S. L. and Eileen Shneiderman Collection of Yiddish Books
A Project of
University of Maryland Libraries and
The Meyerhoff Center for Jewish
In 1996, the celebrated Yiddishist - journalist, poet,
essayist - S. L. Shneiderman, passed away, leaving behind a
Collection of 395 Yiddish books, nearly half of
which bearing the autographs of prominent Yiddish writers from Russia and
France, Israel, Canada and the United States. His wife, collaborator, and
inspiration, Eileen Shneiderman, graciously donated this collection to the
University of Maryland's McKeldin Library in November of 1996. It is this site's
goal to make these books known and available to those interested in Yiddish
literature and culture on any level: scholarly research, education purposes, or
pleasureable reading. However, the very richness of the books could easily
overshadow the work and accomplishments of
their donors. This site is devoted to the memory of Samuel L. Shneiderman
(1906-1996) and Eileen Shneiderman (1908-2005). A symposium in honor of their
work took place on April 15,
"Personal Stories: S. L. Shneiderman and the Commemoration of the
Video presentations of the conference are available.
In my recollection, my parents always worked as a team.
I often heard my father dictating in Yiddish, while my mother wrote her mystical
shorthand notations. She would re-read sentences while suggesting improvements
and he would revise repeatedly, searching for the appropriate phrasing and
asking her for names, dates, etc. Then she would repeatedly re-type the text for
several passes of cutting and pasting with strips of white and yellow paper
covered with handwritten revisions. The final retyping would be with multiple
carbon copies to be mailed to papers in New York, Israel, France, Mexico,
Argentina, South Africa, or Australia. It was accepted that articles appeared
with his byline, but my father did acknowledge the vital partnership with my
mother, who, in turn, admired his ability to create a story and find a powerful
way to tell it.
Here at McKeldin Library, these Yiddish
books proudly take their place alongside other Jewish literatures in Hebrew
and all the major languages of western civilization. The books in this
collection, range from fiction to journalism, from poetry to memoirs, from
evocations of the shtetl (small town) to analyses of contemporary Israeli
foreign policy. There are autographed volumes from famous poets like A.
Sutzkever and J. Glatstein, and Yiddish historians and religious thinkers like
Isaac Lewin. To highlight the collection, 10 books have been featured for their
particular interest or uniqueness.