Rare Book & Manuscript Library


How to Use the Archive

The Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry is well indexed. There are three modes of access: by geographic origin, by question number (reflecting the topically based organization of the questionnaire used for the interviews), and by a number referring to 400 linguistic topics.

Geographic Origin: The interviews are organized by speaker's location of origin, using a five digit Atlas Number reflecting the geographic grid developed for the study. Indices which cross-reference geographic place name to location number and vice versa appear in published form in Volume II of the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry (available in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library). The audiotapes for each interview are identified by the 5-digit Atlas Number.

Question Number: Every point in the interview questionnaire is uniquely specified by a six-digit number that reflects both page and question numbering. Each set of field notes bears a location number and consists of answer sheets preprinted with the questionnaire numbers. The Archive contains two copies of the notes. One has been separated into individual pages and interfiled in order by questionnaire page number, creating a topical index to the collection by questionnaire number. The second copy is shelved by location number, to match to the tapes. Each includes a cover sheet providing information about the informant and the date and place of the interview. The Archive also includes files of dates, places and biographical information related to the survey informants.

400 Topics: Each of the 400 topics of inquiry in the dialectology is assigned a three-digit number. Volume II of the Atlas contains a cross index in both directions between dialectology numbers and relevant questionnaire numbers.