Call for Proposals EHRI Workshop at ITS: Person-Related Records beyond the Personal

ITS Document
Tuesday, 10 April, 2018

Documents as Primary Sources with Potential for Holocaust Research

November, 19-21 2018 (subject to reaction on CfP) Location: International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen, Germany

This workshop will focus on collections of person-related records such as registries, forms, applications documents from before and after the Holocaust. Those are seen as a specific type of primary source (similar to photos, videos, etc.), unique in their potential for Holocaust research and as an example for the challenges of improving archival access. The aim is to discuss best practises in dealing with such sources from the archival and scholarly perspective as well as the perspective of information sciences.

Speakers of various professional backgrounds are welcome, such as historians, archivists, information scientists, museum curators, legal experts etc.

Some suggested topics for sessions:

  • What types of person-related records exist from the times before and after 1945? Who produced such sources and for what purpose? What are their characteristics? What information do they contain?
  • Whose interests do these records mirror? Using records from administrations and/or perpetrators, what are the consequences for writing histories of the Holocaust? How can these be put into perspective with other sources?
  • Mapping collections of personal records throughout Europe (reports structured by region or type of records). Which archives and other institutions hold such record collections? How are they accessible for researchers? What is the legal situation concerning access and distribution/publication (differing data protection laws for each country/archive)?
  • New quantitative approaches and methodologies of conducting research based on collections of person-related records. What can these new approaches and methodologies in sociology, social geography, statistics, social history and Digital Humanities contribute to Holocaust research?
  • How do archives and other collection holding institutions deal with their collections of personal records? Presenting best practices of cataloguing, indexing and online access; practicalities and difficulties of sharing archival index data with researchers.
  • Which experiences have been gathered and/or what new approaches exist to improve access by using computer sciences and methods based on artificial intelligence, such as OCR, semantic document/text recognition and the like?
  • Connecting index data of person-related records – possibilities and limits for collection holding institutions (CHI) and Holocaust research. Can archivists make use of index data from other CHIs in order to enrich their own collections with metadata? Does a connection of index data from different CHIs offer new perspectives for Holocaust research?

If you are interested in giving a presentation, please send a proposal of up to 500 words and a CV (including contact information) to:

Christian Groh, christian.groh[at]

Presentations should last up to 20 minutes to allow for questions and discussions. The workshop will be conducted in English.

The deadline for proposals is August 3, 2018.

Notifications will be sent via email by September 7, 2018.

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