Call for Proposals EHRI Workshop: Standing up to Scrutiny: Authenticating Holocaust Documentation

Thursday, 13 April, 2017

International Workshop within the Framework of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure

23-25 October 2017.

Location: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, USA

Call for Proposals for an international EHRI workshop on authenticating Holocaust documentation to be held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, on October 23–25, 2017.

For any field, ensuring authenticity is essential. All disciplines have confronted forgeries, and Holocaust studies is no different. We rely on authentic documentation to provide the foundation for Holocaust education and to combat Holocaust denial, revisionism, and minimization. Holocaust documentation exists in many formats: print, textiles, objects, photography, film, and recorded sound. This historical record has been gathered by institutions around the world. Ensuring the safety, accessibility, and authenticity of these materials is a fundamental duty of all Holocaust collection-holding institutions, especially as we make this documentation accessible to the broadest audiences through digitization and online access.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ©USHMM

Non-authentic documentation can include misinterpreted and misrepresented documents, altered authentic documents, and outright fakes. Holocaust organizations rely on both forensic and historical evaluation to determine authenticity. This workshop will bring together experts to share experiences and best practices for acquiring collections and identifying non-authentic materials and/or provenance.

This workshop for experts is organized within the framework of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) program, supported by the European Commission. EHRI was launched in November 2010 and is dedicated to opening up collections related to Holocaust history within a web-based environment. The overall objective of the EHRI workshops is to generate a creative exchange of knowledge and views between experts in various methodological subfields of Holocaust research and documentation.

Call for Proposals

The target groups for this international workshop are archivists, scholars, curators, conservators, forensic experts, and all others who work with Holocaust documentation.

Proposals are now being accepted for individual presentations. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Forgeries and Fakes: From “memorabilia” at flea markets to auction house sales to infamous fakes such as the Hitler diaries
  • Historical Scrutiny: Misinterpretation and/or misrepresentation of authentic documentation
  • Authentic Fakes (e.g. forged documents from the period)
  • Role of Provenance Research
  • Supply and Demand: Creating and combatting a market for Holocaust documentation and Nazi memorabilia
  • Case Studies of Authentication
  • Authenticity, Digitization, and Documentation Online

Each accepted proposal will be allotted up to 20 minutes for presentation followed by discussion. This is an experts' workshop, so ample time must be provided for questions and discussion. The workshop will be conducted in English. All workshop sessions will be led by a moderator.

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) to:

Neal Guthrie,

The deadline to submit proposals is July 10, 2017 (extended).

Notification will be sent via email by July 31, 2017.

Funding for travel and accommodation will be available for participants in accordance with European Commission guidelines and the EHRI project budget.

Download the Call for Proposals