Going to the Crowd Source


Israel Lirbary

There is an enormous collective knowledge available to archives social media users.  Crowd sourcing has become a key leveraging activity for archives. The Israel National Library is doing just that.  They have created the Naming the Soldiers project, a short run project between the Library and Israel Facebook to identify soldiers in photographs maintained by the library’s archival collection. This event coincides with Israel’s 71st independence celebrations.

The Soldier Naming project is just a part of a larger initiative by the Israel National Library to make cultural treasures, like these photographs, accessible to the public.  


National Library of Israel (May 7, 2019) Naming the soldiers: A special joint project by the national library and facebook.  Retrieved from: https://blog.nli.org.il/en/naming-the-soldiers/

Winer, S. (May 8, 2019) Library seeks help identifying soldiers in thousands of archived photos. Retrieved from: https://www.timesofisrael.com/library-seeks-help-identifying-soldiers-in-thousands-of-archived-photos/

Archival Intelligence

National archives are the cultural and governmental memory of a nation.  They provide a look into the nation’s pastgood, bad or top secret.  And now with information always at our fingertips, the demand for access to such information has grown at a rapid pace.  

In Latvia, demand comes in the form of a new law which would require the national archives to digitize and publish online the records of the Former KGB.  Over centuries, Latvia has been a Baltic battle ground between invading Germany and Russia. Following World War II, Latvia became a part of the Soviet Union and was under the auspices of the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, better known as the KGB, the Soviet Union domestic security service.  It was not until the late 20th century Latvia finally won its independence.  However, remnants of the old regimes, like the KGB records, still remain.  

While some see this law as promoting governmental transparency and acknowledgement of human rights violations, there are others concerned that people still alive today will be negatively impacted by the release of these documents.  There continues to be a negative stigma for individuals believed to have been willing collaborators with the KGB. The current restrictions for access of information in these records will only apply to individuals identified as victims or third parties.  This leaves a door wide open for personal information regarding anyone else involved with the KGB being made very public.


Baltic News Network (May 9, 2019) Latvia to publish additional KGB filing system and other documents.  Retrieved from:https://bnn-news.com/latvia-to-publish-additional-kgb-filing-system-and-other-documents-200447.

Encyclopedia Britannica (May 30, 2019) Latvia history.  Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/place/Latvia/History.

Pringle, R. (May 2, 2019) KGB agency, soviet union. Retrieved from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/KGB

National Treasures: Preserving and Providing Access to Cultural Heritage

National archives are often at the forefront in preserving the cultural heritage of the Slide10world, one nation at a time. However, not all archives are on equal footing. Archives’ abilities to govern, preserve, and provide access to invaluable records is impacted by, among other factors, colonialism and post-colonialism, access to technology, and natural and man-made disasters.

Slide02On June 9, 2018, International Archives Day, responding to questions from moderator Alyse Dunavant-Jones, researchers of the International Directory of National Archives (IDNA)— Traci Mitchell, Angie Conrow, and Faezeh Jahan Shiri—shared insights they discovered from their investigation of national archives around the world and the national treasures the archives govern, preserve, and share.

The three main questions asked and answered by each panelist based on the countries they studied are: How does the National Archives govern? How does the National Slide04Archives preserve memory and cultural heritage? How does the National Archives provide access? Among the National Archives discussed are those of the following countries: Afghanistan, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Denmark, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Republic of Morocco, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Additional topics explored by the panelists centered on colonialism, disasters, and technology.