BA / MA digital files

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Dokis79
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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Dokis79 » 10 Sep 2023 21:15

nickterry wrote:
10 Sep 2023 12:41

The Vopersal archive (N 756) seems now to be properly catalogued on Invenio, but not digitised systematically. Would be interesting...

There is still a lot to be added to the cataloguing/indexing on Invenio, and most big terms have increased slightly over the past two years as more files are indexed. In December 2021 a keyword search for OKH generated 35,051 hits, today it gets 38,107 hits; of these 3758 were digitised in February 2022 (circa 10.7%), today it's 9944 (26%).

The Nachlaesse at Koblenz definitely need finalising, as some N codes cited in the literature are not on Invenio at all - most are, but not all. I think also the same for some Freiburg Nachlaesse, but in both cases the results seem close to the whole for raw cataloguing.
This is interesting, do you have a rough idea of what types of files represent the bulk that remain to be indexed / catalogued? I have been somewhat confused by how some inventories are classified - for units below divisional size for instance, there are both cases where the unit is not listed at all and cases where the unit is listed but without any files associated to it, and I don't know whether the latter is supposed to mean "we do have files for this unit but they haven't been indexed yet, please come back later" or "there isn't anything available for this unit, but we've still listed it so you don't bother looking for it elsewhere". Likewise for the Wehrbezirk folders.

I think part of the increase in the number of files might boil down to some files being split in two due to containing large format pages though - for instance this was noticeable for RH 10. That said, there have definitely been some new additions as well, like the Organisationskartei series, which I'm pretty sure wasn't listed anywhere else.

nickterry
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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by nickterry » 11 Sep 2023 00:41

Dokis79 wrote:
10 Sep 2023 21:15
This is interesting, do you have a rough idea of what types of files represent the bulk that remain to be indexed / catalogued? I have been somewhat confused by how some inventories are classified - for units below divisional size for instance, there are both cases where the unit is not listed at all and cases where the unit is listed but without any files associated to it, and I don't know whether the latter is supposed to mean "we do have files for this unit but they haven't been indexed yet, please come back later" or "there isn't anything available for this unit, but we've still listed it so you don't bother looking for it elsewhere". Likewise for the Wehrbezirk folders.

I think part of the increase in the number of files might boil down to some files being split in two due to containing large format pages though - for instance this was noticeable for RH 10. That said, there have definitely been some new additions as well, like the Organisationskartei series, which I'm pretty sure wasn't listed anywhere else.
I went through some of the 'other units' and noticed entries for e.g. Geheime Feldpolizei-Gruppen where it was stated, look in RH 20-x or 21-x, which fits with how such reports are filed in the NARA microfilms of T312 and T313. So if there is a unit listing, and the files are elsewhere, Invenio should say so. That means that if there is a unit listed but without a catalogued set of files, it is certainly worth asking Freiburg if they do in fact have any files for the unit; or using ARGUS to look up the relevant Findbuch.

Digitisation of the sub-divisional units will likely take many years, so one would be best off surveying Invenio, Argus and cross-checking against NARA, then asking Freiburg for clarifications, before booking a research trip.

As for Invenio adding the finding guides, file descriptions etc - I have seen them add and update previously blank Bestaende, for sure collections at Koblenz, over the past 2 years. Some Nachlaesse fit this category, but also other lesser collections.

The majority of former DDR files which once had Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten Zwischenarchiv codes (ZR, ZM, etc) now seem integrated into the NS, R, etc classification. There are fairly obscure files on Dirlewanger which are catalogued but not digitised/uploaded, as an example. However, some files cited by historians in the 1990s and 2000s from Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten are not immediately visible in Invenio, so presumably have to be added in the future.

Mori
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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Mori » 11 Sep 2023 09:24

nickterry wrote:
11 Sep 2023 00:41
Digitisation of the sub-divisional units will likely take many years, so one would be best off surveying Invenio, Argus and cross-checking against NARA, then asking Freiburg for clarifications, before booking a research trip.
I have always wondered whether units below divisions were involved in the standard archival procedures of the time, or whether only units from division up were.

