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Collection Guide: YIVO Digital Assets

A comprehensive overview of the digital assets of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

YIVO director Samuel Norich in a cathedral where for over 40 years Lithuanian librarians hid materials looted by the Nazis and threatened with destruction by the Soviets, Vilnius, Lithuania, 1989. RG 100. YIVO

How to Access Digitized Materials

All digitized materials are available on If you would like to only see results from YIVO, click here.

For a list of every digitized archival collection in YIVO's holdings, you can scroll to the bottom of this page.

Milstein Family Jewish Communal Archive Project

The Milstein Family Jewish Communal Archive Project tells the story of Jewish New York in the twentieth century through the administrative records of five major institutions: the 92nd Street Y, the Educational Alliance, Surprise Lake Camp, FEGS Health and Human Services (now defunct), and the New York Association for New Americans (now defunct). Many of the photographs and documents now housed at YIVO have been digitized and are now available on the project’s website.
Please note that the Milstein website is a sample of the collections. There are further materials that have not been digitized, which can be accessed in person at the Center for Jewish History.

Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland

The YIVO Digital Archive on Jewish Life in Poland compiles digitized materials from 70 key archival collections on Polish Jewish History.

People of 1,000 Towns

“People of 1,000 Towns: The Online Catalog of Photographs of Jewish Life in Prewar Eastern Europe” is the website for YIVO’s collection of pre-war Eastern European photographs. It comprises 17,000 photos, spanning the late nineteenth century to 1946, and includes communities in Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. 
To access the catalog, you must register for an account. Your registration will last for seven days, and you are free to re-register as often as you wish. (That said, if you do run into issues re-registering, please email
Once you have registered, you can search by city/town (there is also a browsable index available), country (except Poland and Russia), keyword, year, photographer, and proper name.

Digitized Yiddish Theater Works

There are 617 digitized Yiddish theater works available on YIVO’s Internet Archive page. These works were created between 1779 and 1980. Hundreds of creators, including Sholem Aleichem, Abraham Goldfaden, and Peretz Hirschbein, are represented.
Please note that these materials are available for download, although use of materials available on the Internet Archive are subject to the same Permissions and Reproductions policy as any other YIVO Archives or Library material.

One Thousand Children

One Thousand Children is a YIVO collection that highlights that lives of the 1,000-1,400 children who fled Germany during World War II and arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors. Digitized archival material and a number of related videos, including interviews, are available on the website.