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Excursion of the Marburg School of Archives to the ITS

A study excursion has led 31 archival science students from the Marburg School of Archives to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen today. They have got a picture of the ITS tasks, its documents and activities in the archival field. “Their study course involves five one-day excursions to archives and institutions”, explains Dr Irmgard Becker, Head of the Marburg School of Archives. “Its extraordinary structure makes the ITS a special institution without equal, and hence of great interest to our students.”

In the course of a two-hour presentation, Nicole Dominicus, Provisional Head of Archives, introduced tomorrow’s archival experts to the various archival units and the search potential the OuS Archiv offers. She familiarized them with the description and production of finding aids, the conservation work on the documents and the scanning of the correspondence files. The visitors showed a particular interest in the origin of the documents, their arrangement and their use through third parties or persons.

The exceptional structure of the collections can be ascribed to the requirements of a tracing service, i.e. the documents were sorted according to the original tasks of the ITS for more than six decades. Since the archives’ opening in 2007, indexing and describing the documents in a way that allows historians to find answers to all questions they may raise has become one of the primary ITS tasks. “The documents’ legal basis and the use made of them here differ from what is common usage in other archives we know”, states Lea Bischofs. “The fact that the ITS preserves copies as well is another unique feature.”