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EVA Minerva Conference at Harvard

The Judaica Division hosted an international invitational conference in April 2015​

Minerva conference participants in front of Widener Library

Minerva conference participants in front of Widener LibraryJuly 14, 2015 – On 13-14 April, the Judaica Division hosted at the Harvard Faculty Club an international invitational conference as part of the EVA Minerva series, an initiative of the European Commission, which promotes conferences on the application of digital technology to the preservation of cultural heritage.  The Judaica Division first hosted an EVA Minerva conference in 2002 and established a Judaica section within that series.  Violet Radnofsky of the Judaica Division has actively participated over the years in EVA Minerva conferences in Europe and in Israel and has organized sessions at a number of them, most recently in November 2014 in Jerusalem.

The 2015 conference at Harvard opened with remarks by Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library and the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; James Hemsley (London), Founder of the EVA Conferences, EVA Minerva, London; and Charles Berlin, Lee M. Friedman Bibliographer in Judaica, and Head, Judaica Division, Harvard Library. The conference brought together a select group of individuals who have key roles in the use of digital technology for cultural preservation.  The major international image databases were represented by James Shulman (New York), President of Artstor; Dan Cohen (Boston), Founding Executive Director, Digital Public Library of America; and Dov Winer (Jerusalem), Scientific Manager of Judaica Europeana. Major Israeli national cultural enterprises were the topic of two presentations. Reuven Pinsky, Senior Director of the Heritage Division, Office of the Prime Minister of Israel (Jerusalem) described “The National Heritage Program” of the State of Israel; and David Hahn, professor of law at Bar-Ilan University who is also serving as the Israel Ministry of Justice’s overseer of the reorganization of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, spoke on “The Liquidation of the IBA and the Future of the Public Broadcasting in Israel.”  Presentations on other digital projects in Israel were given by Susan Hazan, Curator of New Media & Head of Internet Office of the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), on the creative re-use of digital content; Yaron Tsur, professor at Tel Aviv University on the historical Jewish Press online archive of which he is the director; Moshe Caine, Head of the Department of Interactive Communications at Hadassah Academic College (Jerusalem), on digital storytelling; and Sinai Rusinek, Polosnky Post-Doctoral fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute (Jerusalem) on Hebraica/Judaica digital humanities.

Judaica digital projects outside of Israel were the subject of presentations by Roberta Newman, Director of Digital Initiatives at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York), on cultural restitution focusing on the pre-World War II YIVO collections still in Vilnius; and by Caraid O’Brien, an independent artist in New York and authority on the Yiddish theater, on the role of Yiddish theater archives.

“Preserving Israeli Culture Through Photography” was the theme of a session featuring presentations by three leading Israeli photographers—Eyal Landesman, on documenting Israeli dance; Yossi Zwecker, on documenting Israeli music; and Eldad Rafaeli, on documenting social protest in Israel.  This session was a sequel to a conference on the role of Israeli photography in the preservation of intellectual memory in Israel, co-organized by Violet Radnofsky as part of the International Photography Festival in Israel in May 2014.

“International Collaborations in Preserving Visual Art” was the topic of a presentation by Dafnah Levenvirth, Chief Information Officer of Dantec Ltd. (Jerusalem), the high-tech company with which the Judaica Division has partnered for the past decade in its digital projects in Israel.  The presentation focused on the operational aspects of implementing the Judaica Division’s extensive and multifaceted digital program.

The conference was organized by Violet Radnofsky, with the assistance of Charles Berlin, Vardit Samuels, and Elizabeth Vernon.  Funding for the conference was provided by the Library’s Max and Irene Engel Levy Judaica Book Fund.

This is a Judaica Division press release.

Extended photo caption: Participants in the Harvard EVA Minerva 2015 Conference visiting Widener Library. From right to left: Violet Radnofsky – Littauer Hebraica Technical and Research Services Librarian, Judaica Division, Harvard Library; Dafna Meitar-Nechmad – Collector, Meitar Collection, Tel Aviv; Yona Wiesenthal, Chief Editor for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Jerusalem; Alan Divack – Program Officer, Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, New York; Reuven Pinsky – Senior Director of the Heritage Division, Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, Jerusalem; Moshe Caine – Head, Department of Interactive Communications, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem; Charles Berlin – Lee M. Friedman Bibliographer in Judaica, and Head, Judaica Division, Harvard Library; David Hahn – Official Receiver of Israel, Ministry of Justice, Jerusalem; Dov Winer – Scientific Manager, Judaica Europeana; Minerva Israel / EAJC European Association for Jewish Culture, Jerusalem; Lena Stanley-Clamp – Director, European Association for Jewish Culture; Coordinator, Judaica Europeana, London; James Hemsley – EVA Minerva, London; Franziska Frey – Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian; Head of Preservation and Digital Imaging Services, Harvard Library, Harvard University; Shmuel Levenvirth – Head of Technology, Dantec Ltd., Jerusalem; Eyal Landesman – Artist, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Israeli Photography Festival, Tel Aviv; Sinai Rusinek – Polonsky Post-Doctoral fellow, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Jerusalem; Yitshak Goren – Chairman of the Board, Israel International Photography Festival, Tel Aviv; Eldad Rafaeli – Artist, Photographer, Art Director, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Israeli Photography Festival, Tel Aviv; Susan Hazan – Curator of New Media & Head of Internet Office, Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Aviv Eytan – Dantec Ltd., Jerusalem; Zahavah Levenvirth – Dantec Ltd., Jerusalem; Dafnah Levenvirth – Chief Information Officer, Dantec Ltd., Jerusalem.