Rethinking Curation in the Digital Age
The Visual History of the Holocaust (VHH) project broke new ground in the digitization, indexing, and curation of film, text, and audio materials related to the Holocaust. It was primarily concerned with the film documents that were produced during the liberation of the concentration camps and extermination camps by the Allied forces. Since the crimes of the National Socialists were unprecedented in their scope and cruelty, the Allied armies recorded testimonies and traces of the Shoah in order to use them as evidence in the war crimes trials that were to follow. Individual motifs from the footage, though largely detached from the context of their creation, circulate as now iconic images in documentaries, feature films, and popular culture. However, large portions of the footage in the archives of Britain, the United States, Russia, and the countries of the former Soviet Union are still largely unknown to the public.
The VHH project indexed, annotated and contextualized the digitized material using scholarly criteria. On this basis, an online environment created in the course of the project provides curated access for various user groups.
The coordinators of the VHH project were the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History, Vienna, and the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna. The DFF is one of twelve partners in the international consortium of the project, which also includes universities, memorial sites, and archives. The project, which is funded by the EU Horizon2020 program, started in January 2019 and run for four years.