Google Helps Bring Yad Vashem Holocaust Archives to the Web

Google announced that it teamed up with Jerusalem-based Holocaust-remembrance center Yad Vashem to make its collection of documents and photographs available online.

More than 130,000 images are available in full resolution via a custom search engine, and the text on many of the images has been transcribed using experimental optical-character-recognition technology

Software engineer Eyal Fink and Yossi Matias, head of Google’s Israel research-and-development center, posted on the Google Blog:

On a trip to Jerusalem three years ago, (Google senior vice president of product management) Jonathan Rosenberg visited Yad Vashem. Struck by the museum’s vast historical record housed within the physical building, he hoped Google could do something powerful to showcase this information. Inspired by the challenge, a few of us, in our “20 percent time,” started working with Yad Vashem and eventually grew our effort into a full project, introducing a YouTube channel in 2008 and now this collections site.

The Yad Vashem partnership is part of our larger effort to bring important cultural and historical collections online. We’ve been involved in similar projects in the past including digitizing major libraries in Europe, collections at the Prado Museum in Madrid, and the LIFE photo archive. We encourage organizations interested in partnering with us in our archiving efforts to enter their information in this form.