The Mickey Katz Digital Library is an exhibition of digital artifacts from the life of Mickey Katz, a Jewish musician, comedian and performer who popularized klezmer music for a broad audience. His 1947 recording of his first Yiddish parody “Haym Ofen Range,” sold thousands of copies within weeks, and he recorded more than a dozen albums under his own name with Capitol Records. While his virtuosity on the clarinet and saxophone made him a universal hit, he also embraced his ethnicity through his klezmer style and by recording Yiddish versions of popular songs. This endeared him to a generation of Jewish listeners struggling with the acquisition of English and becoming American. The goal of the Digital Library is to provide the public with access to artifacts documenting and narrating his life, so that his contribution to American Jewish culture isn’t forgotten.
CDH is supporting this project by providing expertise with Omeka, a digital content management system in which the digital artifacts will be published, and Neatline Time, a web application that allows those artifacts to be structured into a temporal narrative. CDH is also providing web hosting for the project.