Starting today, a user can directly access over 130,000 full-resolution photographs from Yad Vashem's photo collection via the Google search page. Google has implemented experimental optical character recognition technology for the project. OCR, it is hoped, will make photographs and other documents lacking in metadata easier to find by search in different languages.
In a statement, Google's Israel research and development director, Yossi Matias, commented that the Yad Vashem project fits into Google's overall mission " to bring the world's historical and cultural heritage online."
There is also a social component to the project, according to the same statement.
"This initiative will not only bring this valuable information to a much wider audience worldwide, but it will allow people around the world to contribute, by identifying the stories behind photos and documents, adding their own stories and knowledge to the site."
The digitization project, which will eventually see all of the memorial's materials digitized and available online, is the latest step in a partnership between it and Google. Two years ago, They launched a Yad Vashem YouTube channel to showcase a series of videos of Holocaust survivor testimonials.
More recently, they have launched a Persian-language YouTube channel to educate Iranians about the Holocaust. It previously launched Hebrew, English, Russian, Spanish and Arabic versions.
Yad Vashem, located in Israel, is the world's largest memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Founded in 1953, it is also the world's largest repository of materials related to that historical tragedy.