Tag Archives: archives

Archival training session: concepts, tools and practices

by Stéphane Ancel

• The workshop entitled «Archives Nationales – atelier méthodologique pour l’équipe de chercheurs du projet Open Jerusalem» was held on the 4th December at the National Archives of France (NAF) historical site in Paris, and continued on the 5th December at its new site in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine. Supported by the National Archives of France and the ERC-financed research project “Opening Jerusalem Archives : For a Connected History of “Citadinité” in the Holy City (1840-1940)”, this workshop was conceived and organized by Yann Potin, archivist at the NAF and member of the ERC Open Jerusalem project.

• This workshop represented the first step of a long-lasting and fruitful partnership between the NAF and Open Jerusalem project. The importance of a deep understanding and knowledge of archival management principles, concepts and practices is crucial for OJ researchers. The workshop aimed so at giving to them methods and tools for describing archival materials and at establishing a mutual methodological approach to archives. For that purpose instructive presentations and training were done by members of the NAF.

• On the 4th December, at the Parisian site of the NAF, the workshop was welcomed by Yann Potin (NAF) and Béatrice Hérold (NAF). After expressing their wish for a fruitful partnership between the NAF and the ERC project, both of them underlined the absolute necessity of a mutual approach for describing archives during the Open Jerusalem project work. Each participant to the workshop was then asked to present his own work, difficulties and demands about the description and analysis of archival materials in Jerusalem. From this round table resulted first thoughts and perspectives, and crucial notions concerning archives could be like that presented and discussed.

• Yann Potin guided then all participants in the stores of the NAF. He explained the history of the institution, the way of classification and its evolution, and he showed several precious items preserved there.

• In her presentation entitled “Notions juridiques: propriété et communicabilité des archives”, Marie-Françoise Limon-Bonnet (NAF) presented to the participants the legal notions concerning archives in France. She explained how to define archival material, in legal terms, according to their origin and to the creator of the documents. Public and private archives were thus defined and dissociated, and the question of the availability of documents for research was explained and discussed.

• Then Leyla Dakhli (CNRS – CMB Berlin) and Naomi Nicolas-Kaufman (SEUA – TLHub) presented a new tool for participative translation works: the program called TLHub. All potentialities of the program were showed and the participants could be trained for using it.

• On the 5th December, at the new site of the NAF in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine, the workshop started under the supervision of Emmanuelle Giry (NAF) and Emeline Rotolo (NAF) and concerned the diplomatic approach of contemporary archives. At first, the history of French diplomatic and some important notions were explained. Then, the participants could have been trained to the description of different types of files from the NAF. Marie-Alpais Torcheboeuf (conservator, Fondation de Chambrun) presented also the characteristic of archival materials produced by religious institutions in focusing on those of the Ecole biblique de Jérusalem.


• Then Jessica Huygue (NAF) and Stéphane Méziache (NAF) exposed to the participants all issues concerning digitisation of archival materials. Jessica Huygue explained processes followed by the NAF for digitizing archives. She exposed crucial steps to be followed for digitizing documents, especially the establishment of clear protocol for naming digital files. Stéphane Méziache gave to the audience his technical advises concerning devises and tools for digitisation process of documents. The problem posed by the creation a common protocol for description of archives (a “feuille de récolement”) was also discussed.

• All the participants of the workshop could visit offices of the National Archives devoted to the preservationand restoration of documents. Laurent Martin (NAF) explained some crucial questions linked to the preservation of documents. That way, he made the participants aware of good behaviors that the researcher has to follow in order to preserve the documents he is studying.

Frédéric Douat (Archives départementales du 92 – Haut de Seine) shared with the participants his field research experience. He explained how he could have access to different types of archives, in public and private institutions. He focused also on the main information that researchers have to collect about an archive funds.

Patricia Coste and Habiboussa Mansour (NAF) explained politics launched by the National Archives concerning the management of disasters and the preservation of archives where they are stored.


• Finally, Béatrice Hérold (NAF) presented different protocols for the description of archival materials. The standards called ISAD-G (General International Standard Archival Description), for the description of archival funds, and ISSAR-CPF(International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families), for the description of the creators of archives were explained to participants. The latter were also introduced to the use of the XML standards for encoding archival finding aids called EAD (Encoded Archival Description), and for encoding information about the creators of archival materials called EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context – Corporate bodies, Persons and Families). The workshop ended with the presentation of the characteristics of SOSIE program (“Saisie en Open office pour la Structuration d’Instrument de recherché en EAD”) used by the NAF.

The Ottoman municipality of Jerusalem: lecture by Falestin Naili


Open Jerusalem team member Falestin Naili will give a lecture on “The Ottoman Municipality of Jerusalem: How to reconstruct the history of a forgotten urban institution” at the CBRL British Institute in Amman on 14th December 2014 at 6 pm.

