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

History
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.

Audience
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
Religious Minorities: The Waldenses
Polemic and historiography of a religious minority between 1510 and 1712

The aim of the Reformation
Nowadays "new" is considered good and "old" obsolete. Values were different in the 16th century, when "antiquity" symbolized truth and goodness. Anything new was suspect. That was why Catholic theologians accused Luther, Zwingli and Calvin of devising a new doctrine and founding new churches. Protestant theologians disagreed, arguing that the aim of the Reformation was to do away with the novelties unrelated to the Bible that popes had introduced over the preceding centuries, such as the doctrines of purgatory, transubstantiation and papal primacy. The Reformation was an effort to restore the "old" doctrine of the "old" church rather than a quest for innovation. As had been the case in the old Apostolic Church, the Bible should once again become the sole standard for the Christian doctrine and way of life.

Return to the Apostolic Church
Protestant theologians interpreted "antiquity" as the return to the Bible and the Apostolic Church rather than continuity with the medieval church. They regarded the Middle Ages as a period in which the Catholic Church had suppressed the old Biblical truth and substituted its own novelties. Even in these dark ages, though, they believed that God had preserved a "remnant" faithful to the Bible. They considered such individuals to be the ones condemned by the Catholic Church as heretics, such as John Wycliffe, Jan Hus and Savonarola, who henceforth counted as "precursors" to the Reformation.

The Waldenses
In 1556 Flacius Illyricus published his major work Catalogus testium veritatis, in which he paid tribute to the Waldenses by assigning them an honorary position in "the chain of witnesses to the truth." The Waldenses were one of the few remaining medieval heretical movements. They had survived all persecutions in the Western Alps on the border between France and Italy. In 1532 they joined the Reformation and by 1556 were starting to form their own communities after the model of Calvin in Geneva. Historically, the Waldenses originated with Peter Waldo of Lyon, who, following the example of the apostles, decided to travel around in poverty as a preacher in 1174. Since the 13th century, however, the Waldenses themselves claimed to have their basis in the apostles. They maintained this stand after joining the Reformation movement.
Flacius Illyricus remained sceptical about this legend. In the 17th century, however, many Dutch Calvinist, Lutheran and Anglican theologians believed the reports in the Waldensian historiographies that this group dated back to the apostles and regarded the adherence of the Waldenses to the Reformation as proof that Protestantism had truly restored the "old" doctrine and church. Henceforth, the Waldenses came to be regarded as "progenitors of the Reformation". This view became so widespread that the Waldenses consistently received political and financial support from Protestants throughout Europe whenever they were persecuted.

Modern histiography
Catholic theologians, on the other hand, had by the Middle Ages already challenged the view that the Waldenses had their basis in the apostles. This polemic climaxed with Bossuet's Histoire des variations published in 1688. The modern historiography of the 19th and 20th centuries has definitively "de-mythologized" the Waldenses by presenting sources linking the Waldenses to Waldo and refuting any ties to the apostles. In addition, it is demonstrated in this historiography that the Waldenses abandoned virtually all their medieval traditions upon joining the Reformation and were therefore definitely not Protestants before the fact.
Nonetheless, the Waldenses retained a special significance in Protestant circles. They continue to be regarded as "precursors" to the Reformation, and some churches in North America, such as the Baptists and the Adventists, even claim to be rooted in the medieval Waldenses.

