Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This article seeks to open a discursive space in which to reflect on issues of Holocaust historiography arising from emerging research on personal archives collected by "ordinary" people in relation to the Holocaust. The explorations, intended as a discussion piece, are anchored in a specific context, namely that of the Dorrith Sim Collection (DMSC) which is held in the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (SJAC) in Glasgow. This collection offers a focus to concretize the historiographical discussion in a largely un-researched collection, while enabling consideration of a range of related collections and publications. The article investigates the historiographical practices of those involved in the collection, preservation, presentation, and publication processes, and considers the inherent ethical choices, choices that highlight the agency of the family, the archivist, and the scholar. Ethical choices, here, the investment of specific meanings and claims to significance, are amplified in this context because of their connection to genocide. I suggest that a "transparent historiography" that accounts for the research process within the published narrative could address the challenges arising from the necessity to be selective about what to collect, preserve, and write about, and how to do so. I borrow from other fields of research and professional practice to highlight possible avenues along which to advance historiographical discussion.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 331-360
Launched on MUSE
2019-11-02
Open Access
No
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