International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Survey About Assessment of Researchers’ Experiences at Archives Across the World

Posted by: Jan Meisels Allen

IAJGS has been requested by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to share with Jewish genealogists information about the survey from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which is working to assess user experiences at institutions that hold Holocaust-related material.  The goal is to improve access for all users, including scholars, educators, genealogists, museum professionals, and lay researchers. It will focus on the legal, physical, and material obstacles that confront scholars and researchers who utilize Holocaust-relevant documentation.  The project consists of five phases, beginning with an assessment of researchers’ experiences at archives across the world, including those in IHRA member countries.  One of the later phases is on focus groups. 

There are 31 member countries of the IHRA: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.  The survey will increase the knowledge of those archives and archival collections that remain inaccessible for use by the public and by scholars, as well as promote discussion on legal restrictions that affect the use, copying, and public presentation of the material evidence of the Holocaust.

Holocaust-related materials must have their origin in the period from the end of the First World War, extending forward to the close of Displaced Person camps in the 1950s, and must pertain to the legal, political social, economic, and cultural status of groups that became subject to state policies and persecution during the core period of 1933-1945.  More information about the IHRA can be found at:

I have been told that the survey will be open to March or April 2014 and the goal is to receive a minimum of 1000 responses worldwide.

As genealogists most of us have had the occasion to research the holocaust in at least one if not more archives.  Please share this with your members asking them if they have researched to complete the form and assist the IHRA better understand their knowledge of the various archival collections and any remaining inaccessible records located in those archives.

Thank you

Jan Meisels Allen
IAJGS Vice President
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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