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Recordings of Yiddish Writers Now Online

The first batch of recordings that have been digitized as part of the Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library can now be listened to on Archive.org at this link http://archive.org/details/nationalyiddishbookcenteraudio .  Each track in Yiddish has two copies: one with English metadata and one with Yiddish metadata.  The recordings can be downloaded by right clicking on the MP3 recordings on the left hand side under each individual entry under “streaming”.  The recordings consist of lectures by and interviews with writers and poets who visited the Jewish Public Library of Montreal between 1953 and 2005.  These are roughly the first 60 out of around 1,100 recordings that will be uploaded in the next two years.  Among the writers represented in the recordings that have been uploaded so far are: Aaron Glanz-Leyeless, Aaron Zeitlin, Abraham Sutzkever, Allen Ginsberg, Chava Rosenfarb, Chaim Grade, H. Leivick, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Itzik Manger, Jacob Glatstein, Kadia Molodowsky, Melech Ravitch, Rachel Korn, Rajzel Zychlinsky, Saul Bellow, Shmerke Kaczergsinki, Yosef Kerler, Dora Wasserman, and Leonard Cohen.  I have aimed to the best of my ability to note the names of not just the main speakers but every speaker listed in the library records, including speakers who gave short introductions.  I have done so under the “keywords” which can be viewed here: http://archive.org/browse.php?field=subject&mediatype=audio&collection=nationalyiddishbookcenteraudio . The full list of programs that have been uploaded so far can be accessed here: http://archive.org/search.php?query=collection%3Anationalyiddishbookcenteraudio&sort=-publicdate .
Listening to the recordings you will note that many stop in the middle of a program and sometimes in the middle of a sentence.  When this happens the recording will continue with a second recording listed with the same title ending with “part 2″.  The recordings were made with reel to reel tapes that switched sides during the recording process after a certain amount of time.  Because they switched sides a portion of the programs were not recorded, usually between 5 and 7 seconds but sometimes as many as 30 seconds have been lost. The digitized tracks correspond exactly with the material on one side of the reel to reel tapes.

You can read more about the Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library here http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/pakn-treger/11-11/voices-from-vault-yiddish-writers-speak-again and here http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/blog/12/01/montreal-trip .  Any comments, feedback, or inquiries regarding this project can be directed tojkutzik@bikher.org

Jordan Kutzik