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Vilnius Household Registers Project - Home Page

About the Vilnius Household Registers, 1919-1940

During the period of Polish control of eastern Lithuania and adjoining Belarus between the world wars, the Polish system of tracking residents through household registries was implemented in the city of Vilnius. Some 13,000 of these registers survive, containing millions of lines of detailed data about Vilnius residents and visitors, many of whom were Jewish. The purpose of the VHR project is to extract and make available the information about Jews in these records.  Because of the scale of the project, it will take many years to complete.  Data will be made available in batches, and the information on this page will allow you to determine if a particular batch is of interest to you.  For more detailed information about the registers and our project, check out the VHR Coordinator’s blog.

What’s new?

May 16 - Batch 6 is available now, to qualified donors!

Feb. 16 - Check out the Vilnius Interactive Map

Download Batch 1 (free to all, thanks to a Rabbi Malcolm Stern grant from IAJGS)

We hope this first release will excite and inspire you, and whet your appetite for more.  Although no qualifying donation is required to access this batch, please consider making a donation now to help keep the project going.  A qualifying donation made now can be applied to a future batch.  

Batch previews

Each batch of data that we make available contains about 5,000 lines, representing the complete data available from a handful of addresses.  By examining the free batch preview, you can gauge whether a batch is relevant to your research.  A qualifying donation of at least $50 is required to access the batch itself.  See the donation section for further details.

The batch preview gives the full name and year of birth (or age) from every line in the spreadsheet. To keep things simple, we have put the previews for all the batches to date in a single excel file, with each batch preview in a separate tab.  The information in the preview is presented in the same order as it appears in the batch itself.  We have also presented the same information alphabetically, to facilitate browsing the list.

Download all batch previews in one file.

"I want to access the data.  What do I do?" (for batches after Batch 1)

Great! You’ve examined the batch previews and determined that one of the batches is relevant to you.  We make one batch spreadsheet available to qualified donors to the project ($50 minimum).  To proceed, go to our donation page and select "Vilnius Household Registers" under the Special Project option.  If you know which batch you want, you can mention it in the donation note.  Alternatively, you can email the project coordinator at vhrproject@litvaksig.org with your requests or questions.  Files will be distributed by an emailed download link.

Please note that each requested batch requires its own $50 donation.  Donations may be combined, e.g., donate $100 for access to two batches. You can also donate now and defer your batch request.

Become a VHR Benefactor!

No doubt about it - this project will be huge and expensive.  While we are grateful for every donation, we don’t expect that the $50 qualifying donations we will receive will be enough, by themselves, to sustain the project.  Another part of our funding plan depends on the generosity of benefactors.  If you can help sustain the project, we need you.  We have a schedule of incentives for various donation levels that, we hope, will further encourage you to step up.  Please visit the VHR Incentives page for further details.  No matter what amount you decide to donate, all donations to the project should go through the Vilnius Household Registers option under Special Project on our donation page.

"I know my ancestor’s address.  Please index it."

We are starting with addresses where we have reason to believe Jews were highly concentrated.  Our thought is that this plan will produce useful data for the most people in the shortest time.  As a special consideration for donors of $1000, we will prioritize one address.  This means that the selected address will be included in our next order for scans.  When we receive the scans, the selected address will jump to the top of the queue for translation.  And, of course, the donor will be the first to receive the indexed data.

Donors interested in this option should email the project coordinator (vhrproject@litvaksig.org) to find out whether registers exist for the address in question, and, if so, what years are covered. 

Project Coordinator’s Blog

 The coordinator’s blog includes commentary about aspects of the household registers and our indexing project, as well as answers to your questions. Click here to go the the blog page.