EHRI at the International Memorial’s Database Conference in Paris

International Memorial’s Database Conference
Wednesday, 27 September, 2017

From 13 until 15 September 2017, EHRI partner the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris hosted the annual International Memorial’s Database Conference. 41 archivists and research staff members from 21 collection holding institutes and memorial sites, spread across Germany, Poland, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Israel and the United States, gathered to share information on their ongoing and completed data(base) projects. Topics ranged from archival records and statistical analysis until standardization and software applications. All those working at memorial sites and Holocaust museums worldwide clearly share similar challenges. Gathering and exchanging best-practices, as well as challenges and sharing experiences has proven to be a very important undertaking, resulting in a motivation boost for all involved and a smooth information flow between colleagues spread over various institutions in Europe and beyond.

Dr. Veerle Vanden Daelen, Giles Bennett and Dorien Styven, represented EHRI at the Database Conference. Their main objective was to demonstrate the EHRI tools developed to export collection level descriptions as valid EAD and make these files available for harvesting. Dr. Veerle Vanden Daelen, deputy general director and curator of Kazerne Dossin, contextualized the EHRI project, illustrated the methods developed by EHRI to integrate data into the EHRI portal and pointed out the ongoing work to involve more and more memorial sites in EHRI. Dorien Styven, archivist at Kazerne Dossin, then presented the case study of the implementation of the EAD Creation Tool (to map metadata to comply with EAD standards) and the metadata publishing tool (to publish metadata on the EHRI portal and update the metadata via a sync tool) at a collection holding institute. Giles Bennett then explained the possibilities of the EHRI fellowship opportunities and new online courses for archivists to the participants.

The presentation of the EHRI tools was met with great enthusiasm. Multiple participants showed an interest in joining EHRI and several research staff members inquired about options to obtain EHRI fellowships to visit Kazerne Dossin to learn about the EHRI tools in practice. The Datenbanktagung proved to be a fruitful opportunity for EHRI to raise awareness about the development of the tools to share metadata. 

Image: from left to right, Veerle Vanden Daelen, Dorien Styven and Giles Bennett