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Archives and Holocaust Research
Throwing light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust
“We share a commitment to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust. We will take all necessary steps to facilitate the opening of archives in order to ensure that all documents bearing on the Holocaust are available to researchers.”
– Article 7 of the Stockholm Declaration
Furthering Holocaust research and open access to Holocaust-related archival material
To a large extent and for decades, the documentation of the Holocaust and its historical context has been scattered, endangered, and in many cases inaccessible. Overcoming new and existing impositions on researchers requires broad international cooperation and a reaffirmation of IHRA Member Countries’ commitments to ensure full access to the material record of the Holocaust.
The IHRA has worked with governments and archival networks to overcome obstacles to archival access. This includes the development of the IHRA working definition of Holocaust-related materials (2012), the online survey on “Accessing Holocaust-Related Archival Material” and its Addendum (2014), the inclusion of a specific reference to the Holocaust in the General Data Protection Regulation (2016), the Final Recommendations of the Access to Archives IHRA Project (2017), and, most recently, the launch of the Monitoring Access to Holocaust Collections IHRA Project. The IHRA also organizes academic conferences and produces publications, which are free to download, to contribute to the body of scholarship on the Holocaust.
At the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, Remember – ReAct, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance pledged to develop recommendations on identifying Holocaust-related materials, so that victims, survivors, and their descendants can reclaim their histories and their identities.
The IHRA's Academic Working Group
“We, the IHRA Member Countries, safeguard the historical record of the Holocaust, the genocide of the Roma, and the persecution of other victims by Nazi Germany and those fascist and extreme nationalist partners and other collaborators who participated in these crimes.”
– Article 11 of the 2020 IHRA Ministerial Declaration
The IHRA encourages all countries and societies to address their respective pasts by dealing openly and accurately with the historical record. To that end, the IHRA’s Academic Working Group (AWG) monitors and advises on issues related to freedom of research, access to archives, new developments in Holocaust studies and resources on the Holocaust. Made up of experts in the field of academia from the IHRA’s Member, Liaison and Observer Countries, the AWG bridges the divide between experts and governments, and provides policy and decision makers with unique insight into how to promote academic research on the complex topic of the Holocaust.
The AWG is currently chaired by Irena Šumi (Slovenia).
 
Archives and Research
Holocaust-era documentation, Yad Vashem Archives. Courtesy of Yad Vashem.
Monitoring Access to Holocaust Collections
Access to Holocaust-related material is critical to safeguarding the record and countering Holocaust distortion. Learn about the IHRA Project working towards full and open access.
 
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IHRA Publications
The IHRA’s contributions to the field of Holocaust Studies cover a wide range of topics. All items in the IHRA’s publication series are free to download.
Working Definition of Holocaust-related Materials
Knowing which materials can be considered Holocaust-related is crucial to ensuring access to these importance archival sources and to safeguarding the record.
IHRA Grants
The IHRA provides funding to institutions in support of projects that seek to counter distortion and safeguard the record of the Holocaust and the genocide of the Roma.
Statements on Archives and Research
Important developments in freedom of academic research and open access to archival material are commented on by the IHRA, IHRA Chair and IHRA Secretary General.
Recent News|View All Archives and Research News

International community agrees concrete commitments to counter Holocaust distortion and fight antisemitism at Remember ReAct Forum
13.10.2021
Malmö, Sweden: 13.10.21 – The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) joined world leaders, and international organizations including the CoE, EU, FRA, OSCE, the UN, and UNESCO at the...
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Why are networks important for archival research?
16.09.2021
The Monitoring Access to Holocaust Collections IHRA Project, which helps further open access to Holocaust-related materials, has made building partnerships and strengthening networks central to its...
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