Databases of the Collections at the Department of Collections, Terezín Memorial

The Department of Collections creates a sub-collection of historical and art objects, while administering objects of diverse materials, techniques, dimensions and provenances.

Since the foundation of the museum collection items have been registered, initially in an inventory book, since 1968 in an incremental book, and subsequently every item has been given an extra registration card. Digitalization of all the collection items and subsequent transcription and processing of all the original registration cards into an electronic form have been going on since the 1990s. Since then the databases have gone through major changes. At the beginning our database was used solely instead of “paper” typewritten registration cards. Later on, as older records were added, the database began to be used by the Terezín Memorial staff and it was decided to make the database available on the Internet. However, due to the confidential nature of certain personal data therein, all the records had to be rechecked and part of the entries deleted. The full version of the database continues to serve the Terezín Memorial staff for their internal needs.

Since 2003 we have also been aiming for visual digitization. In the first place, we have focused on the most frequently used items and later on systematic scanning of other exhibits according to their storage in the depositories. Due to the technical equipment of the Department of Collections, predominantly works of art, sheet music and documentary materials coming from the former Terezín Ghetto and the Small Fortress have been scanned. In the coming years, we would like to start photographing three-dimensional objects, large-format works, sculptures, to be followed by works of art with anti-war theme and works devoted to the topic of persecution in the world today.

Photos and scans are continually added to the digital records of the collection items depending on our success in obtaining permission from copyright holders or their heirs. Seen in this light, some works might be in the publicly accessible database accompanied by description but without a photo. Records of newly acquired exhibits will be added to the database during the year.

In recent years, the increase in new collection items has not been as high as it used to be in the past, but every new item for the collection, whether it is a photo, drawing, poem, transport call, secret note or a souvenir is a great enrichment for the collection. If you happen to know any information on some of our published items that is missing in the database, or if you know the author's name of any work listed as anonymous, we kindly ask you to contact the staff of the Department of Collections. We will be very grateful for each new piece of information that will help researchers in dealing with the particular subject.

The collection items are divided into three databases according to their nature:

  1. Works of Art
  2. Three-dimensional and Documentary Material
  3. Scores