OSA Archivum
"The Open Society Archives (OSA) at the Central European University in Budapest is an archival laboratory. While actively collecting, preserving, and making openly accessible documents related to recent history and human rights, they continue to experiment with new ways to contextualize primary sources, developing innovative tools to explore, represent, or bridge traditional archival collections in a digital environment." Digital Archival Laboratory "One of OSA Archivum's aims is to broaden access to primary sources by overcoming technical, legal, geographic, and socio-cultural barriers. The Open Access Movement has made a valuable contribution by opening up scholarly sources to a wider audience, and OSA Archivum has fully supported this movement by taking a leading role in the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Nevertheless, as it stands the concept of open access is mostly limited to scholarly publication and almost completely excludes archives and primary source material. This has negative implications for the shape of historiography and humanities scholarship. OSA goal is to extend the concept of Open Access to include archival materials. To realize this they have developed a strategy which includes large-scale digitization, multilingual description, and the implementation of open-source solutions and open standards. They seek to meet current international benchmarks by becoming a trusted digital repository." "The Thematic Digital Collections are "formed around particular topics in recent history or coherent sets of records. Most are based on OSA physical holdings, and these are often integrated with related digital collections from other institutions."
  • "The Hedervary Collection: documents on the activities of the UN Special Commitee on the Problem of Hungary, including primarily English language reports, memoranda and correspondence, as well as audio recordings of Hungarian witness testimonies given before the Committee from the collection of Claire de Hedervary.
  • Was There a 1989?: a primarily Hungarian collection of texts, photos, films, and sound chronicling the transition in Hungary and the region. This collection presents multiple perspectives, placing side by side differing accounts of events as they unfold.
  • 1956 Digital Archive: an English language collection of texts, photos, and films on the 1956 Revolution in Hungary and its reception abroad. In this instance, dispersed materials housed in different institutions were reunited and put into their original context.
  • Paranoia Recycling: a collection of Hungarian films dubbed into English. This rare collection of educational films on ABC (Atomic, Biological, and Chemical) warfare from the late 1960s will form the seed of a larger collection of educational and propaganda films from the Cold War period. Part of OSA's effort to preserve and present rare and deteriorating material stored on obsolete media.
  • RFE/RL Publications: English textual material made available in both image and full text formats. The Background Reports (1952-1989) were produced by RFE staff members for the radio's management and subscribers in order to provide analysis of current events and trends in the eastern bloc. A comprehensive presentation of one of OSA's most requested collections; includes geographical and subject indexes.
  • Digital State Security Archive: Hungarian textual and audiovisual materials. This group of records continuously collected from the public unites the fragmented, scattered, and often artificially separated files to give a full picture of the activities and culture of the former state security organs.
  • Other Collections: various photo galleries and small-scale online presentations produced as the by-product of particular projects or exhibitions."
Digital Repositories "In 2005 OSA established an institutional digital repository for the Soros Foundations Network available at a dedicated website called the Soros Network Archival Portal (SNAP). Based on this experience, we are currently in the process of developing the OSA Digital Repository (OSADR) to support proper curation of our digital content and to provide broader, enhanced, and more flexible access to our collections. Whereas many of our thematic collections and digital archival laboratory projects present our collections side by side with those from other institutions, OSADR is a system to help us manage and provide access to our own collections. As such, it is intended to link together rather than to replace our current tools and resources. Digital Archival Laboratory WOSA is also experimenting with alternative approaches to archiving and acquiring digital content. The following projects all share a decentralized structure and in some sense challenge the status quo in archival descriptive practice.
  • Kampanyarchivum: Hungarian texts and graphics produced during the 2002 and 2006 political campaigns. The Kampanyarchivum was a proactive effort to acquire from the public, preserve, and provide long-term access to digitally-born "ephemera" produced during two hotly-contested Hungarian political campaigns.
  • Samizdat Text Corpora (STC): An institutional collaboration supported by the ISRA network and available through their website. Texts and images in multiple languages with English and original language description, STC aims to reunite underground literature produced in the former communist bloc for comparative analysis by allowing institutions and individuals to upload and describe their own material.
  • Parallel Archive (PA) (with a specific entry in EHPS): currently accepts texts and images in multiple languages with primarily English description. PA is a unique tool that captures the spontaneous digitization already being carried out by archival researchers, allowing them to upload, share, and re-contextualize their scanned historical records. By offering such features as OCR, annotation, forums, and tagging, PA records not only the subject matter of documents but also the way they are being used in contemporary research.
Traditional Archives "From the outset OSA Archivum has been and remains an "archive of copies", interested more in the content than in the materiality of the documents under our care. Our traditional archival holdings comprise approximately 7,000 linear meters of records. Based on their provenance as well as their focus, OSA Archivum holdings are divided into three main groups."
  • "Communism, the Cold War, and their Afterlife: Fonds include the extensive collection of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Research Institute, background and reference material accumulated during 45 years of activity. The collection is an essential source on the post-war political, social, and economic history of the region. We also hold the personal papers of a range of political, cultural, and counter-culture figures from the Cold War Era to the present and several series of Soviet, Polish and Hungarian underground literature, which when taken together constitute one the world's largest samizdat collections.
  • Human Rights: Includes fonds created by non-governmental and supra-governmental organizations as well as individuals active in post-war Central and Eastern Europe documenting human rights violations and war crimes. Most important among these fonds are the UN Expert Commission on Investigating War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), Index on Censorship as well as the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).
  • Soros Foundations Network and the Central European University: As the official archives of the Soros foundations network and Central European University (CEU), OSA Archivum is responsible for the long-term preservation of and access to network records. They also supply records management services to network entities and offices, and it is in this capacity that in 2005 we launched a digital repository called the Soros Network Archival Portal.
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    Saturday, 17 March 2012 - 10:18pm
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