This collection
This microfiche series documents the historiography and polemic about the Waldenses between 1510 and 1712 and reveals how prominently the Waldenses figured in the debate over whether the Reformation churches were old or new. Accordingly, this series is worthwhile both for historical research on impressions of the Reformation and for the very current question as to the raison d'être of Protestant churches today.
This series features a unique collection of rare books and pamphlets about the Waldenses, of which many are the only copies in existence. They have been collected from thirty libraries, most from the library of the Società di Studi Valdesi in Torre Pellice and the Biblioteca Reale in Turin. This collection is therefore of tremendous value for studying the history of books. The series also comprises the reference works by Crespin, Pantaleon, Flacius Illyricus and Bossuet, which are still immensely important for historical research on "heretical" movements during the Middle Ages and the Protestant "martyrs" of the 16th century.
Reformed Protestantism
5. East Friesland and North-Western Germany

Part I
In the 16th century, the seaport town of Emden at the heart of East Friesland grew into the “mother church” of Dutch Calvinism, which was the driving force behind the Dutch Revolt. Concurrently, in neighbouring North-Western Germany the so-called “second Reformation” took place, that is, the calvinizing of Lutheran lands. From 1555 onwards, the Lutheran cities of Bremen and Hamburg became the scenes of sacramentarian controversies which had an impact far beyond their borders. They marked a critical phase in the transition of German left wing Lutherans to (a form of) Calvinism and in the consolidation processes of the Lutheran and Reformed confessions in North-Western Europe.

• Number of titles: 144
• Languages used: German and Latin
• Title list available
• MARC records are available
• Purchase option: Outright purchase

Location of originals: Johannes a Lasco Library at Emden

Part II
The second part of this collection focuses on the cities in which early modern North German Reformed Protestantism was centered: Bremen and Emden. The collection presents a nearly exhaustive array of sources on their theologians and their works, correspondence and biographies, on the Bremen Academy, the confessionalization process, and the general and ecclesiastical historiography of the region.

• Number of titles: 385
• Languages used: German and Latin
• Title list available
• MARC records are available

The second part of this collection focuses on the cities in which early modern North German Reformed Protestantism was centered: Bremen and Emden. The collection presents a nearly exhaustive array of sources on their theologians and their works, correspondence and biographies, on the Bremen Academy, the confessionalization process, and the general and ecclesiastical historiography of the region.

Location of originals: Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen; Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, Emden; Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel; Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague; Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit Groningen; Bibliotheek Theologische Universiteit Kampen; Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam; Universiteitsbibliotheek Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden; Universiteitsbibliotheek Maastricht; Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht

This collection is also included in the Reformed Protestantism Sources of the 16th and 17th Centuries collection.

Various Authors & Editors

Catalogue of French-language Medieval Manuscripts in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek [Royal Library of the Netherlands] and Meermanno-Westreenianum Museum, The Hague
Compiled by Edith Brayer, Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes, Paris

On microfiche

With a printed guide and introduction by Anne S. Korteweg, Curator of Manuscripts, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague

The catalogue
In the early 1950s the well-known Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes (IRHT) in Paris sent its staff researcher Edith Brayer on a mission to describe and analyze medieval manuscripts in the French language held by various libraries in Europe. One of her stops was The Hague, where in 1954 and 1956 she spent months studying, analyzing and describing the relevant manuscripts in the collections of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library ) (112) and the Meermanno-Westreenianum Museum for the History of the Book (19). The manuscripts originated in France, the southern Netherlands (Belgium) and in one case England. Her efforts resulted in a catalogue in French of some 1,500 typed pages kept in the Section Romane of the IRHT and never before published in any form.
In addition to the manuscripts of the two collections above, she further described some 90 transcriptions of medieval French manuscripts made at the end of the eighteenth century by G.J. Gérard (1734-1814), also held in the Royal Library. The historian Gérard was secretary of the Academy of Sciences and Letters in the southern Netherlands (present-day Belgium) and librarian of the famous Burgundian Library in Brussels. Over the years he had made many transcriptions of manuscripts held in that library, in the library of the Chambre des Comptes in Lille and in private collections. Some of these manuscripts can still be traced in the Royal Library in Brussels and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, but for others Gérard's transcription is all that remains.

