Holocaust Centre North set to become ‘world-class’ destination for Holocaust education

For the first time, a catalogue of its extensive collection is available digitally


A photo album from the Bradford Jewish Refugee collection at the Holocaust Centre North (Photo: Holocaust Centre North)

The Holocaust Centre North is to become a “world-class destination” for Holocaust education and research, thanks to the launch of its first archive catalogue, it was announced this week.

For the very first time, descriptions of over 70 of its original collections of personal papers and testimonies of Holocaust survivors and Jewish refugees who rebuilt their lives in the North of England can be accessed remotely via The National Archives website.

Holocaust Centre North archivist Hari Jonkers said: “It is exciting and rewarding to see the fruits of our hard work online at The National Archives so that these remarkable and vital Holocaust histories can be preserved and accessed globally.”

“Now, anybody with an interest in Holocaust history – be it academics, artists, schools, community groups, students, creative practitioners, researchers and survivors’ families – can remotely access this compelling collection, enabling a level of access and visibility the Holocaust Centre North Archive has never previously had.”

The centre, which is based at the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, has just completed the first phase of its Homeward Bound initiative, a three-year project to catalogue its collection. They will now begin the second phase, the painstaking process of scanning and photographing its materials. The centre aims to make these digitised collections available by the end of 2025.

The centre was set up by Holocaust survivors and refugees, who made their home in the north of England.

Jonkers said that cataloguing the archives had enabled the centre to strengthen its existing relationships with survivors, refugees and their descendants, while also developing new relationships.

One example of this is furthering the connection with Yorkshire resident, Gail Simon, whose grandparents escaped Berlin and managed to get a visa to run a hostel for Kindertransport boys in Bradford called the Bradford Jewish Refugee Hostel. Gail has since donated personal records of her mum and family, institutional records from the hostel, photographs, and a menorah made by one of its residents, which are all in the digital catalogue. The centre is now urging former residents of the hostel and their descendants to get in touch.

Jonkers said: “On a personal level, it has been thoroughly enjoyable getting to know the archive better and, as a result, becoming better equipped to support Holocaust Centre North’s team and external users to share in the richness of these extraordinarily compelling collections.”

This initial digitisation of Holocaust Centre North’s archives and collections has been funded as part of the Archives Revealed Grant, which is managed by The National Archives.

The catalogue is available to access here via The National Archives

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