What is the Archive?
The Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry
(LCAAJ), is an extraordinary resource for research in Yiddish
studies, consists of 5,755 hours of audio tape field
interviews with Yiddish speaking informants collected
between 1959 and 1972 and ca. 100,000 pages of accompanying
linguistic field notes. The Archive does not include
transcriptions of the interviews.
The data that constitutes the LCAAJ was collected from 603
locations in Central and Eastern Europe carefully chosen to
reflect the distribution of the Yiddish speaking population
on the eve of World War II. In a series of interviews
lasting anywhere from 2.5 to 16 hours,
informants answered questions on a wide variety of topics
concerning Yiddish language and culture. The project was
designed by Professor Uriel Weinreich, then Chairman of
Columbia University's Department of Linguistics, and
continued after his death in 1967 under the direction of
Dr. Marvin Herzog, Atran Professor Emeritus of Yiddish
Studies at Columbia University, who donated the Archive to
the Columbia University Libraries in 1995.