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Yiddish Research: Yiddish Music at NYPL

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.

Yiddish Music at NYPL

Molly Picon and Abe EllsteinYiddish music collections at The New York Public Library are found in multiple locations:


Dorot Jewish Division (in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building)


Music DivisionBilly Rose Theatre Division, and Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound (all are in the Performing Arts Library)


The collections include:

  • Sheet music
  • Music manuscripts
  • Songbooks
  • Theater programs/ephemera
  • Photographs of artists
  • Archival collections/personal papers of artists
  • Related materials and secondary sources

Search Terms

IndexFinding music

Use these subject headings in the research catalog:

Songs, Yiddish

Folk songs, Yiddish



Use these search terms in the "all fields" search box:

  • SATB
  • Choir
  • Hora
  • Sher
  • Yiddish art songs
  • Yiddish theater songs

The use of genres is somewhat limited in the catalog - please contact staff for assistance if you're having trouble finding what you need.

Search the "author" field for the names of composers, lyricists, and performers.


Search Tips

Please note that the term "klezmer" is used by contemporary authors to describe Yiddish instrumental music, but it's generally not used as a search term for primary sources/ historical works in the collection. 

If the item you need is from before 1923, check the digital sources listed in this guide to see if it's available online.



IndexBrowse historical materials by call number in the Legacy Catalog


Yiddish sheet music in the Dorot Jewish Division: **P (Sheet Music)

Yiddish music manuscripts from Boris Thomashefsky's repertoire - these contain parts for several instruments and were used for musical theater production: **P (Thomashefsky Collection)

Jewish songbooks in all languages *PVO

(Choose "Limit sort search" and refine results by language if desired)


Browse digitized ephemera in NYPL's Digital Collections

Yiddish theater collection

Browse by name for photographs of artists