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The work presented here under methodological aspects is not primarily linguistically driven. Our work in toto is embedded in a much more general, culture-political framework. We think that there is a lack of knowledge in Europe about its most recent cultural history. In working in Europe with the archive of the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry we want to contribute to closing this gap.
Let us summarize our guidelines in 3 sentences:
a) The very foundation of a professional language archive is a large and varied collection of data.
b) Knowledge gained through the study of such a collection is an archive's stock-in-trade.
c) The sharing of knowledge is the basis for all professional and public activities of a language archive.
What are the required components of such an enterprise?
a) an extensive reference library of documented artefacts with all data potentially available for legimate study and research
b) a secure permanent repository of the artefacts
c) a center for artefact identification
d) a clearinghouse for professional inquiries
e) an educational resource
f) a public gallery where people can simply look, wonder, consider, appreciate and reminisce.
M. Herzog, V. Baviskar, U. Kiefer, R. Neumann, W. Putschke, A. Sunshine, and U. Weinreich (eds.). The Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry.
Volume 1(=LCAAJ I): M. Herzog, U. Weinreich and V. Baviskar, (1992). Historical and Theoretical Foundations. Tübingen.
Volume 2 (=LCAAJ II): A. Sunshine, U. Weinreich, B. Weinreich, R. Neumann, (1995). Research Tools. Tübingen.
Volume 3 (=LCAAJ III): M. Herzog, (2000). The Eastern Yiddish-Western Yiddish Continuum. Tübingen (in print).