Some Search Advice

There is a lot to find in this database and it can be a bit overwhelming to find one's way through it. There are also the idiosyncrasies of a Yiddish language database to consider. So here is a running list of some tips for using the search function:

- What to type in the search box: When typing in your search you'll get the best results when using YIVO standard orthography both in Hebrew script and in transliteration. When entering data we first transcribed how each title was rendered in the newspaper/book and then entered in a standardized version. Yiddish spelling policies were not consistent, even within a single publication, and this allows for your search to get more or less consistent results throughout the database.

- Play around with filters: On the search page there is a button called "filters" that when clicked on reveals a host of different ways you can manipulate your search. At the moment, the most consequential one is "designation"—this is the label that the publisher gave each work when it was published. This is particularly relevant to works published in the newspaper, where a text was often given a specific label, sometimes in addition to a subtitle. These include the one most prominently associated with shund—roman, meaning novel. But Yiddish newspapers published a wide range of short story genres, in addition to the ubiquitous dertseylung (short story): monolog (monologue), mayse (folk tale), skitse (skit), bild (sketch) and many more.
Published on Tuesday, August 15, 2023