Historical archives in Israel vary in size, organization and physical condition. Despite there being international regulations for order and description of archive material, the various archives in the State of Israel are not managed in a uniform manner. Only a small number of archives manage the material stored in them according to up-to-date standards. Additionally, most of the archives are not currently accessible online and the only way to access the material is to pay them a visit in person, which is not always feasible. The “A-Z” Project deals with non-tangible materials, with the goal of making archive material accessible on the internet, for the benefit of the general public.
The “A-Z” Project, the National Library of Israel and the Israel State Archives collaborated, under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Office to build an infrastructure and uniform standards and to ensure that the unique material stored in the various heritage archives throughout the State of Israel is preserved in a suitable manner and will be widely accessible to the entire Israeli public in a convenient and uniform manner, both in the near future and for the coming generations.
The project is jointly operated by the Israel State Archives, which is involved in management of the project, and the Association of Israeli Archivists which represents the archives and acts as a professional consultant.
Due to the understanding that gradual progress is required as well as clear practical restrictions, several dozens of archives were chosen by the “A-Z” Project to receive funding from the project. These archives are undergoing digitalization and cataloging according to the international regulations of ISAD(G) and ISDIAH.
Every archive in Israel will be able to take part in the project by uploading its digital catalog to the project together with the scanned material. It is also possible to just send the catalog.
A detailed explanation on joining the project, its technological content, the project standards, and recommendations for preservation and digitization can be found on the professional website.