Call for Proposals: International Workshop 'The Source'

Wednesday, 5 June, 2019

'The Source. Holocaust Sources: Truth, Interpretation and (Mis)Use in the Digital Era'

International Workshop
Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
27-25 November 2019

We would like to invite you to participate in an international workshop on the significance of original Holocaust archival sources in the digital era to be held at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, with the support and cooperation of EVZ Foundation, on 27-25 November 2019.

The Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (German acronym EVZ) was established in the year 2000 to pay compensation to former forced laborers during the period of National Socialism. Since 2001, the EVZ Foundation has also granted humanitarian aid to survivors, promoted a critical examination of history and human rights. The Foundation is thus an expression of the continuing political and moral responsibility of the state, the private sector and society as a whole for Nazi injustice and towards the victims.

Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, stands at the forefront of Holocaust education, remembrance, documentation and research. The use of leading-edge technological platforms maximizes accessibility to the vast information in the Yad Vashem archival collections, making information and online educational initiatives available to an expanding and dynamic global audience. 

Collecting sources from the Holocaust period is the basis for research, education and commemoration. Thus, the ability to know the degree of authenticity of the documentation, where it was before it reached us, and what its exact context is, are paramount. These questions are always true, and they are even more important in the field of Holocaust documentation, because documentation is the only source that can tell a story whose accuracy is of historical and moral importance.

Ever greater use of technology in the service of document accessibility raises new and complex professional and ethical questions. In the digital age, the question of what is an "original source" becomes even more complex than in the past: original documents are scanned and are available as digital files. They are more accessible but are also exposed to manipulation. Likewise, access to documentation is greater than ever, but alongside it, the distance between the source and its users has increased, making it difficult to verify authenticity and understand the context.

The workshop will deal with the various aspects of Holocaust archival sources: proper treatment of the original source when it has a digital copy; the care and use of the digital file; ethical dilemmas arising from the existence of an original and a digital copy, and more.

Call for Proposals

The target groups for this international workshop are archivists, researchers, curators, conservators,
and all others who work with Holocaust sources.
The workshop will address three aspects of this topic:

A. Physical: to what degree does the digital age impact on physical preservation?
B. Digital: how is the context and authenticity of Holocaust documentation preserved in the digital
age? Approaches and methodologies
C. Ethical: What are the boundaries of manipulation regarding Holocaust documentation? Ethical

Proposals are now being accepted for individual presentations. Presentations may deal with questions and issues such as:

  • What is an "original source" regarding Holocaust documentation?
  • To what extent should the necessity for preserving the source change when there is a digital copy?
  • Should the methodologies for preserving physical items from the Holocaust change, given the existence of digital copies?
  • Does the digital copy become the source itself?
  • Cataloguing methodologies for Holocaust documentation as a tool for preserving authenticity and context
  • Methods for identifying originals and copies in Holocaust collections
  • Ethical issues: manipulation of the original (colorization, removal from original context, voiceover, etc.)
  • Challenges involved in use of digital copies by educational organizations for creating online educational materials, augmented reality Apps, VR-installations, serious games etc.
  • Use of digital copies of Holocaust related materials in Online-Social Media Campaigns and the role of archivists as “gate keepers”

Each accepted proposal will be allotted up to 20 minutes for presentation followed by discussion. The workshop is geared toward group discussion by the participants on a variety of topics throughout the entire workshop, with the aid of presentations, guest lectures and round tables. The workshop will be
conducted in English.

If you are interested in giving a presentation, please send a short proposal of no more than 500 words and a CV (including all relevant contact information). 


Send proposals to Ms. Naama Leibman Shilo: For administrative matters contact Mr. Hillel Solomon:

The deadline to submit proposals is 15 July 2019. Notification will be sent via email by 15 August 2019. Funding for travel and accommodation will be available for participants.