Close cooperation between the different departments is necessary throughout the entire project in order to be able to evaluate the documents of the „Vermögensverwertungsstelle“ using digital research tools.
The first step is standardising the indexing information of the files. Before treating the documents with the necessary conservation measures, an assessment of their condition is carried out by the conservators. The files are then carefully digitised and are further treated until they can finally be used for the project’s actual purpose, the electronic evaluation by provenance research. In order to enable access to the documents for further historical inquiries and research in the long term, all digitised files will be published online. Continuous coordination ensures that the complex tasks carried out in-house as well as by contractors are successful. Working in an interdisciplinary team is creating new challenges and tasks as well as a constant flow of communication.
Checking and Standardising Data – the Indexing Revision
We archivists guard archival treasures – with sleeve protectors and horn-rimmed glasses we dig our way through enormous stacks of paper in dusty cellars. So much for the cliché that still persists as the image of the way we work. The fact that we mainly sit in front of computers processing records in specialised databases is probably not (yet) part of the widespread image of archival work. However, this is exactly what the main task of the archivist working on the OFP project involves… Find out more
Cleaning Paper and Mending Tears – the Conservation Process
After about eight decades of use, the approximately 42,000 files are showing various degrees of wear and tear. In addition to that, their acidic paper is at risk of accelerated decay, which can be slowed down only through chemical treatment. In order to preserve the historical documents and to enable their digitisation, the two conservators examined each one of the sheets (more than a million) and stipulated restoration and conservation measures… Find out more
Scanning and Processing – the Digitisation Process
In order to make the files available for current research methods and accessible to the public, they must be digitised in the most conservation-friendly way possible. To ensure that all of the more than two million pages can be digitised within the specified duration, the project is working together with a specialised service provider. Intensive preparation and cooperation with the archivists in charge of the inventory and with the restoration department, as well as targeted project planning, ensures a smooth process of digitisation… Find out more
Reconstruction and Analysis – Provenance Research
Provenance Research is aiming to electronically search through the approximately 42,000 personal files of the “Vermögensverwertungsstelle“ of the OFP Berlin-Brandenburg for evidence of Nazi-looted art. On the one hand, looted art and cultural assets shall be assigned to their former owners. On the other hand, a targeted search of the files shall determine which institutions and persons acquired art objects when they were expropriated for the benefit of the state treasury… Find out more