28 September 2009

Footnote's major Holocaust collection, free access

One of the darkest times in world history is seen in the release of an important new digital Holocaust collection.

In a timely move - as some in today's world continue to loudly deny that this tragedy ever took place - Footnote.com, the National Archives and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum have today released these original records and images.

For the first time online, view one million Holocaust-related records, millions of names, 26,000 photos, some 600 interactive survivor and victim accounts, concentration camp records, maps, timelines and more. [Photo at left above: Dachau gates.]

Jews around the world have just recalled our ancestors' names and shared family history at gatherings and in synagogues during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This collection - released at such an important time in the Jewish year - will help preserve and share the history of an event that has touched nearly every Jewish family in the world, regardless of origin.

Most importantly, Footnote is providing completely free access to this collection throughout October.

View the collection here via a special microsite. Be patient if pages seem to load slowly, which will likely be due to the heavy traffic this collection is expected to generate. Also note that some indexing is still coming in, but everything is expected to be linked by Thursday, October 1, according to Footnote.com.

Visitors will be able to create pages to highlight discoveries as they search for names and photos, add comments and stories, share insights. There is no charge to access and contribute to these personal pages.

This collection gives visitors a first-hand glimpse into the tragedy of the Holocaust, a "personal story not included in history text books," according to Footnote.com CEO Russ Wilding. Additionally, these important records will become more widely accessible and help people now and in the future learn more about the Holocaust.

Here is a sample page of a Dachau concentration camp register (click to enlarge):

The collection includes:

- Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen, Auschwitz, and Flossenburg.

- The "Ardelia Hall Collection" of records relating to the Nazi looting of Jewish possessions, including looted art.Click
here for more.

- Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps.

- Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
proceedings
Footnote.com's special Holocaust site offers:

- Stories of Holocaust victims and survivors.

- Place where visitors can create their own pages to memorialize their Holocaust ancestors.

- Pages on the concentration camps - includes descriptions, photos, maps, timelines and accounts from those who survived the camps.

- Descriptions and samples of the original records from the National Archives.
If you have not yet accessed Footnote.com - a subscription site - free access to this Holocaust Collection will enable readers to become personally familiar with its rich resources.

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