Yad Vashem Holocaust archive now available online
Thursday 27 January 2011
Around 130,000 images from the world's largest Holocaust collection have been made available online for the first time in a bid to make them more accessible to people across the world.
Bosses at the Jerusalem-based archive Yad Vashem hope that the digitisation of the pictures - until yesterday morning only available at the museum in the Holy Land - will help people across the world research the murders of millions of people deemed undesirable by the Nazi regime.
In all, Yad Vashem's library holds more than 130 million documents and this move, said the museum's chairman Avner Shalev, is the "first step" towards bringing the whole of the "vast" archive online. The 130,000 pictures made available now – some of which are today reproduced by The Independent – show the faces of thousands of Jews, young and old who suffered Nazi persecution and murder before and during the Second World War.
To many, they will be anonymous victims, the documentation of whose suffering will provide a vital link to – and warning from – the past. To others, they will be family or friends.
The newly scanned images "help us to reach new audiences, including young people around the world, enabling them to be active in the discussion about the Holocaust", said Mr Shalev.
The ongoing project has been aided by internet giant Google. Santiago de la Mora, the company's Director of Print Content Partnerships in Europe, Middle East and Africa, said he is "sure everybody looks forward to hearing from Yad Vashem about the project's impact".
He explained that the company is providing technical assistance to the museum and is also hosting the "particularly significant" archive via its Google Storage service. He added that he hopes to make it easier for users around the world to browse the images and add their own stories to the archive.
Mr de la Mora said there is "no financial component to the partnership" between the two organisations. And he admitted that it is "impossible to gauge" when the rest of the collection will be made available online.
Google's experimental optical character recognition (OCR) technology, also used to translate images into digitally legible text by its Goggles application, has been employed in the digitisation project. A spokesman said that, "while not perfect, it will make it possible to search and find specific photographs and other documents".
The release marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yad Vashem, set up in 1953, holds millions of testimonies, photographs, diaries, and other documentary material relating to the Holocaust.
The collections are visible at http://collections.yadvashem.org/photosarchive/en-us/photos.html
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
A victory for gender equality on the high seas
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove