English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/04/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-xv.html)

Help through the cultural heritage protection organization „Blue Shield“
A bus full of archivists and conservators left Den Haag on April 26, 2009 morning to support the recovery and rescue of material at the collapsed Cologne Historical Archive (CHA). 75 experts from France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and America will help for a week.
On May 5, 2009 it was reported that in four days nearly 2 (shelf)km were processed. Besides compliments, some supportes at the scene also express critical points (extract from Archivalia May 4, 2009):

“I noticed that German archivists see their job mainly as administration not tradition (store and prepare heritage)…
Double or not relevant material is not separated from the inventory, so the collections are unorganized and confus. In Germany not much of the material is assorted and rearranged, many documents are in original packages (as they came) and rivets and clips are not removed systematically.
The German colleagues did a good job on organizing transport and accommodation for 80 people from abroad.
More supervision during the work was needed. Some of the volunteers had no experiences in archival work and were confused by the registration of the documents. Nobody checked our work, it seemed that the organization focuses on speed. This was successful in any case, in four days, nearly 2 (shelf)km processed!”

Archival collections recoverd from the intact archive cellar on April 21, 2009
The fire department recovered 850 (shelf) m of inventory from the intact archive cellar of the collapsed building – mostly newspapers but also parts of private papers and collections.
Among others the personal collections of Wallraf and Schneider-Wessling were recovered intactly from archive cellar:
” …. The rescued material is in proper condition, the speaker of the fire department Daniel Leupold announced. The ceiling of the room was able to bear the weight while other parts collapsed. The fire department recovered the material through the back of the building with the help of a seven meter ramp and rolling containers.
The complete collections of the architect Prof. Erich Schneider-Wessling and the author Günter Wallraf were stored in this cellar. Wallraf received the message that his 200 boxes with material were recovered while arguing with lawyers. ‘Today, I celebrate my second birthday’ Wallraf announced. Wallraf calls it lucky because he just needed a part of his material for a current project.
Schneider-Wessling is also happy that his work from the last 50 years is accessible again, originals of plans, competition papers, sketches and much more…” (Koelner Stadtanzeiger, April 21, 2009)

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/04/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-xiv.html)

Invitation for all donors of private collections
(KStA via Archivalia)
The City of Cologne will invite all donors of private collections and depositaries to the Piazetta in the City Hall on May 11th. The head of the department, Gisela Fleckenstein explains the late date with the task to organize 10 (shelf) m of contracts to find out what the archive holds (held) and who are the depositaries. Fleckenstein says: „In case we forgot somebody, please feel invited.“

Recovery process already finished at the end of May? (KstA via Archivalia)
After a short Easter break, the fire department Cologne and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief continue their work at the collapsed building in Severinstraße. This week the volunteer fire department Aachen is helping. The mountain of rubble decreases every day. “It could be possible that we will be finished at the end of May” notes the speaker of the fire department, Günter Weber, but he also limits: “We do not know exactly how further it goes into the depth.”
A special driller, that transports rock specimens from up to 50 m depth, was used to examine the condition of the ground. “This way you can find out if there is more rubble in the depth“, reports Weber. In the meantime, exvacators pull down the backside of the former CHA building, remains of the reading room and the offices.
Nearly half of the former 30 (shelf) km have been recovered in different conditions. “It will take years to restore and sort the documents“, said Gisela Fleckenstein. “Die several papers and collections are one big mess.“

What do we learn from Cologne Historical Archive’s collapse? (Die Welt via Archivalia)
” ….. that we must deal with our history more careful. This is not about a building in Cologne that collapsed but about our historical memory. Therefore this collapse is a societal problem, in which the politics has got more involved. Knowledge and concepts exist, only financing is missing. In general, we need a wider awareness of our archives, for they store our history and make it researchable…” , said Jochen Hermel (Institute for History, University of Bonn; Hermel works on his PhD thesis about integration of migrants to the City of Cologne in the 16th and the beginning 17th century)

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-xii.html)

