We are very happy to announce that Silvia Venegas’ short film “Herederas“, which emerged from the call for entries “Tesoros en Archivos” has been nominated for the 37th Spanish Film Academy Awards, the Goya Awards, as best documentary short film.
“Herederas” is a tribute to the brave women who fought for women’s rights in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. With everything against them, they won rights that today form the basis of our democratic society. A legacy of freedom that their heiresses are now defending in the streets.
Based on the 1902 image in the Norwegian National Archive ‘Voting Rights for Norwegian Women’, a story is constructed that begins with the defence of women’s suffrage and continues with the women of today demonstrating in the streets demanding their rights.
Images of Clara Campoamor, Kati Horna or Carolina Beatriz Ângelo that are preserved in the European national archives show that past of the brave women of which the women of the 21st century are heirs.
The director Silvia Venegas (Santa Marta, 1982) is president of the Extremadura Film Academy. In 2020 she won the Goya Award for Best Documentary Short Film with “Our life as refugee children in Europe”, which was also nominated for the Oscar Award. In 2018 she received the Liberpress Award for her commitment to film and human rights.
The gala will take place on 10th February. We have high hopes that “Herederas” will win the award!
European Digital Treasures project partner Hungary has opened its second exhibition titled ‘Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity” on May 5th, 2022 at the beautiful Castle Garden in Budapest. The exhibition explores the issues such as the cultural results of transnational migrations, on what ground solidarity stands when it comes to inclusion of the hopeless and how the host communities react after different migration flows. The exhibition looks at these issues from a historical perspective and presents a series of related events through 47 key documents.
Besides the digital panels the exhibition includes a few original documents that are originally kept by the National Archives of Hungary. These documents are exhibited carefully supervised by conservators continuously. Regarding the summer heatwaves in Hungary the Hungarian conservators team has to be beware of critically high humidity levels. These documents because of their uniqueness are central of interest of school groups, travellers and historians from all around Europe.
In this blogpost we would like to introduce one of the original pieces exhibited at the Castle Garden. This archival document is the ‘Travelling booklet’ (Wanderbuch) of Jakab Modern, tool smith journeyman. Jakab Modern was the Magistrate of the Royal Free City of Pozsony (today: Bratislava, Slovakia), a famous tool smith master throughout Europe.
Undergirding the development of modern Europe between the 1780s and 1849 was an unprecedented economic transformation that embraced the first stages of the great Industrial Revolution and a still more general expansion of commercial activity.
From this ‘Wanderbuch’ we can walk down on history lane and learn that its owner, Jakab Modern has been wandering in German speaking regions for several years: Potsdam, Leipzig, Hamburg, Bremen, Hameln, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Ulm, München, Landshut, Regensburg, Linz were his destinations. According to this travelling document, after returning home, he also travelled through Switzerland and France. Among other cities he visited Zurich, Basel, Bern, Mühlhausen (a city in the north-west of Thuringia, Germany) and Paris. The booklet contains about 35 written folios.
Jakab after being employed by a master for several years, and producing a qualifying piece of work, the guild apprentice became a journeyman (German: Geselle, Hungarian: vándorlegény). He had his certifications from his master of the guild, which proved that he successfully completed his apprenticeship. It also meant that he is entitled to travel to other towns and countries, learning the art from other masters (these journeys lead sometimes to quite distant parts of Europe and became an unofficial way of communicating new methods and techniques). However, only a few journeymen made such long travels as the tool smith Jakab Modern did.
It would be wrong to think, however, that the Industrial Revolution eradicated artisanship entirely. The Wanderbuch (travelling booklet) of Jakab Modern is a testament to that. It records the journeys of a tool smith in Central Europe during the years 1823–1829. Just by browsing through it one can get a good impression of what Modern’s working life was like.
The exhibition can be visited until the 5th of August, 2022 at the wonderful location of the Castle Garden of Budapest, Hungary.
Written by: Dorottya Szabó, Archivist of the National Archives of Hungary Anna Palcsó, Public Education Officer of the National Archives of Hungary
Photograph: Zsuzsanna Lantos, National Archives of Hungary
On July 1st, 2022, the opening of the 2nd part of the exhibition series of the EU project “European Digital Treasures” took place at the Museum am Dom in St. Pölten. After the questioning of the “Becoming of Europe” in the first part, the second part is now dedicated to the complex of questions “migration flows – exile – solidarity” – Europe in turmoil.
The air-raid shelter of the diocese was deliberately chosen as the venue for the event, in order to convey an authentic sense of what war, flight and persecution have always meant in concrete terms for the people concerned during the opening ceremony.
The interested audience of about 50 people was first introduced to the compilation by the museum director Barbara Taubinger in her welcoming speech, followed by ICARUS president Thomas Aigner, the representative of the province Florian Krumböck and the mayor of St. Pölten Matthias Stadler, who formulated their thoughts on the frighteningly topical subject. Finally, the exhibition was ceremoniously opened by Diocesan Bishop Alois Schwarz.
