Weekly News Roundup – November 24, 2017

Our weekly news roundup from around the globe

Old Modi script decoded, revived and digitized by archivists and linguists in India. (Times of India, Mumbai, November 19, 2017)

Volunteer in England transcribes World War I diaries from Oxfordshire Museum archives to shed light on the deployment of tanks in the  battle of Cambrai. (Oxford Mail, November 20, 2017)

Archivist at the Newcastle University in New South Wales, Australia reported helping to dig a digital trench through a historic site as part of the “Deep Time” project. (Newcastle Herald, November 18, 2017)

Personal archivist of Nelson Mandela talks about the role of archival records and the National Archives in the recent history of South Africa in a remarkable conversation broadcast on Radio ABC. (ABC Australia, November 22, 2017)


Call for papers

“Verge: Studies in Global Asias” journal, Issue 6.1 – Displaced Subjects: Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Critical Refugee Studies



The 2017 joint annual conference of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Archivos and the International Council on Archives begins in Mexico City on Monday, November 27th. News and updates from the conference will be available from the ALA’s website.


Weekly News Roundup – November 17, 2017

Our weekly news roundup from around the globe

Calls for Papers

Weekly News Roundup – November 3, 2017

Our weekly news roundup from around the globe

* Auschwitz trial documents and recordings awarded special UNESCO status, DW News, October 30, 2017.

* What UNESCO Means to U.S. Cities, CityLab, October 31, 2017.

* U.S. to Withdraw From UNESCO. Here’s What That Means. National Geographic, October 12, 2017.

* Browse over a thousand CIA records about Indonesian mass killings, Muckrock, October 23, 2017.

* “Ethiopia: No More Pull Backs to Heritage Restitution Efforts,” Ethiopian Herald, October 12, 2017.


From the APEF Newsletter number 9, November 2017

* Research with APE:

„ RESEARCH ARCHIVES PORTAL EUROPE – a new way to do historical research Archives Portal Europe (www.archivesportaleurope.net), the largest online archive catalogue in the world, is seeking contributions from history researchers – of any field and time period – to conduct research using the Portal, thus establishing new ways of approaching primary sources in the digital era.

The Digital has brought about enormous challenges and opportunities to archives, as well as to historical research. While the preservation of digital-born sources and digitisation processes caused a real revolution amongst archivists, historians and researchers can also approach the discipline in different ways, thanks to new tools such as online access and indexing standardisation – just to mention a few.

Since 2009, a consortium of archives from all over Europe has been working to integrate and digitise all European archives in one single repository. Archives Portal Europe (APE) now holds almost 260 million descriptive units from thousands of archival collections from all over Europe. This material is organised and made freely available online: www.archivesportaleurope.net

The Portal allows to search from thousands of archival collections from all over the world, starting with a simple Google-like query with keywords. It also supports multilingual search, allowing to search in different languages with the same query. A full explanation of how to conduct research in Archives Portal Europe is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsRb2rwCngo&t=310s

Archives Portal Europe is seeking help from historians of any time period, field, or career level, to contribute to determine what are the elements of novelty that this type of research can bring about in historical research. For this reason, the Archives Portal Europe Foundation (APEF) is calling for volunteers to conduct short pieces of research, on any topic or time period, which use Archives Portal Europe as a research source, and explore the new possibilities that the Portal and Digital Archives in general can offer to historical research. This can include, without being restricted to:

– Transnational aspects of European History

– Comparing isolated European communities and parallel lives

– Historical events and characters as narrated by different archives

– Multilingual and quantitative research

– Memory and impacts of global events across Europe

– Different narrations of historical events (e.g., the Napoleonic period; the Cold War; the 1848 revolution)

– Taxation across Europe

Topics and approaches to the usage of the Portal are completely free, and the research can be part of ongoing projects towards academic papers, books, or other. The Portal holds documents from ancient times until the present, and from more than twenty countries in Europe, which allows for a vast array of experimentation.

The output of the research should be a short paper of 1500-3000 words that outlines the advantages and shortcomings of Archives Portal Europe (and of digital archives in general) as a tool for historical research. The papers will be published in a collective volume available online on the Archives Portal Europe website (www.archivesportaleuropefoundation.eu), which will be cited as a case study for research on academic archives.

The paper can be written in any of the languages represented in Archives Portal Europe; however, papers written in languages other than English should be accompanied by a 800-word summary in English.

In order to participate, please send a short research proposal in English (max 500 words), contact details (including Skype number) and short bio to info@archivesportaleuropefoundation.eu by the 15th December 2017. Research proposals will be then discussed with the APEF technical team; the final deadline for the papers will be the 15th of April 2018.“

* MOMathon #4

You are invited to the 4th online MOMathon! MOMathon is an online event concerned with the Monasterium portal – Europe’s virtual charters archive. It gives everyone interested in refining the accessibility of digital available historic documents the opportunity to collectively enhance the world ́s largest database of medieval and early modern charters.“

MOMathon #4 will take place on 30 November 2017. For more details on how to participate, and on the prize awaiting the winner, please log on the website: http://icar-us.eu/en/cooperation/online-portals/monasterium-net/momathon/

Projects in progress

* The Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Cooperative

The Archives Nationales de France, National French Archives, are partners in the SNAC Cooperative project, which aspires to improve the economy and quality of archival processing and description while addressing the longstanding research challenge of discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records by building a global social-document network using both computational methods and human curation. The project is led by the University of Virginia, which has recently been awarded $750,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to complete the project. For this final phase, the University of Virginia Library is collaborating with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and 27 other Cooperative members. The objectives include: the development of “cooperative ingest tools” that will enable data-contributing institutions to collaborate in refining and ingesting data into SNAC, and in return to receive persistent identifiers to enhance their descriptive data; the refining and enhancing the History Research Tool for researchers; performing computational refinement and enrichment of existing SNAC data.