Operation Head Quarter and Center for Rescue at the scene (Erstversorgungszentrum) report success (Press service city of Cologne March 31, 2009 via Archivalia)
Four weeks after intensive recovery and rescue work at the collapsed Cologne Historical Archive (CHA), a measurable success shows.
There will be more documents rescued from the rubble than assumed before. The fire department carted off 5.224 tons of rubble on 371 truck loadings yesterday. The staff of the CHA (Erstversorgungszentrum) reported that seven (shelf) km of material had been recovered at the scene.
Together with three (shelf) km stored in the cellar of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium and one (shelf) km stored in the not collapsed part of the cellar, 11 (shelf) km archive inventory survived so far. Before the collapse, the CHA building hosted 30 (shelf) km material.
The recovered material is in most different condition. Priority is the restoring „first aid“ and the appropriate storage until the recovery work is finished. Many volunteers from all over Germany did and still do valuable work on this which will be needed in the following months.
The City of Cologne considers preferred experts like archivists, conservators and related fields. An appropriate restoration can only be done in future times.

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-xii.html)

1,045 meters of recovered inventory from the Cologne Historical Archive’s collection (CHA) (Koelner Stadtanzeiger March 20, 2009 via Archivalia)
1045 meters of the (former) 27 shelf-kilometers Cologne Historical Archive inventory have been recovered. It seems little but means in figures that 1000 recovery tubs (each 1 m material), 20 lattice boxes (for wet material, each 1,5 m material) have been filled with findings from the rubble.
Among this were two Albertus Magnus handwritings, four of the Weinsberg books (16th century) und parts of the 550 Schreinsbücher (13th-18th century) also parts of the Ratsprotokolle (constitution and administration documents of the Imperial City from the Middle Ages until Early Modern Times). 50 outsized deeds, valuable individual pieces of the Haupturkundenarchiv (central deeds archive) were also recovered.
The discovered documents of modern times are mostly parts and pieces: personal papers of the former Lord Mayor Ernst Schwering and the city treasurer Billstein, inventory of Lord Majors Cologne after 1945, City Archive Porz (postwar period) and pieces of postwar municipal documents.

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-x.html)

“The black hole of history”, Die Sueddeutsche focuses in the article Das Schwarze Loch der Geschichte (March 14, 2009) on different personal perspectives relating to the Cologne archive collapse (via Archivalia):
Ten days ago on a sunny day, Cologne sunk in darkest night: 65000 deeds, 26 shelf-kilometers files, 500000 photos, 780 bequests/personal paper collections – 1200 years old memory of the city was buried under rubble in a few seconds. (…)
Hans Bender is one of the 780 donors of his personal papers. For many years, he published the probably most important postwar literature-journal “Akzente”, besides prose, poetry and own works. 27000 documents of him, including letter exchanges with the whole postwar authors that were a comment to the federal republican literature, were stored in this archive. (…)
Dominik Haffner is one of the Marburg referenda says, while putting shredded pieces of a 17th century handwriting away, he does not believe that even 20% will be rescued. (…)
He and his colleagues are not to look that the material closely, because they are working against time: As soon as the wet material reaches air (out of the rubble), it must be brought to the freezing storage room within 14 hours, otherwise mildew will develop. (…)
Eberhard Illner, for all his interlocutors the archive is not visible anymore, but the former head of department can walk through it in his imagination. During the talk, he repeats that the papers of Hans Meyers were on the 3rd floor and Günter Wands’ papers on the 5th floor in the back. Illner (now archivist in Wuppertal) had worked in CHA for 22 years, he established four of the six stores, during the talk he starts crying several times. Since the beginning of 2008, he had noticed and reported defects and disruptions at the building without be taken serious. He now is called a denigrator of the “archival guild”, because he pointed out his information to the public after the collapse and is alleged to have broken his official discretion.

