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Biographical Sources for Judaica

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Judaica warrants its own section in the study of Slavic and East European biography, for Jewish populations existed in all of the countries under consideration and thus literature about them also exists in all of the countries. Before you link to the files for Judaica in individual countries, consider the Jewish Biographical Archive, a microfilm set that includes sources for Judaica from around the world including a number of sources from Eastern Europe, which is described immediately below the links.

  • Russian Judaica
  • Czech/Slovak Judaica [forthcoming]
  • Polish Judaica [forthcoming]
  • Ukrainian/Belarusian Judaica [forthcoming]
  • Hungarian Judaica [forthcoming]
  • Baltic Judaica [forthcoming]
  • Yugoslav Judaica [forthcoming]

Jüdisches biographisches Archiv = Jewish biographical archive.
Lapide, Pinchas ; Schmuck, Hilmar. Munchen: K.G. Saur, 1994-1996.
U of I Library Call Number:  Main Reference Mfiche 296.092 J898. 690 fiches.

This set follows the basic concept of the K.G. Saur biographical archives on microfiche. They have copied the entries from biographical reference books and accumulated all of the entries for one individual together. Thus, the entries are replicas of the original source with a citation to the original source at the head of each entry. This source is valuable because it eliminates checking numerous books for information and also provides access to sources that the U of I Library may not own. The Jewish Biographical Archive contains entries for approximately 150,000 individuals from 134 sources published between the end of the 18th century and 1948. Depending on the original sources, the entries may or may not have bibliographical references and may appear in any of the world’s languages including Hebrew. Beware that sometimes the entries for different people with the same name may be conflated.

The K.G. Saur web site provides a list of the 134 sources covered in the archive in case you want to see the range of biographical resources in this area. This list is also available on microfiche at the beginning of the set. You can search the Jewish biographical archive in World Biographical Index, which is available for U of I students and faculty through Online Research Resources (Databases). If you are not affiliated with U of I you may want to check with your institution or your local library: it is possible that they provide access to the World biographical index. However its entries contain only brief biographical data, not the actual entries that are on the microfiche. The results of the search will tell you which sets contain entries for the individual and from which reference books they were taken.

Beware: Although this archive is a valuable resource, do not be deceived into thinking that use of this source is will cover all bases. It is impossible to include all of the biographical resources that exist. If you rely on the Archive alone, you will miss some potentially useful material.

Follow the link for two entries for the theologian, Alfred Edersheim, from two different sources as they appear on the microfiche.

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