Archival description, information retrieval, and the construction of thesauri in Israeli archives

Silvia Schenkolewski-Kroll, Assaf Tractinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The introduction of computers, beginning in the late 1960s, for use in the description of textual archival materials has posed new challenges for archivists in general, and Israeli archivists in particular. Today, Israeli archives face several issues: acceptance of international standards and their adaptation to the conditions and needs of Israeli archival data bases; creation of tools for information retrieval, particularly a comprehensive thesaurus to be used by all archival institutions or a basic thesaurus which can be developed in accordance with the needs of individual archives. The article discusses the standardization that has begun in archival description outside of Israel, and various proposed solutions for information retrieval from meta-data or the content of the documents by means of thesaurus-based indexing. Two unique projects, representing different outlooks, are described: the thesaurus of the National Insurance Institute of Israel, partially based upon that of the Henrietta Szold Institute, and that of the archives of Religious Zionism at Bar-Ilan University, created ex nihilo on the basis of the meta-data and the documentation itself. In addition, a comparison is conducted of elements of ISAD(G) adopted by the Israel State Archives and the Archives of Religious Zionism. The article concludes with a proposal for the creation of an archival description and information retrieval system based on ISAD(G) and ISAAR(CPF), and a general thesaurus suitable for all Israeli archives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-107
Number of pages39
JournalArchival Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Archival standard
  • Archives
  • Description
  • Fond
  • Indexing
  • Information retrieval
  • Israel
  • Keywords
  • Thesaurus


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