Koelner Stadtanzeiger reports on action force at the scene on March 20, 2009 (via Archivalia)
For the first time, since the collapse of the archive building in Cologne (CHA) on March 3rd, the rescue teams of the firefighter department, the volunteer firefighters and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) will take a one day break on Sunday. The work will be continued on Monday at 7 a.m., said Daniel Leupold from the firefighter department. On today’s Saturday, 60 supporters – like all past days – will be working until the onset of dark around 7 p.m.
Strenuously, they pull files, deeds and other valuable subjects belonging to the CHA inventory out of the rubble. On Friday, the supporters found much material from the 20th century, under it comments on the German Empire Constitution (Deutsche Reichsverfassung) dated 1918. On Thursday, 14 truck loadings had been recovered. In the storage hall (Cologne outside district) where the loadings of rubble and material are brought to, dozens of supporters are searching for material that is in a restorable condition.
The action force at the collapsed building needs to work carefully to minimize the risk of injury which is very high, says Leupold. So far two men were hit by stones: One man of the THW had a concrete piece slid against his leg, he got outpatient treatment. A stone hit the shoulder of a firefighter but recovered quick and returned to work.

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-x.html)

“Ten times worse than in Weimar”, Michael Knoche, director of Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, caught the speaker’s eye. (sueddeutsche.de March 19, 2009 via Archivalia)

…the state of the material is totally mixed. Some documents were covered and protected by the rubble others were destroyed by it.
Up to now, it is uncertain how much of the inventory can be rescued: Some experts assume 20%, optimists suspect 50%. The recurrence of both valuable Albertus Magnus handwritings gives hope. In any case, a majority of single pieces will be rescued rather than inventoried material groups. Scientific research will be made difficult thereby.
The general mindlessness dealing with our written cultural possessions must come to an end. The Elbe flood water in Dresden 2002, the fire in the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library 2004 and the Cologne Historical Archive building’s collapse 2009, obviously pandered by negligence, are three warning symbol (Menetekel); the Biblical king Belsazar only needed one to understand the warning.

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

published on Salon JS Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-ix.html )

Good News: Cooperation between Cologne Digital Archive (CDA) and City of Cologne (CDA, March 18th 2009 via Archivalia)

“Over the last days, we [CDA] received many enquiries concerning legal issues and the Digital Historical Archive. Even in the press and relevant news groups and mailing lists, this topic has been discussed.
Against this background, the initiators, prometheus e.V. (Cologne) in cooperation with the Department for History (Bonn), and the Cologne Historical Archive will clarify the legal situation in a cooperation contract. This will create a legal basis for the uploaders, the initiators and the CHA.
After a particular interlocution, all persons in charge agreed that this project will be continued under the supervision of the CHA and will be transformed into a ‘citizen’s archive’ (Buergerarchiv).”

Orphan works and the public domain

published on Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/orphan-works-and-public-domain.html )

Peter Brantley (Executive Director for the Digital Library Federation) on The orphan monopoly:

“There are a large number of ways that books might fall into orphan status. A quick consultation of Peter Hirtle’s copyright table at Cornell Univ. allows us to see how easy this is. The impact of foreign rights is fiendishly complicated, and even the rules for U.S. publications are baroque; for older works it is a crafty rightsholder indeed who can figure out whether they might retain a claim. As Peter Hirtle observed to me in an email, ‘The lengthening copyright terms and the gradual removal of formalities (especially the automatic renewal of works published since 1963) means that works that would have passed into the public domain in the past because the rights owners weren’t concerned are still protected. The chances that the rights holders are either unidentifiable or not locatable also goes up.’
There are rough estimates of around 7 million digitized volumes in GBS [Google Book Search] subtracting 750,000 newly identified works gives us 6.25 million. Let’s take a guess that there are maybe 1.5 million public domain works (this is not entirely out of the blue, but informed by earlier orphan works studies and reports), leaving 4.75 million titles. That’s a lot of books – about 2/3 of the total. It might be more, it might be less; it is a big number.
A large number of these orphans are going to be truly public domain books, just like pre-1923 works. However, we may never know that they actually have public domain status due to historically incomplete record keeping, and the lack of a national rights tracking and notification infrastructure.” (via Archivalia@Twitter)

Article “Public domain” on Wikipedia

Articles in Archivalia ref. to “Public domain” (German)

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS a database of 4,120,985 [March, 18th 2009] freely usable media files TO WHICH ANYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE!

