Holocaust Centre North launches its first archive catalogue

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Holocaust Centre North launches its first archive catalogue

Based at the University of Huddersfield, the west Yorkshire centre's latest initiative sets it firmly on course to be a world-class destination for Shoah education and research

Caption: Item from the Bradford Jewish Refugee Hostel collection. Credit: Holocaust Centre North Archive, courtesy of the Simon family
Photo by Alex Beldea
Caption: Item from the Bradford Jewish Refugee Hostel collection. Credit: Holocaust Centre North Archive, courtesy of the Simon family Photo by Alex Beldea

A Holocaust educational centre in west Yorkshire has completed the first phase of its Homeward Bound Initiative, an ambitious three-year archive endeavour to catalogue its extensive collection.

At Holocaust Centre North, based at the University of Huddersfield, for the very first time 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.

Following months of painstaking work for the Centre’s archivist, it means anybody with an interest in Holocaust history – be it academics, artists, schools, community groups, students, creative practitioners, researchers and survivors’ families – can remotely access the compelling collection.

Additionally, cataloguing led the Collections team to establish a stronger connection with Yorkshire resident Gail Simon whose grandparents were able to get out of Berlin and get a visa to run a hostel for Kindertransport boys in Bradford – called the Bradford Jewish Refugee Hostel. Simon has since donated personal records of her mother and family, institutional records from the hostel, plus photographs and a home video in addition to a menorah made by one of its residents.

Holocaust Centre North archivist Hari Jonkers said: “On a personal level, it has been thoroughly enjoyable getting to know the archive better. Cataloguing has already enabled us to strengthen our existing relationships within the northern community of Holocaust survivors and their descendants and to seek out and develop new relationships.

Marianne Leavor’s spice box. Holocaust Centre North Archive, courtesy of the Leavor family

“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.”

This initial digitisation of Holocaust Centre North’s archives and collections has been funded as part of the Archives Revealed Grant managed by The National Archives  and is now available to access here.

Through its next phase, Holocaust Centre North aims to make digitised collections available by the end of December 2025 through a collection browser on its website.

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