It could be that regiments / batallions didn't have to send their documents to the central archive twice per year. This would explain the low number of such items (also on germandocsinrussia) and the fact there is no catalog whatsoever.

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Piet Duits
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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Piet Duits » 11 Sep 2023 10:32

Mori,

This is not what I have been told. Each unit had to send in their documents twice a year.

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Mori » 11 Sep 2023 12:50

Piet Duits wrote:
11 Sep 2023 10:32
Mori,

This is not what I have been told. Each unit had to send in their documents twice a year.
Makes me curious, by the way. I don't think each unit below division could send documents directly to the central archive, so there must have been a collecting point in between. There should be an SOP documenting that somewhere...

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Dokis79 » 11 Sep 2023 13:51

Is it possible that some files belonging to units below the divisional level were simply never sent back to Germany? While searching for other things on NARA's website, I noticed that a significant chunk of certain record groups were not deemed interesting enough to be microfilmed, but for some reason were not restituted to the Bundesarchiv either. For instance, the KStN volumes in the T283 series differ from those BAMA has, and their KAN (record group 1032), which haven't been microfilmed, appear to be different as well (some of the KAN numbers in the ranges mentioned in the containers' descriptions are not in BAMA). Likewise, T314 R1431 has a KStN volume that is absent from BAMA, and it wasn't just integrated into the KStN section in RH 15, given that it has KStN that remain absent from there.

That makes me wonder whether there might be boxes full of regimental KTBs and the like in NARA, given that they understandly weren't prioritized for microfilming compared to divisional and above units.

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Mori » 11 Sep 2023 16:18

Interesting hypothesis, guess we will never know.

It always comes as a surprise that NARA microfilms and BAMA collections do not match 100%.Gerhard Weinberg was in charge of the cataloging & microfilming program in the late 1950s. He wrote an article describing how he was hired for the job and how they worked. He claimed he didn't select which documents to microfilm, because "someone's dump is someone else's gold" (or words to that effect), and went for full copies of everything.

However, that's simply not true.

Many scholars have noticed discrepancies. Or, should I say, the most serious scholars, those who searched NARA and BAMA, have long noticed the differences. But it's such a surprise they often underline the fact in their bibliography/sources appendix.

Then, some documents which were microfilmed and which were sent back to Germany got lost or were damaged. So when you are deep into details, it's worth checking both copies. Sometimes, it's just 1-2 pages now missing in the BAMA copy, which you can only find through the NARA microfilm.

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Orlov
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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Orlov » 11 Sep 2023 22:29

Fascinating discussion.
I will only add that, as usual, warehouse workers at both BA-MA and NARA have extensive knowledge.
Lower units, of course, also sent their documents to the archive - the best example of which was SS-Sdr.Btl/SS-Sdr.Rgt. Dirlewanger - perfectly preserved until June 22, 1944 - and then tragedy - practically nothing, single documents in BA-MA and Bestand 500

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by nickterry » 11 Sep 2023 22:58

nickterry wrote:
11 Sep 2023 00:41
The majority of former DDR files which once had Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten Zwischenarchiv codes (ZR, ZM, etc) now seem integrated into the NS, R, etc classification. There are fairly obscure files on Dirlewanger which are catalogued but not digitised/uploaded, as an example. However, some files cited by historians in the 1990s and 2000s from Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten are not immediately visible in Invenio, so presumably have to be added in the future.
Just to follow up on this - 1-2 years ago, raw searches of invenio flagged undigitised NS-Archiv Bestaende that have since vanished; these used file codes cited from Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten such as ZM 1454. I suspect these will be integrated into the BDC inheritance if they are not integrated into some other SS/Police collections.

The same searches and browsing failed to locate other D-H files, especially if they were more Wehrmacht, but also ones that were clearly DDR copies of Soviet trials such as the Riga trial.

