Rare Collection in the Digital Age
Session coordinator: Jakub Petřík, Albertina icome Praha s.r.o.
Time and venue: May 25, 1:30 PM - 3:10 PM, Auditorium D
USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive and Its Potential in Practice
Jakub Mlynář, Charles University, Prague - Faculty of Mathematics and Physics - Malach Visual History Centre, Czech Republic
Documents to download
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive is a unique collection of almost 52 000 testimonies of the Holocaust survivors and witnesses, recorded in 56 countries and 32 languages during the late 90's (over 1 000 interviews are in Czech and Slovak language). Prague is one of the three European access points to the on-line licensed archive content, connected by the high-speed Internet 2 from the Malach Visual History Centre at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University. With average 2 hours duration, the interviews have been conducted with standardised methodology. The interviewees speak about their childhood, the time before World War II, the war-related experiences and also their life after the war. The Archive is thus a valuable collection of countless individual recollections of entire 20th century. In the present time, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute is focused on using the archive testimonies for educational purposes. The Visual History Archive provides sophisticated tools for users to identify whole testimonies of relevance, as well as specific segments within testimonies that relate to their area of interest. Searching is possible using a thesaurus containing more than 55 000 geographic and experiential keywords, time intervals, names, places etc. Even the real-time work with the Archive is a valuable educational experience, connecting computer and informational literacy with broader historic and cultural knowledge. The Visual History Archive is a relevant source not only for the historians, but is applicable to many more fields of study including linguistics, political science, sociology or gender studies. As an example of the Archive possibilities, a practical illustration will be included in the presentation.
Author's professional CV
I have gained master degree in Sociology at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague. In my master thesis I have been researching the conscience of the environmental crisis and its reflection in lifestyle. Nevertheless, my interests in the social sciences have always been wider and not focused on one specific area of study. Since early 2010, I am working in Malach Visual History Center at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University as a coordinator. Among my other current professional interests are the specifics of audiovisual autobiographic material and its value for sociology and educational praxis. In this context, I am also exploring the broader theoretical background in the topics of time, (collective) memory and remembering in the social sciences and humanities.