What are yizkor books?
Yizkor (memorial) books document the history of Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust. Often privately published and compiled through the collective efforts of former community residents, they describe daily life through essays and photographs, and memorialize murdered residents. Yizkor books generally focus on the history of the towns/cities, especially the period between first and second World Wars. Most are in Hebrew and/or Yiddish, although more English translations are being published now, especially through JewishGen, in online and print format.
This guide provides access to the yizkor book collection of the New York Public Library, which is largely digitized in partnership with the Yiddish Book Center.
Below is a list of secondary sources about yizkor books.
- Horowitz, Rosemary. Literacy and cultural transmission in the reading, writing, and rewriting of Jewish memorial books. Austin & Winfield, 1998.
- Horowitz, Rosemary. Memorial books of Eastern European Jewry : essays on the history and meanings of Yizker volumes. McFarland, c2011
- Jockusch, Laura. Collect and record! : Jewish Holocaust documentation in early postwar Europe. Oxford University Press, c2012.
- Kugelmass, Jack; Boyarin, Jonathan; Baker, Zachary. From a ruined garden : the memorial books of Polish Jewry. Schocken Books, 1983.