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< Press Releases

Museum and Ancestry Reach One Million Searchable Online Records

Press Contacts

Raymund Flandez:
Communications Officer
202.314.1772
rflandez@ushmm.org

Museum Press Kit

WASHINGTON — Nearly five years after the launch of the World Memory Project, the Museum and Ancestry.com announce that the one millionth name of individuals persecuted by the Nazis are now searchable online for free, thanks to the efforts of contributors to the innovative crowdsourcing initiative. Launched in May 2011, the World Memory Project is helping to build the world’s largest online resource for information about the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the millions of others persecuted by the Nazis.

“The Nazis tried to erase these people from history. Today, this achievement helps restore their identities for posterity and honor those who were lost,” says Neal Guthrie, director of the Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center. “We are thrilled to mark this important milestone of the World Memory Project, whose goal is to index as many historical records from the Museum’s archive containing details about individual Holocaust survivors and victims as possible.”

Volunteer contributors from all over the globe index name-related materials from the Museum’s extensive archival holdings in order to make the names readily and easily searchable.

“Ancestry is proud to support this project by organizing volunteers, providing indexing software and publishing indexed information,” says Quinton Atkinson, director of content acquisition for Ancestry. “This is a labor of love for all involved in the project. Precious family discoveries are being made every day, though millions of names are still waiting to be indexed and searched.”

Among the collections in the Museum’s archive are names of Jewish orphans; lists of Czech Jews deported to the Terezin concentration camp and camps in occupied Poland; applications for Jews to receive special ID cards; ghetto register books and ghetto worker ID cards; and records relating to the Kindertransport. Anyone, anywhere can contribute to the project by simply typing information from historical records into the online database, one record at a time.

“One million names made searchable by some 3,500 remarkable people around the world means families of victims and survivors have a better chance of finding out what really happened to their loved ones during the Holocaust,” Guthrie adds.

Facts and figures:

  • In 2015, project contributors spent 9,806 hours indexing and arbitrating 400,497 name entries, which helped make 248,862 new names searchable online free of charge at both Ancestry.com and the Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
  • Contributors to the project come from 18 different countries, including the United States, Bangladesh, Japan, Romania, and Zambia
  • Last year, three high schools — the Frisch School in Paramus, NJ; the Charles E. Smith Day School in Rockville, MD.; and Teaneck High School in Teaneck, NJ — fully indexed 6,876 worker ID cards from the Lodz ghetto

To find out more about the World Memory Project or to learn how to become a contributor, please visit www.WorldMemoryProject.org.

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