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Yizkor Book Project
Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ)

General Questions
1. What are yizkor books?
2. Can a yizkor book help me find my relatives?
3. Are yizkor books the best way to trace my family tree?
4. How can I learn about the Holocaust?
Finding Yizkor Books
    5. How can I tell if there is a yizkor book for a particular community?
    6. I searched the database.  What do I do next?
    7. Which libraries have the yizkor book I want?
    8. Where can I purchase a yizkor book?
    9. How can I tell whether there is a translation of a particular yizkor book?
Subscribing and Unsubscribing to the Yizkor List
    12. How do I subscribe to the Yizkor List?
    13. How do I unsubscribe from the Yizkor List?
    14. How do change my subscription address?
Translations
15. How do I go about setting up a yizkor book translation project?
16. Where can I find a translator?
17. How do I put my translation on the Yizkor Book Project web site?
18. What are the copyright issues involved in publishing a translation on the Internet?
19. Where can I find more information about translations?


General Questions


1. What are yizkor books?


Yizkor books were written after the Holocaust as memorials to Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust.  They were usually put together by survivors from those communities and contain descriptions and histories of the community, biographies of prominent people, lists of people who perished, etc.  They are often embellished with photos, maps, and other memorabilia.

Yizkor books are valuable to genealogists, since the books may include biographies or photographs of relatives, or may include family members in a list of people who perished.  Yizkor books also give important background information about the history and Jewish life in a particular community.

Yizkor books can be valuable, not only to genealogists, but to anyone wanting to learn about Jewish life and culture in the communities that vanished in the Holocaust.



2. Can a yizkor book help me find my relatives?

One can't predict.  If you are lucky, you could find stories and picture about your relatives.  You might also find names of relatives who perished in the Holocaust.  Even if do not find specific mention of your family, you could still learn a lot about the community they came from.


3. Are yizkor books the best way to trace my family tree?

Yizkor books are only one source of information for people interested in their family roots.  For other places to go for genealogical research, read JewishGen's FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).  You might also try browsing through the various sections of JewishGen, starting with the JewishGen Home Page(Click on the underlined links to go to these pages.)


4. How can I learn about the Holocaust?

Yizkor books are valuable in learning about the Holocaust as it affected particular communities.  The stories in yizkor books are often told from a very personal point of view and sometimes contain a lot of details about how what happened to a particular community.  Yizkor books can make the Holocaust seem very immediate and very real.

However, if you are interested in more general sources of information on the Holocaust, click on the following links:


Finding Yizkor Books


5. How can I tell if there is a yizkor book for a particular community?


The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project maintains a Yizkor Book Database, which lists all known yizkor books.  You may search for a particular location to determine if there is a book for that location.  Many communities, particularly in Lithuania and Latvia, do not have individual yizkor books but are described in regional books.  These are listed in our database under the region, for example Lithuania or Latvia.

Our Yizkor Book Database Page describes the database and enables you to search the database.



6. I searched the database.  What do I do next?

The database will tell you that a book exists.  Now you need to find a copy of the book, or contact someone who has it.

The Database will indicate whether the Yizkor Book Project has any translated material on our web site for the books you are interested in.  If so, you can click on a hyperlink to actually view that material.

If possible, you will want to see the actual yizkor book.  Even if you cannot understand the original language, it is often moving just to see the original books, with their list of victims, photographs, and other documents.  To find copies of the original yizkor books, see subsequent questions dealing with "Which libraries have the yizkor book I want?" and "Where can I purchase a yizkor book?"



7. Which libraries have the yizkor book I want?

When you search the Yizkor Book Database, you will see, for each book, a list of libraries that have the book, and the book's Call Number.  Currently, we have lists from about 16 libraries in our database, including libraries in New York, California, and Israel.  However, there are many more libraries with substantial yizkor book collections.

Check our Links web page.   This page contains references to sources that list specific yizkor book holdings of libraries in New York, Boston, Detroit, Washington, and San Francisco.

If you do not find a library near you through either of these methods, we have a more comprehensive list of Libraries and Archives with Yizkor Books. This file does not list specific holdings of each library, but if you find a library listed near you, you can visit or contact the library to inquire about the book you want.

In addition, some people have been successful at obtaining books from their local libraries through Inter-Library Loan.



8. Where can I purchase a yizkor book?

If you want to buy yizkor books, look at our file of Retail Establishments with Yizkor Books.  It is impossible to list which book stores sell which books, since they generally only have a single copy of each book, and their inventory changes frequently.  A number of our readers have had success by contacting several stores on the list.



9. How can I tell whether there is a translation of a particular yizkor book?

The first thing to do is to search our Yizkor Book Database to see which yizkor books exist for your community.  The Database will list contact people for each yizkor book, and will indicate whether any of these people have a translation of part of the book or are in the process of doing a translation.  If any of these translations are on-line, there will be a hyperlink to the translations.  Otherwise, you must contact the people directly.

Keep in mind that the information in our database is only as good as what people submit to us.  It is entirely possible that someone has done a translation but has not told us about it.  We do encourage people to tell us about any translations that find.


Subscribing and Unsubscribing to the Yizkor List


12. How do I subscribe to the Yizkor List?


If you would like to subscribe to the Yizkor List, click here to use the automated JewishGen SIG Subscription Manager.

Alternatively, send an e-mail message to: listserv@lyris.jewishgen.org with the following message:

subscribe yizkor Firstname Lastname

Optionally, if you wish to subscribe in Digest mode, you may include the following line in your message:

set yizkor digest


13. How do I unsubscribe from the Yizkor List?

To unsubscribe from the Yizkor List, click here to use the automated JewishGen SIG Subscription Manager.

Alternatively, send an e-mail message to: listserv@lyris.jewishgen.org with the following message:

unsubscribe yizkor

(Note: These methods may not work in certain rare cases -- for example, if the address of your subscription automatically forwards mail to your "real" address.  If the normal methods of unsubscribing do not work, send a message describing the problem to: listserv@lyris.jewishgen.org.)
 



14. How do I change my subscription address?

To change your e-mail address send a message to: listserv@lyris.jewishgen.org and say:
set yizkor email=[new e-mail address]
Note that there is no space on either side of the = sign

Translations

Note: Answers to questions dealing with translating yizkor books can generally be found on our web pages entitled Process for Donating Translations.  The following are pages that address some specific questions:


15. How do I go about setting up a yizkor book translation project?


Click here to see: How to set up a translation project.



16. Where can I find a translator?

The Yizkor Book Project maintains a list of people able to translate yizkor books for a fee on our Web.  Click here to see: Yizkor Book Translators.  We cannot recommend particular translators.  Financial and other arrangements shall be between the Translator and the clients.



17. How do I put my translation on the Yizkor Book Project web site?

Click here to see: Process for Donating Translations.



18. What are the copyright issues involved in publishing a translation on the Internet?

Click here to see: Explanation of Liability Issues.



19. Where can I find more information about translations?

Click here to see: Translations and Donations: Frequently Asked Questions.


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Yizkor Book Project Manager, Lance Ackerfeld
Emerita Yizkor Book Project Manager, Joyce Field

There have been visits to this page since 9 Jul 2011

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Updated 3 Nov 2013 LA