Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Yiddish Letters Accessible

Thanks to Rena Fuks-Mansfeld, professor emerita of Jewish History at Amsterdam University, hundreds of Yiddish letters in the IISH archives are now accessible through a database.

In 1995 Rena Fuks,  one of the very few people in the Netherlands who know Yiddish, joined the IISH staff as a volunteer. Her first job was to catalogue the Yiddish books and periodicals. These printed materials were classified in the so-called Yidishkayt collection, to be found as such in the IISH catalogue. In 2002, Rena Fuks completed the arrangement of the archive and documentation of the Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeyter Bund, the very first collection accessed by the IISH. Thereafter she inventoried the archives of James Guillaume, Charles Rappoport and Boris Yelensky.

More than once, she wrote about highlights she found in the archives, on the IISH website and in On the Waterfront, the magazine of the Friends of the IISH.

Sadly, Rena Fuks' (*1930) passed away on 27 November 2012. 

The letters come from various archives, mainly of anarchist nature. The files can be searched on author, sender, destination, and period of time. A short abstract of every letter is provided. In addition, the historical background of some of the archives and letters presented in the database is sketched.

9 October 2012