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Yizkor Collection


About Portland State University Library's Yizkor Book Collection

Portland State's Middle East Studies Center (MESC) was founded in 1959 as the first federally funded undergraduate program of its kind in the country.  In recognition of MESC's national profile, College Librarian Jean Black advocated for the school's inclusion in the federal Farmington Act's PL-480 program to acquire library materials from abroad to augment area studies at American universities.  As a result of its participation in this program, the Portland State University Library is home to a significant collection of rare publications from the Middle East, including over 136 Yizkor books.  Through donor support, the Library's Special Collections has continued to add to the collection over time, including the recent acquisition of an early Yizkor book from 1929.

About Yizkor Books

Online Exhibit of Yizkor Books

A List of Yizkor Books in the PSU Library Catalog

Online Yizkor books from the New York Public Library's Dorot Division

Sokolievka-Justingrad: an example of a Yizkor book

Visualizing the Yizkor Book Collection with Google Earth

The Library has prepared two "layers" of mapping information related to its Yizkor Book collection, accessible through Google Earth. To access the Yizkor Book layers in Google Earth:

  1. Download and install Google Earth
  2. Download the "Yizkor Book Places" and "Supplemental Info" files
  3. In Google Earth, go to File: Open; use Browse to find and open the downloaded layer files
  4. The layer will show up in the Places menu in Google Earth
  5. Zoom into the communities marked by gold Stars of David to see photos, read town histories, and jump to other websites (including translations of Yizkor Books).  Blue Stars of David mark communities represented by books in the Yizkor collection but do not link to expanded information.

Associated Items in the Library's Collection:

The "Survivor's Haggadah" 1945. Hebrew and Yiddish text by Yosef Dov Sheinzon and woodcuts by Miklos Adler.

Kugelmass, Jack, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 1998. From a Ruined Garden: the Memorial Books of Polish Jewry. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Jones, Faith, and Gretta Siegel. 2006. Yizkor Books as Holocaust Grey Literature. Publishing Research Quarterly 22, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 52-62.

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