authorship. Local authors include the rabbinic scholars Joseph al-Hakam, Abdallah Somekh, and Solomon Twena, who later settled in India and founded a press at Calcutta where he printed over 70 books. A few works of Ashkenazic origin include segulot by a Hungarian rabbi and two ethical tracts by Lithuanian maskilim, reprinted from European editions. The many secular works include communal regulations, fables, Hebrew language texts, calendrical treatises, eulogies, as well as historical writings and storybooks, mostly in Judeo-Arabic, among them extracts from the Arabian Nights, tales of Sindbad the sailor, and an account of the House of Rothschild.

Baghdad was one of several dozen towns where Judeo-Arabic was printed, and the most important center of Judeo- Arabic printing after Tunis. Aside from books entirely in Hebrew, a large proportion of the Hebrew-titled books contain some text in Judeo-Arabic. Over 75 of the Hebrew-character books are entirely in Judeo-Arabic, or explicitly in Arabic in Hebrew characters. The Hebrew books are printed in either square or 'Rashi' (cursive) characters, but the Judeo- Arabic books are almost all in square characters, in a few cases with vowel points, useful for pronunciation of Baghdadi Judeo-Arabic. One Judeo- Arabic book was sponsored by a woman. Aside from books in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, there are several Aramaic targums and the Zoharic Idra zuta and Idra raba. There is one edition of the Passover Hagadah with Judeo- Persian translation.

Ornament and Format
Like other Hebrew books from the Orient, those printed at Baghdad bear minimal ornamentation. Among ornamental devices are a bird on a tree, a basket of flowers and fruit, a cluster of grapes, and the royal Turkish arms. A few woodcut illustrations include a man blessing wine, a sailboat, a table laden with fruits and vegetables. One volume displays the smoke and smokestack of a locomotive, a symbol of the railroad linking Baghdad with other parts of the Ottoman Empire. A few books contain portraits of the authors (one of the printer Dangoor), uncommon in Hebrew books. Some books make use of colored inks, gold or red. The title pages of Baghdad imprints are often printed only as paper covers, sometimes on colored paper. Many books were printed without title pages, imitating manuscripts.
Most of the imprints are small books, both in length and in physical dimensions. About half are octavos, most of the rest duodecimos or sextodecimos; there are few folios or quartos. The largest book is the two-part legal compendium Zivhe Tsedek, printed by Joshua Hutsin in 1904. Two of the most curious of the Baghdad imprints are scrolls, among the few instances in Hebrew booklore of printed Esther scrolls, once prohibited by the rabbis.

The Sassoon Collection and the Valmadonna Library
The Valmadonna Trust Library, housed in London, is the world's foremost private collection of early and rare Hebraica, especially printed books from Italy, Ottoman Greece, Turkey and Palestine, India, and Baghdad. In 1999 the Trust acquired the remaining rarities from the celebrated library of the Anglo-Jewish bibliophile D. S. Sassoon (1880-1942), whose oriental Hebrew manuscripts and books included the rich corpus of Hebrew printing in Baghdad. The books in the Sassoon collection, together with those in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem as of 1940, served as the basis for Yaari's Hebrew Printing in the East.
The Valmadonna Library holds the largest research collection in the world of Hebrew printing from Baghdad, including nearly 50 previously unrecorded titles and many unica, unique surviving copies. Altogether the Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic books from Baghdad comprise an unparalleled resource for the study of oriental printing, Hebrew liturgical history, Judeo-Arabic literature, and the history and culture of the most ancient Jewish Diaspora community. All of these bibliographic treasures are reproduced here for the first time.

Brad Sabin Hill, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York

Edited by Boris Belenkin

Anti-Semitism and Nationalism at the End of the Soviet Era

Over a thousand pieces of material evidence (leaflets, newspapers, posters, documents, photographs) documenting anti-Semitism and nationalism in the Soviet Union.
An Experiment to Create a Soviet Jewish Homeland

Birobidzhan Collection at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
The Yivo library and Archives possess a unique collection of printed and archival materials about the Jewish Autonomous region in the former Soviet Union commonly known as Birobidzhan, the region's capital city.

