[Press Release] Archive Alert: Online Platform for the Preservation of Historical Archives

“Locate – Report – Preserve” could in a few words delineate the idea on which “Archive Alert” was based; “Archive Alert” invites individuals, institutes, organizations, and the state to take an active interest in the overlooked issue of preserving historical archives. To most people, historical archives are simply old documents pertaining to important figures and significant facts. On the contrary, our daily lives produce numerous archives in many forms (electronic, print, etc.) which, after fulfilling their use, become historical material. Thus, it is imperative that any material from the past, regardless of volume, date, content, and background be preserved; the organizations/entities concerned can decide what to preserve and what to destroy so that all important information is salvaged. “Archive Alert” (www.archivealert.gr) is an online platform that allows individuals or institutions to report on archival material which showcases cultural heritage (audiovisual material, maps, photographs, printed material, posters, etc.). Through the platform, third parties are able to report on archives that have come to their attention or are in their possession and are threatened by ignorance, negligence or lack of expert human resources. At the same time, individuals registered on the platform are able to either simply inform organizations concerned that they are in possession of such material, or invite expert staff in order to record, file, preserve, and promote it. The platform can be used to register these archives and then, will automatically notify all those the specific entry might concern, depending on the category it falls under. It should be noted that use of the platform is free of charge for both users-informants and archival organizations, while the selling or buying of archival and cultural material through the platform is strictly forbidden. In the past few years there have been more and more cases of neglected or damaged archives (e.g. municipal and community archives, business archives, etc.), or illegal trade and smuggling of archival collections, even of state archives. In this context, the platform becomes a legal mediating tool that will inform stakeholders and promote collaboration in order to preserve archival material. All entities/organizations that register on the platform are required to be non-profit organizations, and to have archive collections that can be accessed by the public. The first and foremost collaborating partner is the central service of the General State Archives (G.S.A). Our entire project aims to raise awareness about the preservation of archives and to promote the discussion about preserving and giving prominence to cultural heritage. The systematic collecting and preserving of endangered archives is not an option but a social and scientific necessity. “Archive Alert” was planned by historians Panagiotis Andrianopoulos, Stefanos Vamiedakis, George Gassias, Yannis Gonatidis, and Christos Chrysanthopoulos, all members of the collective project Arxeion Taxis. Since 2011, Arxeion Taxis has been involved in the preservation, archiving, documentation and showcasing of historical archives and other cultural products. The workshop for entrepreneurial culture Mataroa provides technical support for the platform. The project was implemented through funding by John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and its “Programme Supporting Scientific Societies” for 2016. The presentation of “Archive Alert” will be held on Saturday, February 4th, at 14.00, Ianos Bookstore (Stadiou 24, Athens). The event on Facebook can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/867549033347 409/

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“Archive Alert” from Greece nominated for Digital Humanities Awards 2017
An innovative Web Platform for the Rescuing of Historical Archive & Cultural Heritage 

The website and platform Archive Alert (http://archivealert.gr/web/en/index) has been nominated for the international “Digital Humanities Awards 2017” in the category “Best Use of Digital Humanities for Public Engagement”, the Arxeion Taxis just announced. The Archive Alert was launched in February 2017 and is a unique online platform for the rescuing of historical archives worldwide. In almost one year since its inauguration, there have been 12 reports of archival material,  12,000 visitors, 83 registered users, and 15 collaborating archival organizations.

Voting is open on the link: 

The Digital Humanities Awards are annual digital awards which promote the recognition of talent and expertise in the digital humanities. The DH Awards are openly nominated by the community and openly voted for by the public as a DH awareness activity. The awards are overseen by an international Nominations Committee comprised of six university professors from educational institutions around the world, who will decide on the final candidates for each category based on whether they meet the necessary criteria. More information about awards: http://dhawards.org/

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