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

Summary VI at Salon Jewish Studies Blog ( http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-viii.html )

Cologne Historical Archive’s head getting criticism concering copyright statement (Koeln.de March 16th 2009 via Archivalia)
Director of the Cologne Historical Archive is now getting criticism concerning the copyright statement.
Since March 7th, the initiative “Digital Historical Archive Cologne” offers the opportunity to upload copies of the material from the collapsed archive. This way, scientist can help to restore the documents.
Bettina Schmidt-Czaia (director of the CHA), she of all people criticized this ambitious project pointing out copyright issues and ensures indignations.
„Many scientists, that received ordered copies of our material in former times, are now putting them online to provied an access“, said Schmidt-Czaia to Cologne Courier. This might break „copyright-laws“ of the documents. „It would be better, if these copies would be handed to us“, she urged the scientists.
On the internet, this announcement created hard criticism. In the forum „Archivalia“ (among others), is pointed out that there do not exist copyrights for documents whose authors died over 70 years ago. Most of the documents are free to common (common free) and can be handed to others/third.

“Reconsider donation cooperativeness“

The fact that the head of the archive holds on to bureaucratical issues like copyright in this crisis caused a lot of unpleasure. Especially, when one relies on the help of active citizens to rescue the documents. At this moment, it is important not to exclude the scientists but to use their interest to reproduce as many documents as possible, as well as to receive financial support. In the forum as in the service Twitter already appeared a call to reconsider donation cooperativeness towards the archive.
User unfriendly charges in the former CHA are also criticized, taking a digital picture of a document with own camera cost 2 Euros each. The users of the archive state that these fees could be the reason why so less digitized copies were made over the last years.

Comment by Klaus Graf (Archivalia): Let us hope the CHA recognizes that Digital Historical Archive is a support and that a great offer to become a „Bürgerarchiv“ (citizen archive) is given. Hopefully the responsible body (Unterhaltsträger), the City of Cologne will understand that the standing on these fees to collect some little money is absurd in this situation, relying on civic support.
Cultural possessions are common properties, they belong to all of us. We must rap our politicians on the knuckles, when their administration trends towards removing this policy.
A more detailed position of mine towards this issue can be read in the article “Cultural possessions must be free to access” (Kulturgut muß frei sein) in the “Kunstchronik”: http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/5254099

News on the Cologne Historical Archive by Sebastian Post@Twitter from the 61. Westfaelische Archivtag (March 17th-18th 2009 in Detmold) via Archivalia

1. Archival material & finding aids
Many backup films were recovered.
The Cologne Historical Archive (CHA) queries the German government refering to the archival material backups which are stored in the Barbarastollen. The Barbarastollen is the so called “Memory of German culture”. Here, 825 Mio images on microfilms are kept save.
The finding aids of the CHA are completely rescued.

2. Statement on access to digitized documents from the CHA
The CHA do not dislike! the access to uploaded digitized material from the Cologne archives collections via internet, but the CHA has to agree upon every initiative. (see also:

3. Needs and hopes
Manpower and support will be needed for a long time. For sure is: The memory of the city is not lost. We are working on the rescue!

Pictures from the Erstversorgungszentrum (EVZ), showing the divisiveness of rubble and archival material (press service city of Cologne March 16th 2009 via Archivalia)

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

Summary VI at Salon Jewish Studies (http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-vi_13.html)

UPDATE Duration of the rescue process, the new building for the Cologne Historical Archive and COPYRIGHTS (KSTa March 15th 2009 via Archivalia)
Georg Quander (Kulturdezernent [Department for Culture]) makes an appraisal of the situation that the construction of a new Cologne Historical Archive will take at least five years. First of all, there has to be a location for constructing a building. “When the building is finished there must be constant heating for two years to dry the wall that the material will not get clammy or wet.” He amounts five years for this procedure. […]
The director of the Cologne Historical Archive, Bettina Schmidt-Czaia, points out that the rescue of material is still dangerous because the rubble could slide at any time. The rescue process will take at least another six months. The tentative wooden roof covering the rubble is a good shelter though. Wall on the side to shelter from sloping rain will be build soon. […] Schmidt-Czaia addresses another problem that arises now: „Many scientists, that received copies of our material over the last years, are uploading it now on the internet to give access to the resources after the collapse” she explains. That breaks copyright-positions. “It would be better, if these people would give us the copies” addresses the director the scientists. (epd)
The statement of Bettina Schmidt-Czaia has already led to a controversy on Archivalia.