The Birobidzhan experiment was an exotic and controversial attempt to establish a socialist Jewish homeland in the Russian Far East. Birobidzhan still exists today as a remnant of the Communist Party's effort to create a territorial enclave where a secular Jewish community rooted in Yiddish and socialist principles would serve as an alternative to Palestine. The experiment in Jewish territorialization appealed to many Soviet and foreign Jews who desired to build a national Jewish territory dedicated to the building of socialism in the Soviet Union.

In December 1927, after lengthy and often heated debates, and after several years of "lobbying" by Jewish political activists, the Soviet government decided to create a national territory for Soviet Jews along the Sino-Soviet border, which comprised 36.000 square kilometers with 11.000 inhabitants, mostly Russians. In March 1928 the first Jewish settlers arrived in the area and began constructing the new Soviet Jewish homeland, officially known as the Jewish Autonomous Region (J.A.R.) since 1934. The main goal of the Birobidzhan project was the "productivization" of Soviet Jewry by encouraging Jews to become farmers and workers. In addition, the Kremlin intended for Birobidzhan to reflect the socialist aspirations of the Jewish people whose national language was Yiddish. During Birobidzhan's first decade of existence, Yiddish did play a significant role in the life of the region, though it cannot be denied that the Jewish content of Yiddish materials was diluted. Gradually, the role of Yiddish diminished, and the expression of Jewish national consciousness among Jewish inhabitants of the J.A.R. was limited to the designation of Evrei (Jew) in their internal passport.

Leftwing Jews throughout the world hailed the decision to establish the J.A.R. This support led to the formation of various organizations whose purpose was to promote the Birobidzhan project by collecting money and publicizing its existence in various forms. During the 1930s and 1940s, such important cultural figures as Albert Einstein and Marc Chagall were among the scores of prominent Jews who welcomed the creation of the J.A.R.

The collection at YIVO represents both pro and anti-Birobidzhan sympathies. It main be divided into following categories:
• Periodicals, books and pamphlets from the Soviet Union.
• Periodicals, books and pamphlets from abroad.
• Archival materials of the pro-Soviet organizations "ICOR" and "Ambijan"* (USA)
• Archival materials from Birobidzhan and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
• Art albums, posters, slides, videos.

The collection includes more than 30 periodicals published from the late 1920s through late 1940s in the Soviet Union, Poland, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay and South Africa.

Among the most interesting publications of the 1930s-1940s is the monthly magazine Naylebn (New Life), the official organ of the pro-Soviet Jewish organization ICOR ( Idishe kolonizatsya organizatsye, Association for Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union). This monthly publication was issued on an excellent quality paper in Yiddish and English from 1928 to 1935 under the title Icor, and from 1935 to 1950 as Naylebn. The magazine features articles, photos, literary works, including poetry, fiction, humor, satire and other materials covering virtually all aspects of life in the Jewish Autonomous region. Browsing the pages of " Naylebn" we can trace the lives of American families who immigrated to Birobidzhan before 1937 and remained there. We can also vividly see how the propaganda apparatus of Icor worked praising even the tiniest achievements of the J.A.R. on the one hand (for instance, the day of establishment of the J.A.R. was pronounced on the pages of Naylebn as the greatest event in the Jewish history), and, on the other hand, neglecting crucial happenings, such as repressions and dismantling of Yiddish culture. The magazine aggressively defended any attempt of the " Forverts" to write negative information about Birobidzhan. On the pages of the " Forverts", on the contrary, one can find numerous articles about Birobidzhan as well, with emphasis on its problems and impossibility to become a genuine center for Jewish life. There we can encounter many personal revelations of miserable existence of Jews who decided to connect their destiny with the Soviet Zion. Any article of this sort was immediately counterattacked by " Naylebn" and occasionally by the Communist daily " Morgn Frayhayt", which in it’s turn wrote numerous materials about Birobidzhan "achievements". In unison with aforementioned pro-Soviet periodicals from the Unite States the Birobidzhan myth was propagandized and advertised by the following publications:
" Unzer veg", [1935-1936 the years reflect YIVO holdings]; " Gezerd" [1932] (Antwerp); Iberboy [1936] (Brussels); Der Idisher poyer [1928, 1930], Nay- erd [1933-1934], Prokor [1927], Heymland [1949](Buenos Aires); Gezerd vort [1932-1934] (Johannesburg); Naylebn [1936] (London); Prokor-buletin [1932], Birobidzshan [1948-1950] (Montevideo); Ikor yor-bukh [1932, 1933, 1936], Ikor-bazar [1938-1930], Ikor almanakh [1943], Ambijan Bulletin [1946-1949; in English] (New York); Gezerd-tribune [1936] (Paris); Nayerd [1930-1934] (Riga); Iberboy [1933-1935] (Warsaw).

