Europe’s most prestigious honor in the field of cultural heritage, the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award 2020 has been awarded to the Arolsen Archives for their online archive.
On Europe Day, May 9, 2020, the European Commission and Europa Nostra have announced the winners of the European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Awards 2020. Europe’s most prestigious honor in the field of cultural heritage goes to 21 laureates from 15 European countries in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The online archive of the Arolsen Archives is one of this year’s winners in the education category.
The following is an excerpt from the press release of the Europa Nostra organization:
This portal has provided users with easy online access to the documents for the very first time. A digital aid, the e-Guide, gives users the information they need in order to understand the archival records. The new online archive was initiated and funded by the Arolsen Archives and implemented with support from Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel.
Building on decades spent digitising the Arolsen Archives’ collections and indexing the names, this joint awareness-raising project utilises Yad Vashem’s state-of-the-art technology for fast data management and extended place and name search. At its launch in May 2019, users could already access 13 million documents online and search some 3 million names. The online archive is growing all the time.
The interactive archive allows users to add comments to discussions and contribute their knowledge to augment the archival information. The online archive also harnesses the resources of the entire community to correct mistakes and fill in the gaps in the Arolsen Archives’ documentation.
“The internationally recognised Arolsen Archives are of immense importance. The wealth of documentation adds to the global knowledge of the victims and survivors of Nazi persecution and makes the crimes transparent. The success of this awareness-raising project is in digitising around 30 million documents and providing open access. Collaborative work with other institutions around the world has further enriched their database. The metadata vocabulary allows users to easily search through this immense amount of information and the dialogue interface enables interaction between users,” the jury explained in their statement. “The archive has recorded an impressive number of users of the portal and has included parallel activities in education and awareness-raising.”