a A

Annual Meeting at ITS

The Association of Memorial Site Libraries (AGGB) convened at the International Tracing Service (ITS) from March 15–17 for its 2017 annual meeting.

“It was important to us to come to the ITS because its archives play a key role for all of the institutions in the AGGB. That’s also evident in the large number of participants in this year’s meeting.” Irmela Roschmann-Steltenkamp of the Berlin Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism co-founded the AGGB (German name: Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Gedenkstättenbibliotheken) in 1998. She recalls that no sooner had the ITS joined the association last year than the desire to have the next meeting in Bad Arolsen was voiced. Last week, thirty-two members took advantage of the opportunity to acquaint themselves better with the ITS—from its library to its archives to its digitalization system.

The AGGB directs its efforts toward networking the memorial site libraries. One important project in this context is the joint internet catalogue, which provides basic information about the libraries’ holdings. This catalogue today comprises some 800,000 entries. The ITS also plans to integrate its library catalogue into this tool.

“When we founded the AGGB, our chief aim was to make the libraries more visible, also within their own institutions,” Roschmann-Steltenkamp explains. Because of the fact that many memorial libraries were still under development in 1998, such presence wasn’t self-evident. Meanwhile the focus has shifted more to networking and exchange on matters such as new software, indexing methods and digitalization. As the ITS has already digitalized about 85 percent of its archival holdings, one of the topics on the meeting’s agenda was future cooperation in this area.