LYVA: The Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (information)

Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive

(free on youtube; see description box for project history)

The Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (LYVA) comprises thousands of hours of tape of Litvak Yiddish recorded mostly in situ in Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, eastern Ukraine and northeastern Poland over more than thirty years (starting in 1990), on expeditions mounted by Dovid Katz, with colleagues and partners, supplemented by interviews in Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, Sweden, the United States and other migration destinations. Among lectures on the project: at Yivo (English), Cape Town Holocaust Center (English), and Montreal Committee for Yiddish (in Yiddish).

Rescue of many hundreds of hours of these unique Yiddish treasures now on old tape (for restoration, digitization and posting free on youtube) depends on contributions. Please donate and bring the project to the attention of potential benefactors in the fields of Yiddish, East European Jewish lore and history and Holocaust studies. Donations are tax-deductible in the United States.

The more than 670 videos online to date have been digitized thanks to the generosity and vision of Preserving Yiddish and Defending History (PYDH, pres. Rebecca Cook); Philip and Aldona Shapiro; Remembering Litvaks Inc; David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation; Vivian Felsen; S. Chic Wolk; the International Yiddish Center (Vilnius) of the World Jewish Congress.

Note: Our own project entails rescue of all the unedited materials we recorded over the decades via restoration, digitization and posting free online (complete and unedited). We are not able to produce transcripts, inventories, summaries, indexes or translations which remain a project for others in the future. However, individuals and institutions wishing to produce these (on a non-profit basis) are welcome to do so with the usual accreditations (but without any payments or fees of any kind).

Contacts: or

A spinoff project (in progress):

Atlas of Northeastern Yiddish (Litvish)

Smaller spinoff project include:

Yiddish in Ukraine Video Archive (YUVA)
Southern Yiddish Dialect Video Archive (SYDVA)
First Week of the Lithuanian Holocaust
Ashkenazic Hebrew & Aramaic
London Whitechapel Yiddish Culture

Mikháleshik Yizkor Book

Menke Katz & Friends
Kalmen Kovl (Carl Cowl)


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