27 november 2019

Call for Applications (CfA)

Remote Access to the Arolsen Archives from Amsterdam:
Researching Nazi Persecution, Forced Labour and Displaced Persons

Amsterdam, 29 January – 31 January 2020

The Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution (formerly the International Tracing Service, ITS) – hold the world’s most comprehensive archive on the victims and survivors of National Socialism. Part of the institution’s mission is to continually improve access to its collections, which are made up of well over 30 million documents pertaining to the Holocaust, Nazi concentration camps, forced labour during World War II, and the registration and care of Displaced Persons (DPs) in the post-war period. Furthermore, the archive holds more than three million post-war case files documenting the fates of individual Nazi victims (mainly correspondence with enquirers). By now, over 85 per cent of the records have been digitised. Users can access a growing number of documents (albeit not the collections in their entirety) in a new online archive that the Arolsen Archives launched in May 2019. For more information about the institution and its holdings, please refer to the website of the Arolsen Archives at www.arolsen-archives.org.

The NIOD, Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies is a research, knowledge and information centre about war, the Holocaust and genocide and is part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Founded on 8 May 1945 with the goal of writing the history of the Second World War in the Netherlands and in the former Dutch East Indies, the area of work today covers the 20th and 21th century. The focus thereby lies on research into the effects of wars, the Holocaust and other genocides on individuals and society. The ambition of the NIOD is to make links with war violence visible elsewhere in the world through independent research with a strong civic focus and to show that the long-lasting consequences of violence do not stop at national borders. For more information about the institution and its holdings, please refer to the website of the NIOD at www.niod.nl.

As part of a broader strategy to enable and improve access to the entire digital collections, the Arolsen Archives and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies are co-organising an international three-day research seminar for scholars from the Netherlands and neighbouring countries. The event will take place at the NIOD in Amsterdam from 29 January through 31 January 2020. At its core, the seminar will enable participants to carry out their own research in the digital collections of the Arolsen Archives through a recently established “remote access” solution. Competent staff on site will provide guidance in exploring the depths of the digital archive. For this, participants will have to bring along their personal (portable) computers. Please note that remote access will only be possible on devices running Microsoft Windows. Participants will be able to save selected documents of interest free of charge.

Over the course of the event, there will be room for joint discussions about the pros and cons of working with the documents in their current digital environment. Participants are also encouraged to exchange ideas on both methodological approaches in general as well as their individual research projects. How can varying scholarly needs ­– for instance with regard to research on individual persons, but also larger groups, places, or specific thematic aspects of Nazi persecution – be met through the current structure of and search engine navigating the digital collections of the Arolsen Archives? Where do their limitations lie? And which future activities in processing the collections (e.g. through specific metadata indexing) have the potential to enhance researchers’ experience and enable them to engage in innovative methods and topics?

Practical Information

The seminar will take place at the NIOD in Amsterdam, 29 January through 31 January 2020. The event language will be English. Participants will arrive in Amsterdam on 28 January 2020.

Interested candidates from The Netherlands and neighbouring countries are encouraged to send their application via e-mail to requests-rs@arolsen-archives.org. Applications should consist of a short letter of motivation, a brief biographical note, and an overview of the project for which you intend to explore the digital collections of the Arolsen Archives (1-2 pages in total). The deadline for applications is 16 December 2019. Participants will be chosen and notified by 20 December 2019.

The organisers will cover the costs of accommodation (three nights at a hotel in Amsterdam), organise the hotel bookings, and provide two lunches and two dinners. Participants, on the other hand, will have to pay for and book their own transportation to and from Amsterdam.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at requests-rs@arolsen-archives.org. We look forward to many interesting applications!