Call for Proposals | Using Holocaust Documents Online: The Changing Relationship Between Archivist and User

YV Call for Proposals
Wednesday, 26 August, 2020

23-24 November 2020 | Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

EHRI partner Yad Vashem would like to invite you to participate in a virtual international workshop on the Changing Relationship between the Archivist and the User, organized by Yad Vashem – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, with the support and cooperation of EVZ – the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future", on 23-24 November 2020.

The joint EVZ-Yad Vashem workshops provide a platform for discussions of contemporary questions, methodologies and programs, related to the accessibility of Holocaust documentation.In this workshop, taking place in the shadow of a the Covid-19 pandemic, we will deal with how open access to Holocaust documentation, and services provided remotely can redefine standard procedure and transform the way we interact, and we will explore the challenges and benefits these changes bring. Ever greater use of technology in the service of document accessibility raises new and complex professional and ethical questions. Focusing on the test case of Holocaust documentation, the workshop will address the changing role of the archivist/reference expert in interaction with the user. We will attempt to define expertise in an age where large amounts and sometimes all source material and information is accessible online, and how this actuality influences changes in methodology and tools.

  • How does widely-used remote access to Holocaust documentation change the interface between expert and user?
  • Is the role of the archivist to supply information? Is the role of the archivist to provide instruction in research methodology?
  • Is the archivist the authority for the user?
  • Does the archive have responsibility as the gatekeeper?
  • What kind of users are archivists in relationship with (e.g. researchers, private persons, creators of apps and other tools, curators, developers, etc.)?
  • Is the community of users becoming more diverse and what does this mean for archivists?
  • Does direct access to the documentation make cataloguing (metadata, archival descriptions) redundant and, if so, can this remove the document from its context?
  • Does this require changes in cataloguing methodology?
  • Is there a place for the user in improving descriptions and adding knowledge (crowdsourcing for example)?

These questions are always pertinent, however the shift to working remotely imposed upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic amplifies the need for a discussion on these issues and on various tools for dealing with the challenges.

Read the Call for Proposals

The workshop will be conducted in English and will take place on Zoom. The deadline to submit proposals is 21 September, 2020.