Completed project

Aim of the project

Large volumes of archive content from the Archives of Contemporary History (AfZ) at ETH Zurich are to be systematically digitized, and selected holdings made available online.

Description of the project

In partnership with the Archives of Contemporary History and supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), ETH-Bibliothek is digitizing key source material from the archive on Jewish contemporary history.

Digitizing this loose archive content, which is in all kinds of formats and on various paper qualities, poses a particular challenge. The necessary technical infrastructure and a workflow have been set up at the ETH-Bibliothek digitization centre. Selecting the content and preparing the documents, as well as subsequently presenting them online, are the responsibility of the AfZ.

Besides major institutional archives, e.g. of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG, 34 running metres), the Jewish Press Agency (JUNA, 58 running metres) or the Jewish relief institution (VSJF, 165 running metres), a number of personal papers and research documentations relating to the Holocaust are being digitized.

Synergies and context

By combining the digitization processes at the ETH-Bibliothek DigiCenter, resources can be used to best effect.
The sheet-fed scanner, which was newly acquired for the project, has been incorporated into the existing infrastructure at ETH-Bibliothek.

Cooperation partners

Timeframe, sequence

May to June 2010:Setting up the infrastructure, trial runs
Project duration:as of May 2010
May to June 2010:Setting up the infrastructure, trial runs
July 2010:Start of mass digitization
June 2015:about 2.2 million scans produced
June 2017:End of project. Approximately 2.5 million scans were created in total.

Subnavigation and related Informations

Related Informations Zeitgeschichte-digital.ch


Regina Wanger
Head of DigiCenter
+41 44 632 69 10

Regina Wanger


Archives of Contemporary History
Jonas Arnold
Head of Management Support Team
+41 44 632 28 76