News on the Cologne Historical Archive’s rescue process
Archivists and conservators start drying, cleaning and boxing the archival material from the rubble at the newly established Erstversorgungszentrum (EVZ) In Cologne. The aim is to identify and dry wet archival material as fast as possible to preclud must. Documents which are strongly affected will be dispatched to the Centre for freeze-drying at the Archivamt LWL (Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe) in Munster. (Archiv-in-Truemmern via Archivalia)
Elmar Ries on March 12th 2009 in Westfaelische Nachrichten: “It seems derogatory to the valuable documents, how they arrived in Muenster. There are stored in two metal boxes in the trailer of a car. The valuable books and very old documents are freezing cold and quickly wrapped into Cellophane. Archivists would have torn their hair under ordinary circumstances. The first delivery amounts 8.5 l.t. During the last days, the whole material have been frozen in the Humana-Milk-Union (Hamana-Milchunion) in Everswinkel – ‘minus 30 degrees Celsius, so that the documents, wet from rain and groundwater do not smite from mildews’ Dr. Marcus Stumpf the head of the Archivamt says.” (via Archivalia)

After covering the archive’s rubble with blankets, now the work on the canopy is almost finished. (Archiv-in-Truemmern via Archivalia)

A series of pictures on the conditions of archival material reaching the EVZ (Archiv-in-Truemmern)

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse

Summary VI at Salon Jewish Studies (http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-vi_13.html)

(UPDATE: Unfortunately, the picture above marks the wrong church of which the steel tipped to one side in 2004. Please follow this link [google maps] to see the correct location of St. Johann Baptist church in Severinstr. 1)

Notes on the rescue process from the new blog Archiv-in-Truemmern.de (AiT), which was launched on 10th of March 2009
Students of the Academy of Art Bern (Department for conservation and restauration), supervised by Sebastian Dobrusskin, support the rescue team at the scene. (AiT March 12th 2009 via Archivalia)
On March 12th 2009, the following material was recovered: 1) medieval handwritings 2) council records 3) files of the Adenauer inventory (902) 4) deeply damaged material from the personal papers collection of the architect Schneider-Wessling. (AiT March 12th 2009 via Archivalia)

Figures from the Digital Cologne Historical Archive
Up to now, 378 documents had been uploaded by 222 Users.

Individual experiences during the rescue process at the scene
(http://twitter.com/SunshineFan via Archivalia)
S. found many modern (20th century) material: typed, construction plans in good condition but partly wet and crinkled and sometimes just snippets. S. did not find any deeds or similar things but many books of private (bequest-)collections, partly tattered and squashed. Many mikrofiches, diapositives and negatives had been found – mostly destroyed, some got cleaned. 3-D-objects such as medals, badges, gifts to the City of Cologne and others (parts of bequests) had also been found.

Consequences of the Cologne Archive’s collapse for research centers, an example (Kuvi – Kultur & Visionen March 13th 2009 via Archivalia)
“The collapse of the Cologne Historical Archive (CHA) also has consequences for the students at Bochumer Ruhr- University. Many students are not able to complete their work because of the loss. Especially, the historians researching and working on Middle Ages are affected very hard. For example, there is a young researcher who has been working for a book on the topic of patrician families in Cologne for the last four years. He is that all the material for his work is submerged. His research is apruptly abandoned. The director of the concerned department at Bochum Ruhr- University wants to help his students and prevent hardship provisions. Until now, he can only wait to see how many documents can be found and restored in the end out of the rubble.”

