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Highlights and Projects

The first collections from the ITS archive were made available online in October 2015

The first collections from the ITS archive were made available online in October 2015

The ITS began digitizing its documents early on, so it can now make digital data available to researchers. It has primarily done so in cooperation with its partner institutions, which hold digital copies of the archive in seven countries. In 2016, several ongoing ITS projects aimed to make it easier to work with the digital data and to expand the online content. Tools such as the new website and informative social media activities are being used to draw international attention to the ITS and its online archive.

  • The online archive of the ITS

    The first document collections from the ITS archive went online in October 2015. This digital archive offers direct, innovative access to the documents and descriptions of each collection, as well as the opportunity to comment. Expanding the online archive is one of the key tasks for the coming years.

    Smaller collections with generally wide appeal were chosen for the test phase. In the first step, photos of around 3,200 personal effects from concentration camp prisoners, documents about Allied investigations into death marches, and a sub-collection of the Child Search Branch were published.

    In 2016, the ITS prepared to put the next collections online. The card file of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany will be uploaded at the start of 2017, along with other documents on death marches from concentration camps – a total of around 47,000 documents.

  • Online general inventory

    Thanks to a direct link to the ITS database, the entire general inventory of the ITS has been accessible online since the end of 2016. Archive users can now gain an impression of how the collections are structured and read brief descriptions of the various sub-collections prior to their visit. The general inventory is available in German and English, and it can be searched by keyword. For reasons of transparency, even collections that have not yet been fully described are displayed in the general inventory. Detailed descriptions of these collections will gradually be added in the coming years.

  • Online finding aid for Nazi camp history

    Documents on concentration and extermination camps, ghettos, and other similar camps in Nazi Germany are the focus of a new online finding aid published by the ITS in May 2016 on the portal of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) and the German Archives Portal. This index was created between 1970 and 1982, and it served primarily as a tool to assist the ITS teams in their work. The German Research Foundation (DFG) supported the electronic description of the information for users today. Information was recorded on the level of individual sheets due to the tracing activities of the ITS, so the finding aid offers particularly in-depth descriptions of the content of the documents.

  • Website and social media

    When the new ITS website was launched in March 2016, the number of online inquiries rose immediately. In the first three months, until the end of June, the ITS received 13 percent more inquiries via its online form, which is available in German, English, French, and Russian, as well as Polish since mid-2016.

    The website is optimized for smart phones and tablets for improved mobile use. A special introduction to the various activities of the ITS is offered for different target groups. The website explains the 70-year-old mandate of the ITS for the victims of Nazi persecution and their families. It also provides information about current research and education programs, the collections in the archive, and the international network of the ITS.

    Vivid impression of the ITS

    Since June 2016, a new Facebook page has offered more insights into the daily work and network of the ITS. This quick and current medium additionally provides information about interesting documents, partnerships, visitors, less-familiar historical content, and research opportunities. The ITS has also been publishing this content and other information on Twitter since November 2016.