Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem and Google have announced a partnership that will greatly facilitate preservation of and access to the world’s largest historical collection on the Holocaust.

As of today, its 130,000+ photo collection will be made more widely accessible for people around the world. Site visitors will be able to search and discover photographs and share their own personal stories and thoughts. This resource will be valuable to those interested in researching the Holocaust, whether to find out more about family members whose stories are collected in the center or out of general interest.

This is a first step towards bringing the complete Yad Vashem archive online.

Google has implemented experimental optical character recognition (OCR) technology to carry out this project, making previously difficult to locate documents searchable and discoverable online.

“For some time, Google has been working to bring the world’s historical and cultural heritage online. The Internet offers a great opportunity to preserve and share important materials stored in archives,” said Yossi Matias, Director of Google’s R&D centre in Israel. “We’re privileged to be able to work with the world’s foremost Holocaust archive on this project.”

Yesterday’s announcement is a part of an ongoing partnership between Google and Yad Vashem. Two years ago, Yad Vashem launched a YouTube channel to showcase a series of videos of Holocaust survivor testimonials.

The collections are visible on Yad Vashem’s website.

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