Books and booklets
The Birobidzhan collection also contains more than 150 books and booklets published from 1927 to nowadays in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Most are in Yiddish, Russian and English. Besides clearly propagandistic works published in the 1930s there are some serious works that objectively analyze the experiment. Among them the closest attention require the following works:
• Sadan, Dov. Der emes vegn der Yevsektsye un Birobidzshan. Buenos Aires, 1935.
• Fink, Viktor. Evrei v taige. Moscow, 1930.
• Yosef. "M’antloyft" fun Erets-Yisroel, men "loyft keyn" Birobidzshan. Tel Aviv, 1932
• Jewish National Fund. Der emes vegn der Yevsektsye un Birobidzshan. Jerusalem, 1933.
• Ronkin, Jizchak . Birobidjan-Palaestina. Prague, 1937

Wall Newspapers
A unique possession of the YIVO archives is a set of almost 100 wall newspapers from Birobidzhan. Handwritten or typed, this 1933 set was a supplement to the local newspaper Birobidzhaner Shtern. It is the only one of its kind in the world. These newspapers will enable researchers to learn more about the lives of Jewish pioneers of Birobidzhan. On the pages of the wall newspapers there may be found more critical materials than in the official Birobidzhaner Shtern, which was, in a way, as any official newspaper, a translated version of Pravda.

Works of Art
YIVO also owns two art albums, A matoneh tsu Biro-Bidjan = A gift to Biro-Bidjan (Chicago, 1937) and Ikor (New York, 1929), which are devoted to Jewish Colonization in Birobidzhan and are represented by well-known artists, such as B. Aronson, W. Gropper, L. Lozowick, Z. Maud, Y. Ryback. Biro-Bidjan – catalog of the 1936 exhibition of works of art presented by American artists to the state museum of Birobidzhan innumerates some 210 works of American artists to support Birobidzhan project. YIVO archives have also materials related to this exhibition. Interestingly enough, this exhibition traveled over several cities of the United States, reached Moscow, had a large review in Soviet and American press and … disappeared, never reaching Birobidzhan. In the best scenario it ended somewhere in the reserves of one of Moscow galleries.

The archives of YIVO possess the materials related to Birobidzhan both from Russia and from the United States. There one can encounter materials on the National Committee ICOR, manuscripts, articles, essays on Birobidzhan, as well as correspondence, personal documents, reports, photographs and clippings of leaders and activists of pro-Soviet Jewish organizations, which supported the Birobidzhan project. YIVO photo and film archives own a silent film "A Scientific Expedition to Birobidzhan" (1929), produced by the faculty of Brigham Young University and ICOR activists.

Julia Flaum
The latest acquisition of YIVO on Birobidzhan is the archive of the Jewish actress Julia Flaum (1914-1995), who played in Birobidzhan State Jewish Theater in the 1940s. It has playbills of Birobidzhan State Jewish Theater, photos of it’s actors and actresses, personal correspondence of the years spent in Birobidzhan, clippings from Russian and Yiddish press about Birobidzhan State Jewish Theater.

Contemporary Works
YIVO library and archives holdings of contemporary works published both in the former Soviet Union and abroad up to year 2000 are also impressive. The publications of 1960s-1990s include scholarly works on the subject in various languages from the former Soviet Union, Israel, United States, France, Germany; literary compositions of Birobidzhan local writers, poets and journalists; the complete run of the local newspaper " Birobidzhaner Shtern" (1973 – to present); personal memoirs of the persecuted Jews from Birobidzhan; methodological materials and textbooks to teach Yiddish published by the Birobidzhan branch of the Russia’s Ministry of Education, art albums and posters, sound recordings of the local Yiddish radio, a documentary "Jews under the Red Star", on contemporary Jewish life in the city of Birobidzhan (1989), slides and newspaper clippings on revival of Jewish culture in the late 1980s early 1990s, correspondence of professor Bernard Chossed (United States) on Jewish revival in Birobidzhan.

