First comprehensive online bibliography on the subject of Displaced Persons online

First comprehensive online bibliography on the subject of Displaced Persons online

The website of the Arolsen Archives now provides access to a comprehensive specialist bibliography on the history of Displaced Persons (DPs) after 1945. Researchers are invited to contribute actively to developing this valuable resource which features filter functionality and is open to all.

“We have launched this tool to fill a real gap as there is no central bibliography on the subject of Displaced Persons as yet,” explains Christian Höschler, Deputy Head of Research and Education at the Arolsen Archives. “Our aim is to include all the relevant research published on the subject. On the one hand, this means we need to create a database and update it continuously. At the same time, we are also turning to the professional community for help and asking researchers to inform us of relevant publications if we have not yet included them in the bibliography.” Links to the “WorldCat” database make it possible to identify the documents themselves as well as the libraries that hold them.

Since the early studies that were carried out in the 1980s, DP research has developed into a dynamic and international field of research. This has also led to an increase in the number of publications. Having long been fairly limited in size and scope, this field of historical research has become much broader as a result and now overlaps with a number of other fields, including research focusing on the final days of the Nazi regime, contemporary Jewish history, and so-called aftermath studies. So much literature is now available that a comprehensive bibliography is needed in order to keep track of relevant new publications.

The enormous number of personal documents from the DP camps of the early post-war period that are held by the Arolsen Archives make their collection one of the largest in the world to deal with this subject. This means that the history of Displaced Persons is very much a focus of research for the Arolsen Archives and their users, and the biography, which is updated on a continuous basis, is a much-needed in-house tool as well as a service offering for others. The mass global phenomena of flight, expulsion and migration seen today make this topic particularly relevant to our times.

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