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Zalmen Zylbercweig: The Boswell of the Yiddish Theatre. Faith Jones May 2006. Overview of Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater : Vol. 1 (alef-khes) published New York, 1931

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Zalmen zylbercweig the boswell of the yiddish theatre

Zalmen Zylbercweig:The Boswell of the Yiddish Theatre

Faith Jones

May 2006


Overview of Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater: Vol. 1 (alef-khes) published New York, 1931

Vol. 2 (tes-ayin) published Warsaw, 1934 (actually Polesye)scarce; existing copies in poor condition; not available through NYBC reprint-on-demand project

Vol. 3 (pey) published New York, 1959

(first three volumes edited jointly with Jacob Mestel, d. 1958)

Vol. 4 published New York, 1963introduces “unzere boyer” section

Vol. 5 published Mexico City, 1967kdoyshim volume

Vol. 6 published Mexico City, 1969

Vol. 7 in page proofs at Mexico City, 1972copies of page proofs at YIVO and Mount Scopus (Israel)


  • Statistical overview:

  • ~ 3,000 individuals listed in six published volumes

  • 28% or around 840 are women; another 40 among “unzere boyer”

  • 491 individuals listed in volume 5, the “kdoyshim band” (yizkor volume)

  • ~ 100 entries for organizations, theater groups and types of Yiddish theatre (e.g. Purim shpiln)

  • six published volumes comprise 6,132 columns (3,066 pages)

  • unpublished volume 7: another 224 columns (112 pages) of biographies and 622 columns (311 pages) of Zylbercweig’s history of Yiddish theatre


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