*Ambijan – American Birobijan Committee, a pro-Soviet organization, which supported the colonization of J.A. R. and was especially active in the 1940s.

Various Authors & Editors

Bund Archive
Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (RGASPI), Moscow

The Bund ( Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland) was a Jewish political party espousing social democratic ideology as well as cultural Yiddishism and Jewish national autonomy. The Bund archive, held by the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (formerly Central Party Archive) in Moscow contains records and printed materials from the "Bund archive abroad", as well as records of local Bundist organizations from the period 1874-1926. This previously inaccessible collection is now available for research in a convenient, fully indexed microfiche format from IDC Publishers.

The Russian Empire had the largest Jewish population in the world. The census of 1897 enumerated more than five million. In its dealings with the Jews, the Tsarist regime combined strict segregation and sharp discrimination with fiscal exploitation and contemptuous treatment. The laws of 1791 and 1835 confined Russian Jews to fifteen provinces in the western part of the Russian Empire, called the Pale of Settlement ( Cherta osedlosti). These territories are now found in the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belorussia and Poland. The unceasing repression stemmed from the regime’s extreme Judeophobia. Laws enacted in May 1882, following the wave of pogroms that swept through the Ukraine and Russia in 1881, further restricted Jewish residency and employment rights. Between 1881 and 1914 nearly two million Russian Jews, seeking better economic opportunities and freedom from persecution, emigrated.

The Bund
Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland was a Jewish political party espousing social democratic ideology as well as cultural Yiddishism and Jewish national autonomy. It was founded as a clandestine revolutionary organization in Vilna (now Vilnius in Lithuania) on October 7, 1897. It was dedicated to the overthrow of the Tsarist regime in the Russian Empire and the defence of the Jewish proletariat. The Bund demanded national-cultural autonomy (with Yiddish as its national language) for the Jews, insofar as they constituted a distinct nation and not just a separate religious group. This demand was combined with a belief that the Jews would find their redemption not in the ancient world of Palestine, but rather in Eastern Europe, in the lands where they had been rooted for so long. In contrast to the Poalei Zion movement, the Bund rejected Zionist ideology. Central to its beliefs was the struggle for the national rights of Jews wherever they lived, including the recognition of Yiddish as a national language.

The Bund joined the Rossiiskaia sotsial-demokarticheskai rabochaia pariia (Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDRP)) as an autonomous organization on several occasions: 1898-1903, 1906-1917. In the 1905 revolution, the Bund led Jewish workers in street battles and on the barricades, forming armed self-defense groups to fight anti-Semitic pogroms in Odessa, Zhitomir and elsewhere. Shortly afterwards the revolution legalized the Bund’s activities, allowing the organization to function openly for the first time.The membership of the Bund in Russia grew constantly. By the time of the October Revolution in 1917 it numbered some 40,000 members resident in 400 localities. However, the assumption of absolute power by the Bolsheviks spelled doom for the Bund in Russia. Some members joined the Communist Party of Bolsheviks, whilst others transferred to the Jewish Social-Democratic Labour Party (Poalei Zion and renamed as the Jewish Communist Labour Party in 1923). The Soviet government disbanded the Social Democratic fraction of the Bund in 1921, as a result of which many leaders of the Bund emigrated to Western Europe. The Russian period in the Bund’s history came to a close.

Following the dissolution of the Bund in Russia, Poland became the centre of its activity as an independent political party (1919-1948). Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia had autonomous Bund parties. Bundist groups continued to be active in various countries, including Israel, England, France, Argentina and the USA. In the post-war years the Bund (now known as the International Jewish Labour Bund) established itself as a loose federation of national Bundist organizations in several countries, with its centre in the United States. Many Bundist immigrants continued to adhere to the principles through activism within labour and socialist organizations.

