Charlotte Hauwaert from the Belgian State Archives I CegeSoma: Coordination of EHRI’s Data Integration

Charlotte Hauwaert

I joined the EHRI project in September 2016, just after finishing my Advanced Master’s program. I am based at the Belgian State Archives I CegeSoma (Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Society) in Brussels.

I have always had a particular interest in the Holocaust, but my knowledge about it deepened during my years at University when I chose to study History in Ghent. My area of expertise is collaboration and its impact on collective memory. My first master thesis focused on this subject by studying how schoolbooks and school manuals portrayed the round ups of the Vél d’Hiv from 1945 to 2012.

After my Master in History, prose fiction sparked my interest and I pursued a second Master in European Literatures and Cultures in France (Université Lille 3-Charles de Gaulle) and an advanced Master in Literary Sciences (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven). The transition from history to literature was a logic one, as my interests had broadened from collaboration towards the impact prose fiction around the subject of the Holocaust and collaboration can have on collective memory and remembrance rituals in different countries, namely in Belgium and France.

I thus considered it a true opportunity to be selected to join the EHRI team in 2016. My role comprises of many different tasks but the main one is functioning as a coordination centre for the integration of descriptions of Holocaust related sources into the EHRI portal, from selection to its manual or automatic integration. Other tasks include making and updating manuals when new methods and tools are created by EHRI, and working within the team of Users and Standards to optimize the use of the EHRI portal.

EHRI has offered me the opportunity to work in a dynamic and international (virtual) “office” that aims not only to regroup all Holocaust related sources into one portal, but also commits itself to finding new methodologies, to experiment with new ways to address the Holocaust and its sources, and to contribute to the scientific community by publishing its findings and achievements. In my spare time, I am an avid fitness fanatic, although I also like to spend my Sundays reading or binge watching Netflix.