Drs. Jack Kugelmass and Rebecca Jefferson have been awarded a Library Enhancement Grant in the Humanities for 2014 to help fund the acquisition of the Buenos Aires Yiddish daily Di prese. Published between 1918 and the 1980s, this newspaper was arguably the most important Jewish publication within Latin America. Since the 1880s, Argentina was a major destination for migrating Jews and became a cultural hub for Yiddish publications. Nobel prize-winning Yiddish writer Bashevis Singer was particularly impressed during his South American travels by the literary output of the Yiddish writers in Buenos Aires, many of whom wrote for the Di prese. Thus, the publication is a valuable historical resource that logged daily output from the many Jewish literati in and around Argentina.
The acquisition of the Di prese is particularly important due to its limited accessibility. The publication is almost unavailable in the United States outside of the New York Public Library and even one of the most prestigious Latin American collections in the United States at UT-Austin only has limited issues of the newspaper. Neither institution makes the Di prese available for loan, requiring most researchers to travel in order to access the collection.
Access to Di prese will open new avenues for faculty, graduate and undergraduate research. It will also increase student interest in courses in Jewish Studies and Yiddish. While housed in the Price Library of Judaica, Di prese will also augment the University of Florida’s Latin American Collection and will help make UF a primary location for scholars working on Latin American Jewry, a growing field in Jewish Studies.
Center for the Humanities
and the Public Sphere
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
200 Walker Hall
P.O. Box 118030
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611