NYPL-Yiddish Book Center Yizkor Book Collection

Yizkor Books

Memorial books that document Jewish life before World War II, along with vivid firsthand accounts of the Holocaust and its aftermath

The New York Public Library-Yiddish Book Center Yizkor Book Collection includes 650 digitized Yizkor books from the collections of the two institutions.


Yizkor (memorial) books document the history of Jewish communities destroyed in the Holocaust. Written in Yiddish, Hebrew, or both, they are a crucial resource for research in East European Jewish history, Holocaust studies, and Jewish genealogy; often, they include necrologies (lists of those who died), making them especially valuable for genealogical research. Visually, many of these books are extremely rich, featuring detailed maps, photographs, and illustrations. 


Most Yizkor books were printed by small associations and committees of survivors, primarily for their own use. As a result, print runs were small, and copies have been extremely hard to find. 

You can search this online collection by title and by the name of the towns they commemorate, or browse this list on our website by country and community name. You can browse both the New York Public Library and Yiddish Book Center digital collections, along with links to English translations on New York Public Library's Guide to Yizkor Books. 

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