The show will be on display for two months until the 28th of August and uses primary sources from nine major European archives to convey the various aspects of the topic. In addition to labour- and war-related migration, a third section is devoted to expulsion as a result of uprisings and state intolerance.
Written by Karl Heinz, International Centre for Archival Research.
The narratives displayed here combine different technological tools that allow us to get to know our past through multiple channels. We chose 47 documents from 22 archives from 9 countries to tell micro-stories that shaped Europe, hoping that the innovative products will allow visitors to experiment and play, to learn and share, as well as to feel moved by our common past.
Written by Leonard Callus, National Archives of Malta.
December 2nd is celebrated as the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Although it seems a distant reality, the Global Slavery Index of 2018 reports that, in 2016, around 40.3 million people were in conditions of modern slavery, the vast majority being women (71%). Of these, 24.9 million were in conditions of forced labor and 15.4 million in forced marriages.
The historical process that led to the outlawing of human trafficking and slavery in the light of Human Rights was long and tortuous: By the law of 1761, D. José, king of Portugal, declared free all male and female slaves brought from Asia, Africa and America that disembarked in Portugal. This law did not translate, however, into the end of slavery, since, in addition to the existing slaves, there were also all those who were born of a slave mother and who, for this reason, remained slaves. Twelve years later, in 1773, a new law was passed, known as the Law of the Free Womb. It determined that children born to a slave mother became free and that all slaves whose great-grandmother was already a slave could be freed.
Portugal, a pioneering European country in globalization, stands out for having had, during the history of its long colonial period, an important position in the global trade in slaves from Africa. Between 1450 and 1900, it will have trafficked around 11 million people. In 1444, the first shipment of private initiative of 235 slaves from Africa arrived in Lagos, Algarve, probably giving rise to the first European slave market of the modern era. In mid 16th century Lisbon, African slaves represented about 10% of its population.
Despite the 1761 law, the illegal entry of slaves from the colonies persisted. With the independence of Brazil, many Portuguese who brought their slaves returned to Portugal. Upon arrival in Portugal the slaves were to become free, but the king granted their owners a special privilege to keep them. However, the 1761 law is a law of modernity that begins a slow chronology, made up of advances and setbacks, towards the definitive abolition of the slave trade and slavery. Portugal was one of the first European countries to prohibit the entry of slaves, but also one of the last to abolish, in 1869, slavery in its colonies.
Maria Trindade Serralheiro (text) and Ana Fernandes (trad.) Senior Technicians, General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libraries, Portugal.
Yesterday, 25th of November, the second of the three transmedia exhibitions included in the European Digital Treasures project, “Exiles, Migration Flows and Solidarity”, was successfully opened at the Documentary Centre of the Historical Memory (Spain).
Manuel Melgar Camarzana. Director of the Historical Memory Documentary Centre.
María Oliván Avilés. Secretariat General. SG.C.1 – Transparency, Document Management and Access to Documents.
Severiano Hernández Vicente. Deputy Director-General of the State Archives.
María Encarnación Pérez Álvarez. Spanish Government Subdelegate in Salamanca.
This exhibition analyzes how migrations and exchanges have contributed particularly to building cultural diversity in Europe through the documentary treasures kept in European archives. And it is the outcome of the European cooperation, a clear example of the combination of the capacities, heritage, diversity, value, and inspiration of all those who have made this project possible.
Games to play!
The narratives displayed here combine different technological tools that allow us to get to know our written past through multiple channels. Visitors can interact with: 9 original documents from 4 different archives, 21 facsimiles from 7 countries, 18 digital reproductions of documents from 6 countries, displayed in interactive booths, 1 quiz game for people who love challenges, 1 memory matching game to encourage observation, 1 infinite running game to reward speed by catching archival documents, 1 interactive RPG game to learn how to work on an archive, 4 augmented reality experiences to explore parallel worlds and videos presenting the project and its merchandising products!
Through the selection of 44 documents from the archives that participate in the project, European migrations are narrated from a historical perspective. In a Europe that is currently facing one of its most important migration crises, the relevance of this exhibition is key. The narrative has been structured through three thematic pillars: Work-related Migration; War- related Migration; Political Uprising, Turmoil and Persecution.
Documents & Augmented Reality.
The stories combine different tools and technological solutions, with which the public will be able to access the written past through multiple channels that will allow them to experiment, play, learn and share, with that unique ability that documents have to tell personal stories (letters, images, boarding passes, visas, certificates, etc.) behind the European migration figures.
The opening was chaired by Severiano Hernández Vicente, Head of the Spanish State Archives, by María Oliván, Head of the Transparency, Document Management & Access to Documents Unit of the European Commissio, by Manuel Melgar, Director of the Documentary Centre of the Historical Memory, and by María Encarnación Pérez Álvarez, Government Sub-delegate in Salamanca. It was also attended by representatives of the University of Salamanca, of different archives of the province of Salamanca, by the members of the ‘European Digital Treasures’ project and a representation of the Spanish State Archives.
