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In June of 1998, members of the University of Maryland Libraries staff and faculty from the Jewish Studies Program and Computer Science Department began the construction of this web site to support the collection of Yiddish books donated by S. L. and Eileen Shneiderman in 1996. Through this site, we hope:

  • To provide a web site describing the collection of books and their history, placing them in the historical context of the life and work of the Yiddish journalists S. L. and Eileen Shneiderman.
  • To support the educational and research needs of students and faculty, especially those within the Jewish Studies Program who are devoted to Yiddish language and culture.
  • To promote off-campus access to information about the collection, and some of the rare book materials.
  • And finally, to raise the visibility of UMCP as a center for Jewish Studies, and a leader in developing web resources for historical collections.

The many aspects of both the construction and maintenance of this site require a cooperative effort from several fields. It is here that we would like to acknowledge those whose help makes this site possible.

The Library staff for their meticulous cataloging, their relentless cooperation in helping to locate and research   specific books, and for the virtual home they have provided for this site.

  •   Desider Vikor, Associate Director - Collection Management
  •   Cynthia Sorrell, Manager of Gifts-in-Kind
  •   Anne Bowden, University Counsel

The Jewish Studies faculty for the indispensable knowledge they provide on Yiddish literature and specifically on these books; for their help in translating titles, inscriptions and passages; and for their help in selecting books of historical and scholarly interest and educational value.

  •     Asst. Prof. Hayim Lapin, Chair
  •     Prof. Bernie Cooperman
  •     Asst Prof. Miriam Isaacs
  •     Yelena Luckert, Bibliographer

The Computer Science Department and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) for the design and technical construction of this web site.

  •     Prof. Ben Shneiderman, Editor and Designer
  •     Daniel Kimmel, Designer and Programmer
  •     David Hanlon, Designer and Programmer
                  (Revisions: Summer '99)

Technical Notes on the Site
We chose to design this site using strictly HTML code. In addition to assuring accessibility to any and all who care to visit this site, such simplicity also enables a broader range of people to contribute to and update the site, a responsibility we care to diversify across several disciplines. We chose not to use HTML frames in this site's construction, so as to once again maximize accessibility.

In efforts to assure faster download times, images are kept small on the pages themselves (generally less than 25kB/image). Many of these images serve as thumbnails pointing to a larger version of that image. Holding the mouse pointer over an image will reveal the size (in kilobytes) of the image's larger counterpart.

The HTML programming for this site was all performed in a text-based editor, e.g., Notepad. Adobe Photoshop 4.0 was used for all photo editing. During construction, pages were viewed in Netscape 4.0 and Internet Explorer 4.0. Please report any problems viewing this site with an earlier browser to the email address at the bottom of this page.

What Other Universities Are Doing

The following is a brief set of links to webpages that support special collections at other universities.

The Jewish Theological Seminary of America's library displays its special collection of manuscripts, liturgies, rare books and art.

    Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library: click on their "Subject Guides" to view synopses of the items in their special collection.
    Yale University offers an array of various special collections, most of which are elegantly displayed. Pay attention to the Judaica Collection; notice their "Book Jacket Gallery", similar to our "Featured Books" page.
    The University of Virginia includes a large, powerful special collections side to their website. The site provides electronic text, or full-text articles, manuscripts and even books online. Check out the Hebrew Resources.
    The University of Pennsylvania's special collections main page provides links to brief descriptions of some collections as well as "Finding Guides" to specific items of others, which include the scope and content of the item and a biographical sketch of its author.
    Using a slightly different approach, Harvard University publicizes its special collections through the pages of their rare book and manuscript library. Here, only brief descriptions of the collections appear, but they urge you to reference the university's online library search and database for detailed descriptions of collection holdings and catalogs (they provide instructions on how to search for that particular item).
    Princeton University lists all their collections as well as library departments on one page. Their special collections and rare books collection are a link from that page.

Summer '99: The Summer '99 revisions were devoted to the Donors pages in order to give a broader and more thorough overview of the work of S.L. and Eileen Shneiderman. The revisions include the addition of more books and accompanying descriptions, a much expanded bibliography of Mr. Shneiderman's English articles, a page about his documentary The Last Chapter, and a page that includes his 1938 poem Elegy for my Shtetl as well as Marius Szanajderman's lithograph of the same name.

The revisions were consistent with the original structure, programming, and technical choices of the site. The only technical departure was a rethinking of the thumbnails. Despite the original sound logic of image-links leading to images and text-links leading to texts, we found that even the designers would instinctively click on the book covers, mistakenly expecting them to link to the book's page. So the book covers from the Donors page now link to their pages, and they can be enlarged from there, if so desired.

November 2001: In January 2001, Eileen Shneiderman published a new book in Yiddish (I. L. Peretz Publishers, Tel Aviv), titled What Time is it on the Jewish Clock? It contains a selection of her husband's writing, her introduction "Decades Together", and his "Notes for an Autobiography". In November 2001 on the fifth anniversary of S. L. Shneiderman's death, his extensive archives were made public at the Diaspora Research Institute of Tel Aviv University. A catalog of these materials will enable scholars to find relevant documents through a box list and several thematic lists.