Contents of the catalogue
The descriptions in the catalogue consist of:
• an extensive codicological analysis of the manuscript, with collation and description of the decoration and miniatures
• an extensive analysis of the text, with transcription of the rubricated chapter and section headings
• transcriptions of important passages, such as prologues, incipits and explicits, and in the case of manuscripts with poems, sonnets, etc. extensive transcriptions of these as well
• an overview of the history of the manuscript
• an overview of the most important literature on the manuscript
The microfiche edition also contains a complete list compiled by Anne S. Korteweg, Curator of Manuscripts of the Royal Library in The Hague, of all the miniatures found in the illuminated manuscripts to supplement the descriptions made by Mademoiselle Brayer. In addition an article by Mlle Brayer is included that she published in the Bulletin d'information de l'Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes from 1964, in which she analyzed the French texts of some 40 Books of Hours (prayer books for lay people normally written in Latin in France and the southern Netherlands, but usually also containing a number of texts or prayers in French). With the inclusion of this article all the work done by Mlle Brayer in The Hague has been brought together and this important documentation system has been made available to aid scholars in their research.

Printed guide
The microfiches are accompanied by a guide written in English by Anne S. Korteweg, with short-title descriptions of all the manuscripts from the collection of the IRHT, supplemented by some 20 manuscripts for which no description is available, thus providing a complete overview of all the medieval manuscripts in French held by both institutions in The Hague. Furthermore, additional information on the provenance of the manuscripts has been included as well as the most recent bibliographical references, indices of shelf marks, authors and titles, scribes, illuminators, bookbinders, and former owners.

Edited by Charles Gunnoe

Reformation in Heidelberg

Part I
This collection has been gathered for the purpose of illuminating the intellectual and religious developments during the reigns of Ottheinrich (1556-1559) and Frederick III (1559-1576). Its primary goal is to present the complete works of the major Heidelberg figures (Bouquin, Erastus, Olevianus, Ursinus, Zanchi) and a major sampling of the works of many secondary figures. Secondarily, its aim is to illuminate the theological development of the Palatinate including the origins and reception of the Heidelberg Catechism. Here the collection ventures outside the strict bounds of Reformed Protestantism to include attacks on the Palatine confession by Lutheran scholars.

• Number of titles: 99
• Languages used: German and Latin
• Title list available
• MARC records are available

Location of originals: Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel

Part II
This collection completes the series The Reformation in Heidelberg. It comprises a wide array of rare primary sources gathered from libraries in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It expands the number of works available by such theologians as Pierre Boquin and Zacharias Ursinus, and features more works by the prominent medical humanists, Thomas Erastus and Johannes Lange.

• Number of titles: 78 primary titles, 23 secondary titles
• Languages used: mainly Latin and German, also English, Dutch and French
• Title list available
• MARC records are available

Location of originals: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München; Bodleian Library, Oxford; Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam; Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart; Zentralbibliothek Zürich
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.

Languages
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
Birobidzhan
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.

Periodicals
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.
British Intelligence and Policy on Persia (Iran), c. 1900-1949
Gazetteers and Handbooks, 1906-1948 (BIP-1)

By the late nineteenth century, Persia became the playground of both British and Russian interests for almost half a century. The British, with their immensely valuable oil concessions in the south, emerged as the dominant foreign partner. The strategic planning and policy formulation of British India and London required information to provide “background” for political relations and practical “know-how” for military operations and clandestine activities.

This collection is also included in the British Intelligence and Policy on Persia (Iran), c. 1900-1949 collection.
British Intelligence and Policy on Persia (Iran), c. 1900-1949
Internal and External Affairs, 1904-1949 (BIP-2)

By the late nineteenth century, Persia became the playground of both British and Russian interests for almost half a century. The British, with their immensely valuable oil concessions in the south, emerged as the dominant foreign partner. The strategic planning and policy formulation of British India and London required information to provide “background” for political relations and practical “know-how” for military operations and clandestine activities.

This collection is also included in the British Intelligence and Policy on Persia (Iran), c. 1900-1949 collection.