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UIA - The Universal Israelite Alliance

Project background

UIA - The Universal Israelite Alliance
  • Customer UIA - The Universal Israelite Alliance
  • Date 2015
  • Country Paris, France
  • Fields of application Digital library
  • Work performed An online access to a digital library with LIMB Gallery

The project

The Universal Israelite Alliance (UIA) is an international Jewish institution dedicated to the education in favour of academic and professional success. Its goal is to guarantee the transmission of an identity based on texts about the tradition, culture, history, geography of Jewish people and the State of Israel.

This institution, which was founded in Paris in 1860, is the keeper of a precise history and culture. Six people oversee the preservation and mediation, and they also manage the historical archives and the library, which is open to the general public, within the institution.

In 2000 the institution decided to take up the digitization of its archives to make them available to as many people as possible. In 2015 our partner Arkhênum started to upload these archives through Limb Gallery, our digital library. To date, 13 783 documents (prints, manuscripts, photos) for a total of 330 000 pictures, as well as audiovisual archives, are available to the general public and researchers.

The LIMB Gallery solution

Let’s find out through the testimony of Jean-Claude Kuperminc, the director of the UIA library and archives, and his team the role audiovisual collections play in their cultural mediation mission.

“The institutional archives own a rich audiovisual collection, whose oldest material dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The collections on a 16- and 35-mm film were already at risk because the rolls were deteriorating. Moreover, it was getting harder to watch them because we did not have the right equipment. And finally, our institution regularly received requests to quote or use some samples of these films (reports, documentaries, etc.).

On the 150th anniversary of the Alliance in 2010, we started the digitization of these archives. In addition to the preservation of the archives we also wanted to use them as a communication tool for the institution anniversary commemoration. On this basis, two 50-minutes films were made by the rabbi Josy Eisenberg for his Sunday television show. These digitization campaigns also allowed us to gather content to supply the various UIA communication channels for the future.

At the end of these digitization campaigns, we first broadcasted the audiovisual archives on YouTube, and then on our own digital library.”

The advantages of the solution

The digitization and the uploading of these audiovisual collections undeniably allowed us to increase their visibility and their diffusion. Moreover, films add a more modern side and give more depth and “materiality” to a history and a culture. Given the educational purposes of our institution, this digital library, especially the videos, gives the Alliance’s teachers and others inspiring work tools.

These audiovisual collections are precious resources that also allow us to enrich our articles and newsletters’ content. The Alliance sends a newsletter to all of its members in which a heritage insert relays news about the multimedia library.

Furthermore, the Alliance library animates by itself the community of readers through a newsletter that relays events but also articles dedicated to particular collections and documents.

These communications are an efficient way of dynamizing visits on our digital library. The day after their diffusion we notice a high traffic peak with opening and click rates linked to our resources. The audiovisual contents are very well positioned among the most viewed documents.

Soon we will create an English and Hebrew version to browse and consult our digital library.

Furthermore, we continue to digitize our archives. These digitization campaigns will enrich the collections which are available and accessible online. Soon a new Hebrew manuscript collection, which dates back to the Middle Ages, will be available.

Finally, we will continue our video recordings of conferences. The recording and the uploading of these animations have an even greater importance in this context, since the digitization and the uploading allow us to get rid of the constraints of access to the Alliance physical facilities.

Our ambition is to make the UIA library and archives a reference thanks to our digital library.”

Read the full testimony of our partner Arkhênum with i2S solutions: https://www.arkhenum.fr/les-archives-audiovisuelles-un-temoignage-du-passe-mais-aussi-une-composante-des-archives-de-demain/

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