26 March 2015

European/Israëli consortium expands to Eastern Europe and US

The international Holocaust-project EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure) will be expanded. The EU has decided to support the next phase of EHRI work with 8 million euro of funding under Horizon2020. This was announced today by Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission, at the presentation of the EHRI portal in Berlin. This portal provides access to more than 1,800 Holocaust-related archival institutions in 51 countries, and to descriptions of tens of thousands of archival materials. Starting out in 2010 as a EC-financed initiative, researchers in 20 institutions in Europe and Israel worked together to make archives accessible and to connect collections.

International historical research into the Holocaust and its impact as a European phenomenon has to be continued, according to the EU. In this second phase, EHRI will consolidate its existing position and expand it to other countries. The new consortium will enable EHRI to reach those regions where much valuable Holocaust source material is located, but where access has hitherto been problematic, especially in South-Eastern and Eastern Europe.

The Polish Centre for Holocaust Research and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC have joined the consortium. Like Yad Vashem, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is very active in collecting and preserving Holocaust collections, and in making them accessible for research. It will become an essential part of the consortium with its extensive copies of Holocaust-related collections, gathered from many different regions in Europe.

Outreach to society

Robert-Jan Smits unveiled the Portal together with Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, and Sander Dekker, the Dutch State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science. Director-General Robert-Jan Smits said: "EHRI's impressive work has given invaluable support to Holocaust researchers. I am delighted that under Horizon 2020 the project will even expand its scope during the second phase. It will continue to be a 'best practice' model for other humanities projects in its innovative approach not only as regards data integration, management and retrieval, but also as outreach to society."

EHRI was financed under the EU 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. EHRI will continue in the second phase of the project, starting in May 2015 and working with EU funding of €8 million from Horizon 2020, the EU's current research and innovation funding programme.

To use the EHRI portal please visit https://portal.ehri-project.eu

For the news alert of the European Commission, see http://ec.europa.eu/research/index.cfm?pg=newsalert&year=2015&na=na-260315