فلسطين نايلي  سوف تعطي محاضرة عن

بلدية القدس العثمانية : كيفية صياغة تاريخ مؤسسة طي النسيان

في المعهد البريطاني في عمان 

14 ديسمبر 

في الساعة السادسة مساء


Archival Training Workshop at the National Archives of France


Open Jerusalem research team will attend a training session at the National Archives of France next week (4-6 December). This three-day workshop will represent the first step of a long-lasting and fruitful partnership between the NAF and Open Jerusalem that will bring some archivists to work in Jerusalem’s archives.
Open Jerusalem aims to unlock the modern history of the Holy City through archives. Therefore, the importance of a deep understanding and knowledge of archival management principles, concepts and practices is crucial for OJ researchers.
We will report our Paris activities on our social network channels (facebook, twitter and google+). Follow us!

Read the full programme here

Jerusalem Municipality and the First World War

Open Jerusalem team member Falestin Naïli will participate to the international conference on “The First World War in the Middle East: Experience, knowledge, memory” jointly organized by the OIB Orient-Institut Beirut, the Ifpo (Institut français du Proche-Orient), the History Department of the Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth and the Institute for Palestine Studies (3-4 November 2014) with a paper on “La guerre entre les lignes : la municipalité ottomane de Jérusalem face aux effets de la Première Guerre mondiale.”

Opening “Open Jerusalem”. Notes from OJ team workshop


Open Jerusalem core team workshop just concluded few days ago. It was the first opportunity for the whole team to meet up, and therefore it represented an extremely important moment of exchange.

We shared our academic, work and personal experiences. We also formulated questions, methodologies and expectations concerning the study of Jerusalem citadinité we aim to deepen during the next 5 years in the frame of the ERC project.

We organized some internal and external channels of study and communication (i.e. chronologies, biographies, dictionaries, translations, spatial and archival maps, website, social networks).

worshopWe clearly formulated the elements of strenghts and weakness of our project and team.

We scheduled future meetings, particularly:

– November seminar in Amman (program coming soon here)

– December training session at the French National Archives

– January trip to Istanbul in order to work in the Imperial Ottoman Archives

This three-day workshop was full of meetings, thoughts, questions, emotions, and dreams. We hope to constantly improve in this collaborative way of working.

Opening Jerusalem Archives: for a connected history of ‘Citadinité’ in the Holy City (1840-1940)

IMG_5699• Jerusalem is undoubtedly one of the cities that receives the most attention from historians, but the available bibliography, generally speaking, is plagued by three major flaws. First, most studies are devoted either to ancient and medieval history, or to the very recent history of the city (after the 1948 War). The Ottoman period (1517-1917) and the British Mandate (1917-1947) are decidedly less studied, as though only the Bible, the Crusades, and then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were worthy of interest. The second flaw stems in part from the first : the overwhelming majority of existing studies focus on religious and geopolitical aspects of the city’s history and thus Jerusalem appears either as a jumble of shrines or as a battlefield. The third flaw is the cause of the other two: most Jerusalem historians limit their studies to the history of only one community of the Holy City, thus contributing to the creation of a segmented historical narrative that precludes a more sweeping view of the city.

Continue reading Opening Jerusalem Archives: for a connected history of ‘Citadinité’ in the Holy City (1840-1940)

Seminar Announcement, 18 June 2014



  • 9:00:  welcome
  • 9:15:  Vincent  Lemire  (Université Paris-Est): « Open Jerusalem Project : a first assessment after 5 months »
  • 9:30:  Falestin  Naïli  (IFPO  Amman):  «The  Ottoman  municipality  of  Jerusalem:  how  to reconstruct  the  history  of  a  forgotten  urban  institution».

–> Please click here to read her text

  • 10:00:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ)  «The  Survey  of  Archives  in  Jerusalem:  toward  a  completion».

–> Please click here to read her presentation

  • 10:30:  Pierre-­Yves  Saunier  (Université  de  Laval  -­  Québec):  «Jusqu’où  ouvrir  Jérusalem? Curiosités,  questions  et  apostilles   sur  le  projet  Open  Jerusalem»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 11:30:  discussion


Photo: An Ottoman map of the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, from 1882-83 (1300 AH), from the Sâlnâme-yi vilâyet-i Sûriye 1300 AH. From the Hathi Trust



Seminar Announcement, 7 May 2014



  • 15:00: Vincent  Lemire (UPEM):  «Which internal / external communication for the Open Jerusalem Project?»
  • 15:30:  Elena  Astafieva  (CNRS):  «The  Russian  Presence  in  Palestine:  Political,  Religious  and Cultural  aspects,  1840-1920»

–> Please click here to read her presentation

  • 16:00:  Marie-­Alpais  Torcheboeuf  (Ecole  nationale  des  Chartes):  «Les  archives  de  l’Ecole biblique  et  archéologique  de  Jérusalem:  présentation  du  premier  inventaire»

