Holocaust Museum To Digitize Vast Archive for Web

Tuesday, May 3, 2011  |  Updated 10:03 AM EDT
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Holocaust Museum to Digitize Vast Archives

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A billboard displays photos of captives who were aboard a train taking them to Auschwitz when they were freed by resistance fighters during World War II.

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The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com are recruiting the public to help build the world's largest online database of information on victims of the Holocaust.

The World Memory Project to be announced Tuesday aims to make the museum's vast archive of documents easily searchable for free online. The museum has 170 million documents with information on more than 17 million people targeted by the Nazis.

Many people search the archives in person to learn what happened to family members separated during the Holocaust. The project will dramatically expand access to those records.

Ancestry will donate its proprietary software and manage the project's painstaking work of digitizing millions of records.

Museum visitors can help index records to make them searchable.

Already, about 50,000 records have been indexed.

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