The exhibition can be visited until March 13th, 2022 in Spain, with capacity restrictions and hygiene and safety measures established by health authorities to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After more than two years of work in the preparation of the three transmedia exhibitions included in the European Digital Treasures project, on 12th of November, the exhibition Exiles, migratory flows, and solidarity was successfully opened at the Archives House (Norway).
This exhibition is the outcome of the European cooperation, a clear example of the combination of the capacities, heritage, diversity, value, and inspiration of all those who have made this project possible.
The narratives displayed here combine different technological tools that allow us to get to know our written past through multiple channels. Visitors can interact with digital reproductions of documents from nine European countries, a quiz game for people who love challenges, a memory matching game to encourage observation, an infinite running game to reward speed by catching archival documents, an interactive RPG game to learn how to work on an archive, three augmented reality experiences to explore parallel worlds and two videos presenting the project! On display are also merchandising products created by professional designers, inspired by the documents presented in the Digital Treasures exhibitions.
Opening ceremony with Inga Bolstad.
The opening ceremony was led by the National Archivist of Norway, Inga Bolstad. Afterwards, Ole Gausdal, who has been responsible for curating the exhibition, did a guided tour for the guests.
The opening was attended by the General director of the Book, Archives and Libraries of Portugal, Silvestre Lacerda and the Deputy Director of the Spanish State Archives, Severiano Hernández and members of the ‘European Digital Treasures’ project from the National Archives of Hungary, Malta, Spain, Portugal and from ICARUS. From Norway there were many invited guests from the National Archives of Norway and local and regional heritage institutions.
Guided tour with Ole Gausdal.
The exhibition can be visited until January 30th, 2022, in Norway. The same exhibition will open in Salamanca, Spain on 25th November 2021. Later, in 2022, it will open in Hungary, Portugal, Malta, and Austria.
Written by the National Archives of Norway
Some members of the team of the European Digital Treasures project.
The recent history of Europe is the history of the migrations that have taken place on our continent over the last 80 years. The Second World War and the immediate post-war reconstruction led to unprecedented forced population movements. Although deportation policies were not new in Europe, what was new was the systematic plan to relocate populations in masse for the purpose of extermination.
The memory of war, deportations and genocide is part of our lives and explains what we are as Europeans. For this reason, celebrating January 27th, the day on which the Nazi camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated in 1945, is to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and to remember that we can never again descend into hell.
This killing camp, located in southern Poland, was made up of almost thirty industrial facilities. Approximately 1,300,000 Europeans were sent there. Entire families, most of them Jewish, Roma and Sinti from all areas occupied by the Reich, were selected upon arrival. Only those individuals fit for work were initially spared. Those who were not selected were immediately taken to the gas chambers. However, those selected for forced labor suffered living conditions that inevitably also led to certain death. Auschwitz was the most efficient extermination camp the Nazis ever built.
Auschwitz Protocols. 26/08/1944 Budapest (Hungary). General Archive of Administration- Spain
Although the Allies knew about Auschwitz and what was happening there since 1942, two young Slovak Jews who escaped from the camp, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, gave detailed testimony of what was occurring in April 1944. For the first time it was described in detail the operation of the camp by a report that incorporated the sketches of both the chambers and crematoria, as well as the figures of deportations by country. A copy of the document, which had been translated into German, came to the hands of the Jewish Aid and Rescue Committee in Budapest, which distributed it among the diplomatic legations, and ended up reaching the Allies. Spanish Ambassador Ángel Sanz Briz received a copy in French and he sent it to Madrid in August 1944 after having verified with other colleagues the truth of the story.
Auschwitz Protocols. 26/08/1944 Budapest (Hungary). General Archive of Administration- Spain
The testimony of Vrba and Wetzler determined the image that the Allies got about the Nazi camps, and what it was more important, the public opinion of their respective countries because the report was opened to the mass media. Indifference and skepticism faded when it became known, even among Germans who listened secretly BBC broadcasts. After the war, the accused Nazi chiefs in the Trial of Major War Criminals in Nuremberg had to see how the American prosecutor Jackson used the data of the forced deportations to Auschwitz mentioned in the report as evidence.
However, the forced deportations without the purpose of extermination were extended to shape the new post-Hitler Europe thanks to Postdam Agreement. Millions of people were uprooted and forced to get linguistic and cultural homogeneity in different countries. Then it was the Germans turn. For example, Hungary expelled 623,000 Germans, Romania 786,000, the re-established Czechoslovakia 3,000,000 and Poland 1,300,000.
Showing this kind of documents from our archives, such as the one drawn up by Vrba and Wetzler, is a moral obligation that we all have with the victims of the Holocaust and the people who helped to fight the Third Reich. They help to know what happened and also, hopefully, to prevent genocides or terrible acts such as the mass deportation of those considered different.
Jesús Espinosa-Romero Deputy Director General Archive of Administration- Spain
The documents: Auschwitz Protocols. Reports about the situation of Hungarian prisoners and deportees in German concentration camps, located in the General Archive of Administration – Spain, will be part of the roaming exhibitions of the European Digital Treasures project: Exiles, Migratory Flows and Solidarity.