–> Please click here to read her text

  • 16:30:  coffee  break
  • 17:00:  Yann  Potin  (Archives  de  France):  «Regard  d’un archiviste  sur  le  projet  Open Jerusalem»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 17:30:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ): works  in  progress

–> Please click here to read her presentation

–> Please click here to read her second presentation

  • 18:00:  Discussion


Photo: The Mosque of Al-Aksa, Jerusalem between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington

Seminar Announcement, 8 April 2014



  • 14:00: Vincent  Lemire: «Jerusalem is not (only) in Jerusalem : a transnational project between local and global»
  • 14:30:  Prof.  Yaron  Ben‐Naeh (Professor, HUJI): «Where  did  the  Sephardim  Disappear?»
  • 15:00:  Stéphane  Ancel  (Hiob  Ludolf  Centre  for  Ethiopian  Studies,  Hambourg): «The  Ethiopian  Orthodox  Church  in  Jerusalem  and  its  Archives»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 15:30:  coffee  break
  • 16:00:  Leyla  Dakhli  (CR-CNRS,  IREMAM):  «Imperial  multilingualism  and  national  translations?  Understanding  the  Ottoman  linguistic  practices»
  • 16:30:  Flavia  Ruani  (EPHE): «The  Syriac  Orthodox  Community  in  Jerusalem  and  its archives»

–> Please click here to read her text

  • 17:00:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ): works  in  progress  (last  visits, contacts,  finalization  of  the  questionnaire…)
  • 17:30:  Discussion


Photo: General view, Jerusalem between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington

Seminar Announcement, 20 March 2014



  • 15:00:  welcome
  • 15:30:  Vincent  Lemire:  «Under the Canopy: How to move in a documentary archipelago?»
  • 16:00:  Michelle  Campos  (ZMO  ‐  Zentrum  Moderner  Orient,  Berlin):  «‘Unmixing’  the  Holy City:  Civic  Disintegration  and  Urban  Segregation  in  Mandatory  Jerusalem»
  • 16:45:  Angelos  Dalachanis  (IREMAM,  Aix‐en-­Provence):  «From Suez  to  Jérusalem: studying  urban  and  social  history  through  the  Greek  archives»

–> Please click here to read his text

  • 17:30:  Merav  Mack (CRFJ):  works  in  progress  (last visits,  Christ  Church  Archives,  Sephardi  Community  Archives,  Questionnaire…)
  • 18:00:  Falestin  Naïli  (IFPO,  member  of  Open-­Jerusalem  Team):  works  in  progress  (Minutes  of Ottoman  municipality  1892‐1915,  Jerusalem  Archives  in  Amman…)
  • 18:30:  Discussion   (Discussant:  Roberto  Mazza,  Western  Illinois  University)

Seminar Announcement, 11 February 2014

Des archives municipales ottomanes (1892-1912)

aux archives citadines de Jérusalem (1840-1940)



  • 9:00 : welcome
  • 9:30: Vincent Lemire, introduction : «Le projet archives municipales (2010-2013), une préfiguration du projet Open Jerusalem (2014-2019)?»
  • 10:00: Falestin Naïli (IFPO Amman, member of Open Jerusalem Team) : «Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut and beyond: moving from the Jerusalem municipal archives to the collective memory of Ottoman Jerusalem in search of citadinité»

–> Please click here to read her text

–>  Please click here to read her presentation

  • 10:30: Yasemin Avci (Pamukkale Univ., member of Open Jerusalem Team): «Jerusalem Municipal Archives and Istanbul Imperial Archives in Osmänle: How to interconnect the two levels?»

–> Please click here to read her text

–> Please click here to read her presentation

  • 11:00: Merav Mack (CRFJ): «Open Jerusalem Survey: New Questionnaire and First Results»
  • 11:30: Discussion

Seminar Announcement, 29 November 2013

 Ouvrir les archives de Jérusalem:

pour une histoire connectée de la citadinité dans la ville sainte (1840/1940)



  • 9:00: welcome
  • 9:30: Vincent Lemire (Université Paris Est Marne la Vallée): introduction: “Où sont les archives citadines de Jérusalem? Premiers jalons d’une recherche en cours”
  • 10:00: Merav Mack (CRFJ): “The Jerusalems Archives and Libraries Survey (2007) and the Open-Jerusalem Project (2014-2019): similarities and differences”
  • 10:30: Roberto Mazza (Western Illinois University): “To Unlock the Holy City: Questions, Themes and Sources to Rediscover the Late Ottoman and Early British Jerusalem”
  • 11:00: Maria Chiara Rioli (Ecole normale supérieure de Pise): “Les archives de l’Eglise latine de Jérusalem sont-elles des archives citadines ?”
  • 11:30: discussion


Photo: Nebi Musa festival outside of the Damascus Gate (between 1898 and 1917), Jerusalem,  American Colony (Jerusalem). Photo Dept.