Andrew Curry at the New York Times: “With people around the globe sheltering at home amid the pandemic, an archive of records documenting Nazi atrocities asked for help indexing them. Thousands joined the effort….
As the virus prompted lockdowns across Europe, the director of the Arolsen Archives — the world’s largest devoted to the victims of Nazi persecution — joined millions of others working remotely from home and spending lots more time in front of her computer.
“We thought, ‘Here’s an opportunity,’” said the director, Floriane Azoulay.
Two months later, the archive’s “Every Name Counts” project has attracted thousands of online volunteers to work as amateur archivists, indexing names from the archive’s enormous collection of papers. To date, they have added over 120,000 names, birth dates and prisoner numbers in the database.
“There’s been much more interest than we expected,” Ms. Azoulay said. “The fact that people were locked at home and so many cultural offerings have moved online has played a big role.”
It’s a big job: The Arolsen Archives are the largest collection of their kind in the world, with more than 30 million original documents. They contain information on the wartime experiences of as many as 40 million people, including Jews executed in extermination camps and forced laborers conscripted from across Nazi-occupied Europe.
The documents, which take up 16 miles of shelving, include things like train manifests, delousing records, work detail assignments and execution records…(More)”.