New Searchable Library Catalog
Search the Museum's new extensive library catalog. Visiting scholars and researchers welcome. By special appointment only. Contact Dr. Vladimir Melamed.VISIT OUR LIBRARY CATALOG
LOS ANGELES MUSEUM OF THE HOLOCAUST
650,000 PAGES OF DOCUMENTS,
REFLECTING THE HISTORY OF THE 20TH CENTURY
No archival undertaking is able to save human lives. It can However, save its substance, and also human dignity
Polish editor and publisher
The Museum dates its beginning from the1960s, when a group of local Holocaust survivors created a memorial room at the premises of the Jewish Federation of the Greater Los Angeles. Over the decades, significant numbers of personally donated documents and artifacts from the Holocaust era were deposited there. The year of 1978 marks the opening of the first Museum of the Holocaust in Los Angeles. The entire 12th floor of the new Jewish Federation building became a museum. The new museum was designed, built and opened as a Holocaust repository, embedding major themes and chronology in the History of the Holocaust. However, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust did not have its permanent home until September 2010, when a new, specially designed building was constructed in Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles.
Archival materials have been collected since the first inception of the memorial room, in the early 1960s. However, for the long time, archival, records remained only stored rather than processed and archived in accordance with the principles of historic and archival relevancy. In 2006, archival reorganization and restructuring began. Nowadays, we have a modern repository, containing tens of thousands of records comprising over 500,000 pages of documents.
Around 90% of all archival holdings are catalogued, indexed and digitized. Archival narratives in the form of finding aids contains historic, content, bibliographical and scope notes to more than 180 record groups. It includes also descriptive summaries, administrative information and various index terms. Fining Aids is a research tool for the level of a record group, collection, sub-collection, folder and individual documents. All catalogued and indexed documents are searchable on the Museum network and partially on the online Archival System www.lamoth.info .
We are currently preparing to make the entire Archival Collections available online. It is a manifold process, encompassing normalization, automatization of the Archival Database, creation of an adequate search system to meet our specific needs and ensuring connection between the Finding Aids and corresponding digital objects. Overall, our primary task translates into the opening of the Archive to the end-user, equally on-site and online. Our small but highly dedicated staff is undertaking this highly labor-intensive process to make this online Archival Collections available worldwide.
We have selected the Archon platform for the online archival database. Archon is a unified platform for archival description and access. Once the Archon project is completed, 650,000 pages comprising 18,500 documents within the 180 record groups would become fully searchable by collections, digital content, subjects, creators and record groups. In other words, the new archival information system shall enable the end-user to conduct multifactorial research through a wide array of keywords, subject-matters, personal and geographic names, chronological and geopolitical entities.
Our Archive has become a nucleus for a research institute in the form of internship. Interns from the United States and abroad constitute and integral part of our research division. By working on the online archival catalog, the interns learn the History of the Holocaust and Modern European History through the analysis of primary documents. Entering the narratives and digital objects into the online search system correlates with providing of historiography, scope and content notes, as well as with narration of historic facts.
Scholarly seminars for college-level students, interns and docents reflect another facet of archival research. These seminars focus on the lesser known pages of the Holocaust History, namely the regional histories, collaboration with the Nazi-German authorities, the role of Judenraete (Jewish councils), the Judische Ordnungsdienst (Jewish Order Service) and of the Jewish Resistance.
George Stoellinger, intern from Austria, working in the Archive
Archives, like books, if not read and acclaimed, then they may not fully serve its purpose. Creation of the automated archival database and archival, searchable online system, would bring students of the Holocaust and interdisciplinary students, as well as accomplished scholars to our Museum and Archive. They shall be able to employ our archival resources for coursework, articles and dissertations or for filmmaking.
RG-72.02.06, Postcard from Berta Morgen in Stanislawow ghetto to Filipo Kowner in Chiety, Italy, 7 September 1942.
72.08.48, Postcard sent from Ukraine, Kamjanets-Podilskyj to Dmytro Dziumka in labor camp Tiefbau, Waldenburg (Wałbrzych), Poland, 24 July 1943.