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COLLECTIONS

 

The Museum of the Yiddish Theatre holds a number of collections that are related in some way to the history of the Yiddish theatre. The collection consists of items such as photographs, theatre programs, sheet music, audio recordings and other documents of some importance and historical significance.

Some who were once active in some way in the Yiddish theatre, or whose family members were once involved in the Yiddish theatre, have graciously donated their material to the museum, which it now holds in its possession. Also, the founder and creator of this museum, Dr. Steven Lasky, is the official archivist for the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance, once the mutual aid society for those involved in the Yiddish theatre, although the Museum only holds digital copies of most of what is contained in the yet-to-be-archived Yiddish Theatrical Alliance archives.

The Museum also holds many reel-to-reel tapes (and also some cassette tapes) that contains parts of, and complete recordings of, Yiddish radio programs, mostly made by the editor of the "bible" of Yiddish theatre, the "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre." The Museum makes available, from time to time, some of the Zylbercweig radio programs, were at the time broadcast from his own studio in the back of their home in Los Angeles.

The Museum of the Yiddish Theatre also holds images for use that were kindly shared by other museums, libraries and other institutions, and uses them from time to time with permission.

The Museum usually readily accepts such material donations, as it tries to gain resources to help promote and educate those who are interested in the history of the Yiddish theatre. This Museum of the Yiddish Theatre, it should be noted, is a division of the much larger "Museum of Family History," which is dedicated to the preservation of our family and culture for the present and future generations.

Donations of any kind are welcome. Please contact Dr. Lasky at steve@museumoffamilyhistory.com, if you wish to make such a donation.
 

More About the Collections

The Museum of the Yiddish Theatre, which originated in New York, is the first virtual (Internet-only) museum created, which is devoted to Yiddish theatre and the world in which it existed. The concept of such an online museum simmered for years within the realm of the similarly constructed virtual Museum of Family History, which is dedicated to honoring and preserving the history of the Jewish family and Jewish culture and history as a whole. 

 

The strength of the museum lies in its photographic collection and personal tributes, especially by the progeny of those who once took an active part in Yiddish theatre. The collection of photographs and other material, e.g. documents, publications and the like, come from a variety of sources, such as from the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance, the Museum of the City of New York, and the New York Public Library. The photographs come from such well-known studios, such as those with the name of Rappoport, Ivan Busatt, and Alexander Archer. When taken as a whole, they tell the story of Yiddish theatre, mostly in United States, as it existed since before the start of the twentieth century.

 

The Museum also holds a good number of audio and video clips, newspaper articles, play programs and theatre reviews, and its varied documents all make their contribution to the telling of the evolution and progression of the Yiddish theatre.

 

When taken and studied as a whole, one can surely get a good understanding of what has transpired in the "business" since the first Yiddish theatre production was staged in the United States in the late 1800s.

 

Collections Highlights

If the heart of the Museum of the Yiddish Theatre lies in heart and mind of the Museum's Director, the heart of the collection itself undeniably lies within the archives of the famed Yiddish Theatrical Alliance, the archivist of which, is also the Director of the Museum of the Yiddish Theatre, Dr. Steven Lasky. The Yiddish Theatrical Alliance, once hundreds of members strong, although now a shell of its former self, still houses its unmanned office in the belly of the Hebrew Actors' Union building, which stands at 31 E. 7th Street on the Isle of Manhattan. It gloriously and faithfully and with steadfastness holds onto its historical material with great determination, hoping to have it used to best honor and preserve the memory of the Yiddish theatre and those associated with it for many years to come.

 

Here is a breakdown of what is contained within the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance Archival Collection:

 

Photographic Collection

 

Individual and Group Publicity
Scenes from Stage Productions
Yiddish Films Publicity
Benefits and Testimonials

Other Collections

 

Yiddish Sheet Music

Publications
Play Programs
Correspondences
Audio Recordings
Manuscripts
Theatre Memorabilia

Administrative Files

 

Please visit the Museum of the Yiddish Theatre (and Museum of Family History) as many times as you wish!
 

 

 


Museum URL:  www.museumoffamilyhistory.com/moyt/main.htm.       Museum e-mail address:  yiddishtheatre@museumoffamilyhistory.com.

The Museum of the Yiddish Theatre is a division of the Museum of Family History.
 



 

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