People of a Thousand Towns

Project History

In 1981-1987, generous funding from the Charles H. Revson Foundation enabled YIVO to develop a videodisc of approximately 15,000 images of Jewish communities in Eastern and Central Europe, which was linked to a computer catalog.

For over 14 years, the People Of A Thousand Towns videodisc provided viewers with access to pictures through an index of place names, family names, and description keywords from a computer work station set up in the YIVO Archives. In 1993, a grant from the Rita Poretsky Foundation enabled several improvements to the catalog's database and design.

In 2002, a grant from the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. to the partners of the Center for Jewish History enabled the conversion of People Of A Thousand Towns into an Internet-based catalog.