Bund Archive
The archive of the Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland ("Russian Bund") consists of records and printed matter from "Bund archive abroad" and records of local Bundist organizations. The Bund archive was founded in 1899 in Geneva to facilitate the collection and preservation of vital organizational records, mainly of the Zagranichnyi komitet ( Abroad Committee) and printed matter (leaflets, journals, etc). The choice of place was necessitated by harsh political conditions in Russia where, due to political repression, the Bund remained underground. In 1919 the Bund Archive was transferred to Berlin where it established a headquarters in the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) building. Once again, unfavourable political conditions prevented the archives from being moved to Poland, which by then had become the centre of the Bund movement.

The largest part of the Bund collection held in RGASPI was bought during the period 1924-1927. At the end of 1924 N.S. Angarskii (a representative from the Lenin Institute) and ISTPART ( Istoriko-Partiinaia Komissia, which gathered documents concerning the history of the communist and socialist movements in Russia), began negotiations with one of the holders, Franz Kurskii, of the "Bund archives abroad" and representatives of the Polish Bund in order to buy the Bund’s archive and library. Some documents were copied under F. Kurskii’s supervision. However, the documents were not just retyped. Remarks about and explanations of unclear passages were made, nicknames were replaced by original names and data was checked. In certain cases, the text even had to be "decoded" and "deciphered". Additionally, the Lenin Institute obtained a portion of printed and hectographic Bund materials. This collection was held first at the Lenin Institute and then in the Central Party archive, where the documents were disclosed and catalogued in two inventories ( opisi). The other part of the collection was received from the Revolution Museum in Leningrad and deals with the history of the Bund in Bolshevik Russia.

The collection
The archive of the Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Poyln un Rusland, held by RGASPI ( fond 271), consists of records and printed materials from "Bund archive abroad," as well as records of local Bundist organizations from the period 1874-1926. The first part ( opis’ 1) covers predominantly the pre-Revolutionary period of the Bund’s history from 1894-1917. The majority of records from opis’ 2 date from 1917-1921 and deal with the history of the Bund in Bolshevik Russia. The records within the collection are catalogued thematically and chronologically.

The archival collection contains documents on the following topics:
• History of Jews in Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, the Ukraine); Anti-Semitism in Tsarist Russia; pogroms, Yiddish culture.
• Jewish Labour movement in the Russian Empire: before the rise of Bund; Bund in Russia 1897-1923 (including records of the Bund Foreign Committee in Geneva, 1898-1919; of the Central Bureau of Bundist Groups Abroad, and of Bund cells in the Tsarist army).
• Russian revolutionary parties: Narodnaia Volia, Rossiiskaia Sotsial-Demokraticheskaia Rabochaia Partiia (RSDRP); The Mensheviks, the Bolsheviks, the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR); Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 in Russia; Jews in Russian revolutionary parties, biographies.
• Jewish political movements (Zionism, Poalei Zion, Zionist-Socialists, Territorialists, Folkists, religious groups, biographies).
• International socialist movement: Socialist International, Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), socialist parties in Germany, Great Britain, France and other European countries, biographies; correspondence of prominent leaders of socialist movements such as K. Kautsky, A. Bebel, L. Trotsky, A. Plekhanov.
• Bundist publications range from leaflets and pamphlets to complete runs of periodicals. Included are illegal propaganda pamphlets and periodicals from the Bund’s earliest period, which were published abroad and subsequently smuggled into Russia as well as proclamations and brochures printed in clandestine printing shops inside Russia.
• The collection also includes photographs, posters, minutes, reports, correspondence, financial ledgers, manuscripts and biographical materials.

The Russian State Archive of Social and Economic History (RGASPI; formerly Centre for the Preservation and Study of the Archives of Contemporary History, a.k.a. RTsKhIDNI) is the keeper of the former Central Party Archive. RGASPI possesses the richest collection of documents and materials concerning the social and political history of Russia and many countries of Europe, Asia and America. Its holdings consist of more than 1.6 million files, 9,300 photographs and 8,600 metres of film. It also houses the documents of different political parties, social democratic, communist, and international organizations; the correspondence of well-known political figures; historical evidence of the French Revolution of the eighteenth century and the 1848 revolutions in Europe; Communist Union; and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd International.