By Emma Barnett, www.Telegraph.co.uk
The search giant is working with the Jerusalem-based archive to properly index and store in Google’s cloud 130,000 photographs, some of which are currently available on Yad Vashem’s website, but until now have been difficult to locate and discover online.
Google is also applying the same indexing and optical character recognition (OCR) technology to lots of documents, ranging from visas to survivor testimonials, in order to help people locate more easily online.
The project, which is not a financial agreement, was announced yesterday, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is a global day of remembrance for the six million Jewish Holocaust victims.
“There are many important stories out there,” said Yossi Matias, director of research and development for Google Israel. “If we don’t capture them, they could be lost.”
This is just the beginning of the partnership between Google and Yad Vashem – which will be working together to digitize and index many more photographs and documents over the coming months and years.
Thousands more may be loaded at a later stage, Matias said.
The Israel-based museum, which was founded in the 1950s, is prioritizing the digitization of its archive, in order to help continue educate the global community about one of the worst atrocities in modern times as well make it easier for families to locate their lost history and possibly discover long-lost relatives through common history.
“We are harnessing technology for the benefit of millions around the world to permit them to access new information,” said Avner Shalev, director of Yad Vashem.
Shalev said Yad Vashem’s website had more than 11 million visits in 2010, and hopes the partnership with Google will bring more people to the site.