What to Expect from EHRI in 2019
2018 was an eventful year for the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). The 24 partners within the consortium worked hard and great milestones were reached, such as the integration of the 2,000th archival institution into the EHRI Portal and over 100 EHRI fellows that were invited to stay at one of the partner institutions during the last project period. Important highlights were also the Honorary Mention that EHRI received at the Prix Ars Electronica 2018 and last but not least our inclusion on the ESFRI (the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap, which puts EHRI on its way to becoming a permanent organisation.
All these big achievements were unfortunately overshadowed by one great loss: Conny Kristel, project director of EHRI since the beginning, passed away in October 2018, leaving a great gap. She was an inspiration for everyone who was involved in EHRI and in many ways made the infrastructure to what it is today. Only weeks before her death she gave a speech at the ESFRI Roadmap 2018 launch in Vienna. ESFRI recorded an interview with Conny during the launch, and you can watch the resulting video, in which she talks about EHRI for the last time, below.
Challenges for 2019
It is with confidence that EHRI looks forward to the great challenges that lie ahead for 2019. In this year it will become clear in what form the infrastructure will continue. With the inclusion on the ESFRI roadmap, EHRI has an excellent starting point to achieve its goal of becoming a permanent structure.
Also in 2019, EHRI will organise two big events to mark the end of the second project phase. Both will take place in Amsterdam, on respectively 2 and 3 July. The call for the first conference, Holocaust Studies in the Digital Age, What’s New?, which is geared towards a professional audience, is already online. The second event will be open to a broader public and details of the programme and invitation will follow soon.
In the first half of this year, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies will welcome the first Conny Kristel fellow. The NIOD, as EHRI’s co-ordinating institution and Conny’s place of work, was considered the best place for this special EHRI fellowship in honour of Conny Kristel. This first special call is also the symbolic start to a new phase of the EHRI Fellowship programme that will grant Holocaust researchers, archivists and digital humanists comprehensive transnational access to key collections and centres of expertise across Europe and beyond while at the same time honour Conny’s commitment and achievements in facilitating transnational Holocaust research.
In the end, EHRI has no purpose without its portal users, fellows, seminar participants and many others. We hope our audience and its involvement will grow even more in this year and perhaps we will meet some of you face to face in Amsterdam in July.
Reto Speck, EHRI Project Director