March 2nd, 2016
Akevot to State Archivist: don’t stop access to paper records at ISA

Following a surprise announcement from the State Archivist, Dr. Yaacov Lozowick, that access to paper documents at the Israel State Archives will soon cease ahead of access to digitized-only documents on Archives’ website, Akevot has asked the Archivist to reconsider the move.

The Archivist’s announcement specified that access to paper documents will end even before the ISA’s new website will be launched, and that later on records will only be made available electronically at ISA website, with no access for researchers to paper originals. “Alongside safeguarding the records deposited there, an archive’s principle role is allowing public access to these records. Ending this access for an unspecified time, with no alternative to accessing the records greatly harms both users of the archive and the archive’s fulfilment of its own mission,” Akevot wrote to the State Archivist.

The future arrangement described in the Archivist’s announcement raises further problems for the Israel State Archives’ users: the limited scope of records that will be available online; the time digitizing and accompanying processes will take; and the impact of digitization on viewing of the archival material itself.

More on this at Akevot’s website