Treasures from the Sholem Asch Collection at Yale


portrait of Asch


Born in Poland and a resident of many countries- United States, France, Israel and England, among others-- Asch was one of the best known Yiddish authors of the first half of the twentieth century. A prolific writer of novels, plays and essays, he was the first Yiddish writer to be widely read in translation.

Asch had close ties to Yale, a fact not generally known. While in the United States, he lived for a time in Stamford, Connecticut, and did the research for his novels in the Yale library. He felt a great affinity for Yale and decided that was where he wanted his collection of rare books and manuscripts to go. This became possible through the generosity of Louis M. Rabinowitz, who purchased Asch's collection in 1945 and presented it to the University. Yale also received several manuscripts of Asch's writings. The Asch Collection is housed in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

It is our pleasure to present a selection of illuminated manuscripts from the Asch Collection. The actual exhibit coincided with the conference Sholem Asch Reconsidered, which took place at Yale on May 13-15, 2000.

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Nanette Stahl, Judaica Curator and Exhibit Curator, Yale University Library
Vincent Giroud, Curator Modern Books and Manuscripts, Beinecke Library
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