Feb 27, 2023

YIVO to Digitize Millions of Documents From Jewish Labor Bund

For almost half a century, the pulse of much of the Jewish Diaspora was the Bund, a combination labor union, political party and social organization. 

But for years the only way to see those signs of life — the summer camps, schools, music ensembles and the picket lines — was to visit the archives and know what you were looking for.

Now, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research will digitize the Jewish Labor Bund archive, some 3.5 million pages of documents, photos, flyers and correspondence from revolutionary leaders like Emma Goldman and David Dubinsky. The digitization will make these artifacts accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

The Bund Archive was established in 1899 in Geneva, Switzerland, two years after the Bund was founded in 1897 in Vilna, Lithuania (now Vilnius). Rehoused in 1919 at the German Social-Democratic Party building, it came under threat with Hitler’s rise to power. The archive’s caretakers smuggled its contents into France in French Diplomatic pouches, nominally selling it to the French government.

Remarkably, though the Nazis seized the archive in 1944, much of it survived the war. The Bund Archives have been at YIVO since 1992.

You can read more in an article by PJ Grisar published in the web site at:

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