You can also review the Holocaust Museum’s online exhibition, “Give Me Your Children: Voices of the Lodz Ghetto,” an online version of the 2006 exhibition that inspired this project.
The more you know about the basic timeline of events related to Jews in the Lodz ghetto, the easier it will be for you to piece together the names, dates, and addresses you find in your research.
First, check the Community Center to find out what questions other researchers are trying to answer. You might want to join your fellow researchers in working on discovering the answers. Throughout your research process, you can post comments in this forum to share what you’ve found, and post questions you’d like other researchers to help you solve.
Once you’ve decided on the question or idea with which you’d like to begin, your research begins by selecting a student from the list of nearly 13,000 names that were signed in the album. You can access the list from the home page by clicking on the “Select a Student” button.
From any other page, you can easily access the list by clicking on the “Student List” link.
Go to the student list and choose a name you would like to research. Names in bold are names on which another user has already started research, but research on these names is not necessarily completed, so you should feel free to explore and work on these names as well. You can sort the list by student’s last name or school number, and can filter the full list by school. By knowing which school the student attended, we usually know his or her gender and a range for his or her date of birth.
When you select a student name, you will be directed to that student’s profile page. You will see the student’s name as it was signed in the album, the student’s gender if it is known, and the name of the school the student attended.
Clicking on the school name provides information about the school, including the approximate age range of the students who attended that school. When you look for the student’s name in the database, you’ll want to look for people who were born in that range of years.
If research has been submitted for that student, this information will be visible. You will want to familiarize yourself with this submitted information, so you do not duplicate another user’s efforts and can build upon that user’s findings. Sometimes, users will have submitted biographies for the students, which provide a narrative of what the user has discovered about that student.
Once you’ve read up on what is known about your student and are familiar with the timeline of the Lodz Ghetto, you’re ready to begin looking for your student in the database. When you click on “start your research” ...
...you’ll see a link to a database where you can search for your student’s name.
You are in stage 1, “Identity,” when you begin. On this stage, you’ll want to look for:
If you open the research help on this stage, you’ll learn more about each of these fields.
When you click on the link to the database, you’ll be able to search for your student in that database. (To learn more about searching for names, watch the video tutorial about names on the “add name” entry page.)
When you think you’ve found a match in the database, return to the student profile and enter as many of the following as you can find for that name:
Sometimes you’ll find more than one name that might be a match. You should enter all information for that name as well in separate fields, by clicking again on “add name,” “add date, etc.”
When you’ve finished adding all of your stage 1 information, don’t forget to press “Submit for Approval” so museum and expert reviewers can respond to your work.
Once you submit your research on this stage, the next four stages open up to you. You may complete them in any order. You may not find information for every name in every stage; you may find no information in any stage. Remember that even just finding a name and birthdate is still more than we knew before, and is a success for you and the project.
When you submit your research on a stage, data and comments you submit are automatically sent to the museum reviewers and expert reviewers to be double-checked. Expert reviewers are site users who have submitted consistently valid data and leave excellent comments within their own research, and have accordingly been elevated to reviewers status by a museum reviewer.
If a expert reviewer reviews your work, he or she will go back into the sources you cite and try to replicate your research. When we make claims in history, like in science, we base those claims on data, so if someone else goes back and looks at the data you put into the fields, he or she should be able to find it again.
The expert reviewer will mark your research Possible or Invalid. Some reasons why your research might be marked invalid are:
The reviewer will also leave comments about your research and thoughts for the next stage. Remember to respond to the comments and revise your research accordingly.
The museum reviewer has the final say and will mark your research Confirmed, Possible, or Invalid. Your research might be marked possible rather than confirmed if:
The museum reviewer will leave comments about your research and thoughts for the next stage as well. Responding to these comments and revising your research accordingly is particularly important here, because if a museum reviewer marks research on the “Identity” stage invalid, research on the next stages cannot be marked possible until the Identity stage is marked possible.
In the next four stages, you will look for answers to these questions:
You may not find answers to all of these questions. Remember that having a name and a birthdate is still more than we knew before, and can be counted a success!
In each stage, remember to open the research help link to learn more about these questions and the history of the ghetto.
When you feel you have researched a student as much as you can, you may add a biography to that student’s profile. This biography space allows you to weave a narrative through the research you’ve conducted based on the data you discovered.
You don’t have to be an expert reviewer to share your thoughts with other users. You can:
This tutorial is not exhaustive and you might have more questions. Where do you go?
Good luck and thank you!