The Holocaust and Photographic Documentation

Monday, 24 October, 2011

Expert Meeting EHRI and Interviews with Users

In September 2011, EHRI hosted its second international expert meeting. This three-day event took place at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the Netherlands. The topic of the meeting was The Holocaust and (Digital) Photographic Documentation, and the workshop brought together sixteen professionals from thirteen countries.

The different backgrounds of the participants made the workshop especially interesting, with researchers and freelancers attending alongside individuals working for museums, libraries and archives. This meant that each participant had a different perspective on the use of and search for images of the Holocaust. All agreed that photographs are a very valuable source and often have a striking impact, but that information about the images is often missing, misleading or varied from one archival institution to the next and that it is often unclear or completely unknown if there are photographs on a certain subject. Archivists as well as researchers recognized the need for cooperation between countries and institutes and a good research infrastructure, such as the one EHRI is hoping to create.

Every participant gave a presentation on his or her own specific area of interest followed by discussion. The topics varied from ‘Analysing private war albums of Wehrmacht soldiers in the context of family memories, exhibitions and archives’ to ‘Photo Verification in the Digital Age’ and The Use of Historical Images for Research and Educational Purposes in Norway’.

Expert meetings like these are very valuable for EHRI as they provide a lot of information about what is important to researchers, other users and institutions. All participants of The Holocaust and the (Digital) Photographic Documentation found the workshop very inspiring and look forward to continuing the exchange of ideas.

Interviews with Users

During 'The Holocaust and the (Digital) Photographic Documentation' International Workshop at NIOD, Amsterdam, we were able to udertake a series of semi-structured interviews with a representative selection of Holocaust scholars. The semi-structured interviews, which are still a work in progress, are based on a thematic structure of a dozen themes including resource discovery and appraisal, annotation, and the usability of digital resources available for research in the field of the Holocaust. Dr. Agiatis Benardou (DCU, Athens), who travelled to Amsterdam for this purpose, conducted interviews with Holocaust scholars from the Netherlands, Hungary and Germany.