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Table of Contents
Using the Collection
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Series I: Administrative Records, 1955-1997
Series II: LCAAJ Fieldwork and Research, 1956-1992
Series III: Collected data: Interview forms and processed data, 1966-1969, undated
Series VII: Manuscripts and Publications, 1949-1991
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 9 series.
The collection consists of a variety of materials, such as notes, manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, maps and other records related to the research surrounding the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. The collection covers all periods of the Atlas project from its incipience based on linguistic research by Uriel Weinreich in the 1950s to the publication of three Atlas volumes and collaboration with German research institutions in the 1990s under the auspices of Marvin (Mikhl) Herzog. The collection contains a strong selection of material related to the fieldwork, research and preparation for publication of the linguistic Atlas, such as notes, data output, and maps generated by the analysis and processing of the linguistic data obtained in the interviews with native Eastern European Yiddish speakers. In addition to this core material the collection also contains administrative records related to the finances and funding of the Atlas project, other research material produced by Uriel Weinreich and manuscripts, typescripts and offprints of articles generated by researches involved with the Atlas project and published, for example, in the series The Field of Yiddish.
Content from Series III: Collected Data has been digitized. The answers to the questionnaire have been digitized, from three different formats: blue books, answer sheets, and printouts. These materials are available online here.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection has no restrictions, except for a few folders as marked in the finding aid.
Unique time-based media items have been reformatted and are available onsite via links in the container list. Commercial materials are not routinely digitized.
The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 1-195 and Boxes 217-280. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Selected Related Material-- at Columbia
Content from Series III: Collected Data of this collection has been digitized. The answers to the questionnaire have been digitized, from three different formats: blue books, answer sheets, and printouts. These materials are available online here.
EYDES (Evidence of Yiddish Documented in European Societies) . The audio for nearly all of the interviews is available online via EYDES.
No additions are expected
Existence and Location of Copies
Content from Series III: Collected Data has been digitized. The answers to the questionnaire have been digitized, from three different formats: blue books, answer sheets, and printouts. These materials are available online https://dlc.library.columbia.edu/lcaaj.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Recordings & transcripts: Source of acquisition--Herzog, Marvin. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1995. Accession number--M-1995.
Gift of Dr Marvin Herzog, 1995.
Coverage complete -- Language and culture atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. New York/Yivo Institute/c1992
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
The processing of this collection was made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Recordings & transcripts Processed HR 03/24/1999.
This collection was processed by Sandra Chiritescu (GSAS 2021), 2016-2017. Andrew Sunshine assisted with preliminary processing.
Finding aid written by Sandra Chiritescu (GSAS 2021) July 2017.
Boxes B79, B80, and B81 have been deaccessioned as of 10/4/2021. Contents of boxes 213 and 215 were moved to other containers in the map series, and no longer exists.
2009-06-26 File created.
2017-11-07 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2018-01-17 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2018-03-13 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi. Series II arrangement updated.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2020-07-17 Boxes B18-B39 added to Series IX
2020-08-21 Links added for first batch of digitized audio. kws
2020-09-14 Added boxes B40-B75 to Series IX
2021-03-24 Links added for second batch of digitized audio. kws
2021-08-23 Additional links added for digitized audio. kws
History / Biographical Note
In 1959 Uriel Weinreich, who was Atran Professor of Yiddish Studies at Columbia and Chairman of Columbia University's Department of Linguistics, began to develop a linguistic questionnaire of approximately 2000 questions which would serve as the basis for the development of a Yiddish language atlas. By the end of 1959 Weinreich and his doctoral student Marvin (Mikhl) Herzog had begun interviewing Eastern European Jews with the linguistic questionnaire. These interviews were conducted and recorded on tape and on question-answer sheets until 1972. In total, 5,755 hours of audio tape and ca. 100,000 pages of accompanying linguistic field notes were collected. Both native speakers of Eastern and Western Yiddish were interviewed. The archive does not, however, include transcriptions of the interviews. The data that constitutes the LCAAJ was collected from 603 locations in Central and Eastern Europe carefully chosen to reflect the distribution of the Yiddish speaking population on the eve of World War II. In a series of interviews lasting anywhere from 2.5 to 16 hours, informants answered questions on a wide variety of topics concerning Yiddish language and culture. After Weinreich's pre-mature death in 1967 Dr. Herzog became lead researcher of the Atlas project and Atran Professor of Yiddish. Beginning in the 1960s the linguistic interview data was evaluated and analyzed with early computer technology and the researchers produced a variety of maps and scholarly articles based on this data. In the aftermath of Weinreich's death, during the 1970s and 1980s, the research efforts surrounding the atlas project slowed down. After several efforts to find an American publisher had failed, Marvin Herzog secured the Max Niemeyer Verlag in Germany as a publisher for printed volumes of the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry in the 1990s and subsequently published three out of a projected ten volumes in collaboration with German institutions and researchers Ulrike Kiefer (a former doctoral student at Columbia University) and Robert Neumann, who worked at the Institut für Deutsche Sprache in Mannheim. Marvin Herzog also secured funding for the archival preservation of the decades-old audio tapes in the 1990s. Dr. Herzog donated the Archive to the Columbia University Libraries in 1995. He passed away in 2013.