EHRI Research Guides on Terezín and "Jewish Councils"
The aim of the EHRI research guides is to create comprehensive, innovative and easy to use guides through the dispersed and fragmented archival material and to empower further research. Using innovative methods and technologies, the research guides virtually link together data from different archives in different countries, which use varying methods of archival description and digital archival systems.
The guides combine narrative methods of contextualisation looking at the history, structure and meaning of the archival material, in combination with structured search through large amounts of archival descriptions, often going down to the level of files or even documents.
Rather than publishing the scans of the catalogued documents, the guides function as gateways pointing researchers to the respective collection holding institutions. So far, two thematic guides were created: the Terezín Research Guide combining the dispersed archival material on the Terezín (Theresienstadt) ghetto, and the “Jewish Councils” Research Guide, presenting in parallel fonds and collections relating to the Jewish leadership in occupied Europe subordinated to the Nazis.
Terezín Research Guide
The data provided by EHRI partners and other organisations were linked together using controlled vocabularies and authority sets. The data can be approached through fulltext search, or faceted browse, searching on authorities such as keywords, places and organisations. The Terezín Research Guide builds upon the connection of the archival material to a database of the prisoners of the ghetto. Geo-references were used to incorporate locations mentioned in the archival material. Detailed list of locations within the Terezín ghetto was collected along with their geo-coordinates, which allowed the visualisation of the files and documents on a map (see for instance the map of Terezín).
"Jewish Councils" Research Guide
Thematic guides structure the descriptions according to the main topics identified in the archival material and allow the users to traverse the hierarchy of the most important keywords used to describe Terezín and “Jewish councils” in the archival material. The Jewish self-administration guide follows the structure of the “Jewish Council of Elders” in Terezín. Historical introductions, timelines as well as other contextual documents provide further guidance and also directly link to the archival descriptions in the EHRI database.
Image: Postcard from Otto Taussig in Terezín, addressed to Jaroslav Taussig. Jewish Museum in Prague.