Christiane Weber, MA, studied History, German Literature and British and American Literature and Culture at the University of Giessen/Germany. After ten years at the “Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur” – a research unit dedicated to holocaust literature – she started working for the Arolsen Archives (formerly: International Tracing Service) in 2017. There she develops in the Research and Education Department a digital tool which describes the historical background of holocaust related documents (see https://eguide.its-arolsen.org).
'The Arolsen Archives e-Guide: turning users into active explorers of Holocaust-related documents'
Abstract of presentation for Holocaust Studies in the Digital Age. What’s New? on 2 July 2019
One effect of the digital turn in Holocaust studies is that more and more documents are accessible online. While being able to ask archivists in the “paper archive” questions about the collections, users of a digital archive face – at least at first – the documents by themselves and questions remain.
As the Arolsen Archives are constantly increasing the amount of documents in their online archive the challenge arose to turn users into active explorers of the documents. Therefore, the Arolsen Archives developed the e-Guide (https://eguide.its-arolsen.org) as a research tool which describes the historical background of the most common documents held in the archive. The digital approach allows a broader distribution of knowledge and in comparison to a tradition presentation – e.g. in a book – it adapts to the previous knowledge of the individual users.
The presentation focuses on the thoughts behind the e-Guide especially on how digital possibilities were applied in this project.