New online documents archive


The National Archives in Washington DC, together with its partners, has launched a new international online database making millions of records related to Nazi-era cultural property available online for the first time. Over 2.3 million pages of documents created or received by the US Government during and after the Second World War as part of its investigations into cultural assets that were looted or lost during the war, are now available through the portal. It is hoped that the new database will enable families and institutions to research their losses, and historians to study newly accessible materials on the history of this period. In related news, the UK's National Archives has been working with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe to catalogue and digitise over 950 files from its collection.

The International Research Portal is a collaboration of national and other archival, along with expert national and international organizations, which are working together to extend public access to the widely-dispersed records through a single internet portal. The portal will enable families to research their losses, provenance researchers to locate important documentation, and historians to study newly accessible materials on the history of this period. This collaborative project was established to fulfil the 1998 Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, the 2000 Vilnius Forum Declaration and the 2009 Terezin Declaration, in particular on the importance of making all such records publicly accessible.
The portal links researchers to archival materials consisting of descriptions of records and, in many cases, digital images of the records that relate to cultural property that was stolen, looted, seized, forcibly sold, or otherwise lost during the Nazi-era. Cultural property documented in these records covers a broad range from artworks to books and libraries, religious objects, antiquities, archival documents, carvings, silver and more.