So while the Zwischenarchiv is now much better integrated, the cataloguing is still not complete.

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Vasilyev » 12 Sep 2023 03:36

Dokis79 wrote:
11 Sep 2023 13:51
Is it possible that some files belonging to units below the divisional level were simply never sent back to Germany? While searching for other things on NARA's website, I noticed that a significant chunk of certain record groups were not deemed interesting enough to be microfilmed, but for some reason were not restituted to the Bundesarchiv either. For instance, the KStN volumes in the T283 series differ from those BAMA has, and their KAN (record group 1032), which haven't been microfilmed, appear to be different as well (some of the KAN numbers in the ranges mentioned in the containers' descriptions are not in BAMA). Likewise, T314 R1431 has a KStN volume that is absent from BAMA, and it wasn't just integrated into the KStN section in RH 15, given that it has KStN that remain absent from there.

That makes me wonder whether there might be boxes full of regimental KTBs and the like in NARA, given that they understandly weren't prioritized for microfilming compared to divisional and above units.
Is it possible that many formations below divisions simply didn't follow procedure? Producing the KTB was (even at higher commands) the lowest priority compared to many other duties the responsible officer might have, according to the FMS writeups on the topic. It may be that many documents were never submitted at all, even outside of the final year of the war.

It also seems that even when divisions weren't encircled and completely destroyed being overrun during a breakthrough - which happened quite frequently - seems to have prompted the immediate destruction of all the HQ's documents. For example, 26th ID was overrun during Lublin-Brest in late July 1944 and as a result it and all of its subunits destroyed their documents.

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Mori » 12 Sep 2023 09:48

Judging from other armies, I wouldn't say so. I routinely found War diaries / JMO for units down to company in the British, American and French armies. They can be especially useful at such low level to justify awards.

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 12 Sep 2023 10:10

Mori wrote:
12 Sep 2023 09:48
Judging from other armies, I wouldn't say so. I routinely found War diaries / JMO for units down to company in the British, American and French armies. They can be especially useful at such low level to justify awards.
And every now and again, certainly in some of the German diaries for early in the Italian campaign the odd regiment, battalion or even platoon diary turns up.

Regards

Tom

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by Vasilyev » 12 Sep 2023 18:35

Thank you!

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by nickterry » 29 Sep 2023 23:08

The 'Temporär gesperrte Akten und Bestände' list for Freiburg has been updated (Stand September 2023)
https://www.bundesarchiv.de/DE/Content/ ... cationFile

Promised: files of AOKs 10, 12, 14, more Wehrkreise, no RL files listed, very few RM files, and no real further movement on RS Waffen-SS records.

They're also seriously starting on economics and armaments files, promising more or less all of the inspections/commandos for occupied Poland, RW 30 Ostland and Ukraine, and a lot of RW 31 Wirtschaftsstab Ost, files that are largely already online via NARA RG 242 T77, but having the originals colour-scanned is still exciting.

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Re: BA / MA digital files

Post by pintere » 06 Oct 2023 02:29

nickterry wrote:
29 Sep 2023 23:08
The 'Temporär gesperrte Akten und Bestände' list for Freiburg has been updated (Stand September 2023)
https://www.bundesarchiv.de/DE/Content/ ... cationFile

Promised: files of AOKs 10, 12, 14, more Wehrkreise, no RL files listed, very few RM files, and no real further movement on RS Waffen-SS records.

They're also seriously starting on economics and armaments files, promising more or less all of the inspections/commandos for occupied Poland, RW 30 Ostland and Ukraine, and a lot of RW 31 Wirtschaftsstab Ost, files that are largely already online via NARA RG 242 T77, but having the originals colour-scanned is still exciting.
In the previous list there were a number of RL files regarding the Fallschirm-Panzer Division HG, however those don't seem to be on this new list. You reckon it's reasonable to assume that this means they've already been scanned and ought to be online soon?

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