Showing posts with label FOLD3. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FOLD3. Show all posts

Oct 10, 2019

Nazi Looted Art and the Fight for Open Data


In 2000 the American newspaper Chicago Tribune examined the struggle to publish long hidden Holocaust-related art looting archives. 

The article, "KEY TO ART NAZIS STOLE MAY BE LOCKED AWAY"written by journalist and history professor Ron Grossman, recounts the struggle to provide open access to:

 a massive cache of World War II records documenting Nazi looting of works by some of the greatest artists in history 
The context of the article is that a United States government commission on Holocaust reparations is preparing to issue its final report, and there is fear that these crucial archives, which had been marked classified and locked away, will remain inaccessible despite the efforts of the Presidential Commission. The Commission is planning to publish a public database, but there are problems. Additional government funding is needed. A deadline looms.

Apr 21, 2019

FOLD3: Red Flag Name Fritz Nathan entered as Fritz Najean

Digital Humanities can help find information if the information is correctly digitized. But if names are misspelled, they will be invisible to a digital search function.

FOLD3, the excellent digital archive associated with NARA, the National Archives, has a problem with the transcriptions of the Art Looting Investigation Unit Red Flag List of Names. And the problem seems to be getting worse, not better.
If one searches the ALIU Final Report for "Nathan" one will find Nathan Katz. The entry for Fritz Nathan will not appear in the search.

If one knows that there is an entry for Fritz Nathan in the Switzerland section of the Art Looting Investigation Unit Red Flag List and goes to the page where it appears, one can see on the image the entry for (*) Nathan, Dr. Fritz. However the list of searchable names on the left side of the screen shows, not Fritz Nathan, but a "Fritz Najean".

There is no such person as Fritz Najean in the actual ALIU Reports. However, if one searches on "Najean" the record will appear.

If, however, one searches on "Nathan", one will only find Nathan, Katz. Not Fritz Nathan.

This kind of data error should be of concern to digital humanities scholars, art historians, provenance researchers, and archivists.

see FOLD3 for Fritz Nathan aka Najean entry

For other ALIU Reports on Fold3 see:



Final (including Red Flag List)


For more digital transcription errors concerning Fritz Nathan see also:

- National Archives: Holocaust era assets, where Nathan is digitized as "Mathan".

- Buehrle, Emil entry in the digitized publication of the ALIU Red Flag List, where Nathan is transcribed as "Natman".