Lunski, Khaykel. Papers.
The materials in the collection were originally arranged by Ezekiel Lifschutz (ca. 1950), who also created a pertinent finding aid in Yiddish. In 2007-2008 the finding aid was translated into English by Chava Lapin and edited by Rivka Schiller.
The collection is comprised of three 5” archival boxes. The majority of the materials are in Yiddish and Hebrew, although several other languages including Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, and French are also represented in the collection.
The collection was formerly part of Record Group 3, from which it was extracted to form a separate record group (RG 58). In this new arrangement, folder numbers remain unchanged, because this Record Group, like other record groups from the YIVO Archives in Vilna, was a segment of a larger block of materials, which were originally arranged as one continuous collection. Thus, the folders in the newly formed collection, Record Group 58, are numbered from 2311 to 2350A.
Khaykl Lunski was born in 1881(?) in Slonim, Belarus, into a family with rabbinic roots. He attended kheyder and several yeshivas. He settled in Vilna in 1892 and remained there until his death. Lunski perished in the Vilna ghetto, possibly in 1942. Lunski is best remembered today for his role as the librarian and supervisor of the Strashun Library, the Jewish library that was run by the Vilna kehilla (community). He served in this post until the demise of the Library under the Nazis in 1941.
Following the liquidation of the Strashun Library and the YIVO Library, Lunski and other members of Vilna’s Jewish intelligentsia were forced to select and crate thousands of Jewish books and archives for shipment to Germany. Lunski’s papers were presumably mixed with other looted collections. The papers, together with the volumes from the Strashun Library, were recovered after the war and brought to YIVO in New York in 1947.
The Khaykl Lunsky Papers are comprised of his manuscripts, correspondence, as well as documents from the administrative files of the Strashun Library and the S. Ansky Historical Ethnographic Society in Vilna. The majority of the papers are in Yiddish and Hebrew.
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