Moving all ITS documents from different locations under a single roof was a mammoth task. In just under six weeks, a specialist company transported 30 million original documents and more than 50 million reference cards to the newly established temporary storage facility. For decades, the documents themselves were the most important working material at the ITS. They provided information about the fates of individuals and the scale of the Nazis’ crimes. But now the archive has been almost completely digitized, and ITS employees use computers for their research. The working material has become archival material, and the entire archive has taken on the characteristics of a memorial.
To preserve this memorial of paper, the temporary storage facility features modern, climate-controlled rooms. Experts from the German Federal Archives supported the ITS by offering advice on choosing and preparing these rooms.
For the first time, all ITS collections have been brought together under one roof – and their incredible scope is impressive. These UNESCO Memory of the World documents are now waiting to be moved back to the historical site on Jahnstrasse, where a new archive building will be constructed. Funding for the new building in the amount of 5.082 million euros was approved by the German Ministry of Finance in 2017.
The move and proper storage of the documents was a key issue in 2017. Preservation measures also played an important role, since decades of working with the irreplaceable originals every day had taken their toll on the collection.