Selected news on the collapse (in English)
Authorities Uncover Second Victim of Cologne Archive Collapse (DW-World.de March 12th 2009)
While announcing the discovery of a second corpse on Thursday, March 12, a Cologne fire department spokesperson could not confirm whether the body found was that of a 24-year-old who reportedly lived in a building near the archive and has been missing since the archive suddenly collapsed on March 3.
The remains, which were found nine meters (29.5 feet) beneath ground level, had not yet been removed from the rubble and it was impossible to tell [on] Thursday evening if they were from a man or woman, the spokesman added.”
Cologne collapse: no compensation grouting used for archive (Jessica Rowson, Technical reporter for New Civil Engineer on March 12th 2009)
“Cologne’s City archive building had not been underpinned or compensation grouted despite its proximity to the underground works being carried out for the Cologne North-South light railway, a Cologne transit authority Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB) spokesman revealed today.” (Further reports by Jessica Rowson availabe on NCE)

(Picture above: Location of underground structure published onNew Civil Engineer)

English News on the Cologne Archive Collapse (Updated)

Summary V at Salon Jewish Studies – Blog (http://board-js.blogspot.com/2009/03/summary-cologne-archives-collapse-v.html)

UPDATE 1 Notes on the rescue process from a circular by the Society of German Archivists (VDA) (via
The rescue work continues and the tentative roof to shelter the material at the scene is being improved. Documents are permanently discovered, some of them are deeply damaged. Storage room, suitable for the material was found in a Cologne district. The storage room‘s climatic conditions comply with the requirements, so the archival material is now pretreated and sorted there. The clean and dry materials will be brought to other archive storages soon, which kindly offered this possibility. First, the closest archives will be used and later on the others in a wider area. The type of storage possibilities also is important according to the decision where to bring the material.
Since last Sunday, Archiv-AK (Archive task force) advises intensely professional the City Cologne on rescuing and processing the archival material. The Archiv-AK consists of the following persons:

Historisches Archiv Koeln [Historical Archive Cologne]
Dr. Bettina Schmidt-Czaia
Dr. Ulrich Fischer
Nadine Thiel
Claudia Tiggemann-Klein

Kulturdezernat Stadt Koeln [Cultural Department of the City of Cologne]
Michael Lohaus

ARGE Stadtarchive NRW [Worgroup City Archives North Rhine-Westphalia]
Dr. Jens Metzdorf

Land Nordrhein-Westfalen [Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia]
Dr. Johannes Kistenich

Landschaftsverband Rheinland [Society of Landscape Rhineland]
Dr. Arie Nabrings

Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe [Society of Landscape Westphalia-Lippe]
Dr. Marcus Stumpf

Rheinisch-Westfaelisches Wirtschaftsarchiv [Economy Archives of Rhein-Westfalia]/ VdA- Verband deutscher Archivarinnen und Archivare [Society of German Archivists]:
Dr. Ulrich S. Soénius

Fachhochschule Köln [University for Applied Sciences Cologne]
Prof. Dr. Robert Fuchs
Bert Jacek

Continually, news items are published on saved or destroyed inventories or certain documents. Appreciating the public interests, but these items are leading astray. Unfortunately, it has been stated several times, that the “memory of Cologne“ is totally destroyed, as well as the archive will be closed for several years. Both statements are absurd.

UPDATE 2 Ulrich Soénius, director of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Wirtschaftsarchiv [economy archives of Rhine-Westphalia] in an interview with WDR.de on March 11th 2009. (via Archivalia)
There are 300 archivists from Germany and from bordering countries, e.g. Switzerland, who offer support . In addition ca. 60 conservators asked to help. All of them asked to provide assitance during the next weeks. […] The restauration of the documents costs a lot of money. We talk about a figure in the hundreds of millions Euro, but a precise amount can only be figured out after rescue work is finished. The restauration of an ordinary file may cost between 15,000 and 20,000 Euro.

UPDATE 3 Parchment deeds transfered to the Historische Erzbistumsarchiv Koeln [Archbishopric Historical Archive of the city of Cologne]
Today the Historische Erzbistumsarchiv Koeln took over the recued parchment deeds of the CHA. The number cannot be specified precisly, but Dr. Ulrich Helbach, head of the Archvishophric Archive estimates the number at 30,000. (Archivalia March 12th 2009 17:37)

UPDATE 4 Action force probably found the second missed Khalil G. (KSTa March 12th 2009 19:05 via Archivalia)

Rescue-process of the archival inventory
Unfortunately, there is no official statement on the Cologne archival material from the special meeting of the Cologne city council which was held yesterday. Hence, following information is based on http://twitter.com/DieMedienprofis & http://twitter.com/SamZidat (via Archivalia). 40% of the CHA inventory was rescued undamaged from the rearward building. 20% of the CHA inventory was rescued from the rubble. (?) Up to now, 27,000 m³ rubble were dumped in Porz (a district of Cologne).
Ratsprotokolle [council protocols] as well as a cupboard loaded with wax signets from the 14th and 15th century were recovered.
A huge number of documents had been on the fourth floor. These ones dissapeared in the rubble when the archive collapsed.

