The Bibliothèque Medem: Eighty Years Serving Yiddish Culture
The Bibliothèque Medem (or Medem-Bibliotek, in Yiddish), in Paris, is the largest Yiddish library in Western and Central Europe, as well as a major Jewish cultural center. Founded in 1928 by a group of Eastern European Jewish immigrants who were aligned with the socialist Bund, its trajectory over eight decades (including the four years of the German occupation) is chronicled here. Today, the collections of the Bibliothèque Medem comprise 20,000 volumes in Yiddish and 10,000 titles in the Latin alphabet dealing with Jewish culture. In addition, it maintains about 30,000 uncataloged book volumes, extensive serial holdings, 300 posters, archives of a number of Yiddish authors, and a sound archive containing 7,500 recordings. Together with the libraries of the Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Séminaire Israélite de France (SIF), the Bibliothèque Medem is a principal partner in the Réseau Européen des Bibliothèques Judaica et Hebraica (European Network of Judaica and Hebraica Libraries), which administers their union catalog and sponsors digitization projects of their holdings.
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