GeoBib - A virtual atlas and online bibliography of early Holocaust literature
“Early Holocaust and concentration camp literature in German and Polish language (1933-1949) – an annotated and geo-referenced online bibliography for the research on narratives of remembrance”
A large amount of Holocaust and concentration camp literature in German and Polish language emerged already during the first years of National Socialism – even though it is mostly unknown by the public as well as commonly neglected by the scientific community. These very documents are the first to reflect the crimes of the Holocaust and the concentration camps. Today, the majority of these important historical sources can only be obtained with great effort – if at all. Collecting and cataloging this scattered literature was one of the main objectives of the project “Early Holocaust and concentration camp literature in German and Polish language (1933-1949) – an annotated and geo-referenced online bibliography for the research on narratives of remembrance” (abbr. GeoBib). The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with nearly one million Euros. It has been officially started at the Centre for Media and Interactivity (ZMI) and the “Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur” (AHL) at Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) in cooperation with the Herder-Institute Marburg on July, 1st, 2012. The AHL at Justus Liebig University Giessen is a research unit particularly dedicated to the research of Holocaust literature.
Within the GeoBib project, bibliographic data on early Holocaust and concentration camp literature, enhanced by additional information on persons, times and places, have been digitized and made accessible on an Internet platform. By providing such a platform, all information is available for future research projects, but also for schools, memorial institutions and the interested public in general. The intention was to create “virtual maps” depicting the most important Jewish ghettos and concentration camps and other relevant places connected with these early Holocaust texts. Users are able to access comprehensive lists of texts, which are associated with these places and were published before 1949. These lists are supplemented with reviews, secondary literature, image sources, as well as geographic data – the latter representing an essential feature of the project. This geo-referencing allows for linking the literature to other important information related to the respective places and regions.
“The project opens up an entirely new approach for the study of Holocaust and camp literature,” says the spokesperson of the project, Prof. Henning Lobin, director of the ZMI. “Geographical, personal and content-related information regarding the texts will be used to visualize currently unrecognized correlations in their historical and literary tradition. For this purpose, different methods taken from computational linguistics, text technology and geographic informatics will be connected and further developed. This illustrates that digital research methods are finding their way into cultural studies as well - one of the two main research areas of the JLU.”
GeoBib was a collaborative project of the JLU and the Herder Institute in Marburg. The project has been carried out by the ZMI, the Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur, the Professorship of Computational Linguistics, and the Department of Geography of the JLU as well as by the Herder Institute in Marburg. It started in on July, 1st, 2012 and finished in June, 2015.
Structure and project partners
Centre for Media and Interactivity
Department of Geography
Professorship of Computational Linguistics