Meeting of the Kulturauschuss NRW [Landtag cultural commitee of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia] in the afternoon of March 11th 2009; Chair: Dr. Fritz Behrens (Minister of the interior NRW)
The Kulturstaatssekretär (permanent secretary for Culture) Hans-Heinrich Grosse-Brockhoff briefed the representatives about current action and nationwide support. Also the Landtag administration supports the Cologne Historical Archive (CHA).

  1. The department for information services assists the recovery and the restoration of the archival material.
  2. The Landtag administration offered to house a CHA staff member’s on-the-job training.
  3. The department for information services will call for donations and install an information desk on the event Nacht der Museen (night of the museums) in Dusseldorf on May 9th 2009. Visitors will get informed about the dimensions of the Cologne catastrophe and about aspects of the protection of cultural possessions.(press release Landtag NRW via Archivalia)

Selected news on the collapse (in English)
Spiegel Online asked Were Subway Builders Cautious Enough? on March 9th 2009: “Workers at Bilfinger Berger, the German company leading construction of this part of the underground line, have said internally that planners may have forgotten to take account of the particular impact that the weight of the books and the water were having on this problematic http://soil.It’s also possible that city administrators failed to take a recent report on structural damage at the city archive as seriously as it should have.”

Hildegard Stausberg asked in the article Assault on Cologne’s historical core (Welt Online – English News) on March 6th 2009: “Could it be that the collapse of the Cologne city archives building will mark a change in this mentality [which archives generally associated with something dried out and perhaps a little dull of] in Germany?” (via Archivalia)

Pictures from the Rescue Work at the scene
Salvaging Cologne’s Destroyed Historical Archive a picture series by Spiegel Online

GERMAN: ?cat=19

(Picture above: “An archivist [Prof. Dr. Polley, Archivschule Marburg] looks at the debris of the collapsed building of Cologne’s city archive in a hall in Cologne, Germany, yesterday.” (photograph published on Times&Transsripts)

Salon Juedische Studien – Archivalien und Literatur zur deutsch-jüdische Geschichte und Kultur

Der Salon Juedische Studien wurde als Plattform für wissenschaftlichen Austausch und als Informationsportal für wissenschaftliches Arbeiten im Bereich Jüdische Studien sowie Judaistik eingerichtet. Einen Schwerpunkt bildet die Hilfe bei Literatur- und Archivaliensuche.

Die Arbeiten an den Bereiche Hilfen zur Recherche, das Eingangsportal und das Board wurden bereits abgeschlossen.

Die Hilfen zur Recherche bieten über 80 hochqualitative Links (kommentiert) zu Archivalien und Literatur (teilweise digitalisiert und Online zugänglich) für den Bereich Jüdische Studien bzw. Judaistik im deutschsprachigen Raum und Israel.

Der Eingang bietet ein Übersicht von Institutionen mit dem Forschungsschwerpunkte Jüdische Geschichte und Kultur im deutschsprachigen Raum und deren laufende Forschungsprojekte, die Quellensammlungen, Archivmaterial etc. zu Tage fördern, sowie Jüdische Museen und Theater im deutschsprachigen Raum.

Das Board wurde als “Newsportal” und Austauschplattform eingerichtet.

Derzeit erarbeiten wir eine Literaturliste für den Bereich Jüdische Studien/Judaisitk. Sie führt in einzelne Teilgebiete des Fachbereichs ein.

Die Arbeiten an der “Spezialseite Bid und Ton” werden demnächst beginnen.

Alle Bereiche werden regelmäßig aktualisiert.

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