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Yiddish Research: Biographical Dictionaries

Yiddish research guide covering general resources, article and books, folklore, genealogy, linguistics, literature, music and dance, oral history, theater, film, radio, translation and student resources.

Biographical Dictionaries

ביידער,  חיים. לעקסיקאָן פֿון ייִדישע שרײַבער אין ראַטן־פֿאַרבאַנד

מיט אַ ווערטערבוך פֿון סאָוויעטיזמען פֿון גענאַדי עסטרײ

Beyder, Khayim . Leksikon fun Yidishe shrayber in Ratn-Farband = Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union. Mit a verterbukh fun Sovetizmen fun Genadi Estraykh. Nyu-York : Alveltlekhn Yidishn kultur-kongres, 2011.
Covers Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union, and includes photos and a dictionary of Soviet terms. Online version here.


Dictionary of Literary Biography , volume 333: Writers in Yiddish. (Detroit: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2007)
The first English-language biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers. It is highly selective with only a few dozen writers represented, but all entries are long and include primary and secondary bibliographies.


לעקסיקאָן פֿון דער נײַער ייִדישער ליטעראַטור. רעדאַקטירט פֿון ש. ניגער און יעקב שאַצקי

Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur. Eds. Sh. Niger and Yaakov Shatski.
Nyu-York: Alveltlekhn Yidishn Kultur-Kongres, 1956-1981. (8 volumes)
The most complete of the biographical dictionaries of Yiddish writers. Note that some authors refused to be included and are not listed. Arrangement is alphabetical; information is only moderately reliable. Online version 


כּהן, בערל. לעקסיקאָן פֿון ייִדיש־שרײַבערד: מיט הספֿות און תּקונים צום לעקסיקאָן פֿון דער נײַער ייִדישער ליטעראַטור, און 5800 פּסעוודאָנימען.

Kagan, Berl. Leksikon fun Yidish-Shraybers: mit hesofes un tikunim tsum Leksikon fun der Nayer Yidisher Literatur, un 5,800 psevdonimen. Nyu-York: R. Ilman-Kohen, 1986.

Online version here
This volume updates and supplements the above Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur. It is always worth checking because Kagan corrected errors in the Leksikon, added writers left out or refusing to be included, and updated death dates and publications. Organized alphabetically, with an appendix of late additions and a separate list of pseudonyms.


רייזען, זלמן. לעקסיקאָן פֿון דער ייִדישער ליטעראַטור,  פּרעסע און פֿילאָלאָגיע.

Rejzen, Zalman. Leksikon fun der Yidisher Literatur, Prese un Filologye. Vilna: 1928-1930. (4 volumes).
--. Leksikon fun der Yudisher Literatur un Prese. Varshoy: Tsentral, 674 [1914].
Earlier versions of the Leksikon which are sometimes more accurate or complete than their successor. Both online


1897 שולמאַן, אליהו. לעקסיקאָן פון פאָרווערטס-שרײַבער: זינט

Schulman, Elias. Leksikon fun Forverts-shrayber: zint 1897. New York: Forward Association [1987].

Provides bio-bibliographic information on editors and contributors to the Forverts.