After a record-hot summer, academic year 2022/23 begins at CEU both in Budapest and in Vienna. The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives has reopened its temporary Research Room in Budapest in the CEU Library on September 5, presenting numerous additions to its holdings, such as audiovisual fieldwork recordings collected by CEU students and faculty.
Meanwhile in Vienna, CEU welcomes arriving students with Orientation Sessions (no Orientation Sessions take place in Budapest this year). Between September 5 and 9, students can learn about the university’s departments and units, including Blinken OSA.
You can meet us in Vienna at the CEU Orientation Sessions on September 8:
14:00 Iván Székely (Senior Research Fellow, Blinken OSA) presents to MA & PhD students, ANKERSAAL Kulturhaus Brotfabrik
15:30 Anastasia Felcher (Archivist, Blinken OSA) presents to CHSP students, CEU Campus Quellenstrasse, C207
Should you have questions about doing research at the Archives, Robert Parnica (Senior Reference Archivist, Blinken OSA) will be available for personal consultation both in ANKERSAAL and in the Blinken OSA Office, CEU Campus Quellenstrasse, C302!
Also at CEU QS, Anastasia Felcher introduces the Archives to the Jewish Studies Program on September 23, at 12:00, in room D101.
Although teaching is in Vienna, the Blinken OSA Research Room in Budapest provides online access to born digital and digitized contents for CEU students and faculty via the OSA Research Cloud, and offers Digitization on Demand services. Furthermore, in CEU’s Quellenstrasse building, the Archives maintains an office in Room C302, with colleagues available for personal consultation. Despite the distance between Vienna and Budapest, Blinken OSA continues to contribute to teaching at CEU. Next week, we will present our ongoing courses offered for students from CEU’s Legal Studies and History departments and the Visual Studies Platform.
We are also happy to announce that recently we have expanded the Digital Archive of Cultural Heritage. A digital repository available online, this collection is a result of a collaboration between Blinken OSA and CEU’s Cultural Heritage Studies Program (CHSP, hosted at the Department of Medieval Studies). CHSP is an interdepartmental MA program promoting the critical assessment of tangible, intangible, and environmental heritage, addressing issues such as cultural heritage’s misuse within modern political narratives. The Digital Archive of Cultural Heritage includes songs, tales, music, rituals, and oral recollections, recorded by CHSP students and faculty. Intangible heritage is extremely vulnerable, making its collection and preservation highly important. Eszter Spät, visiting faculty of the program, also stresses that the Digital Archive of Cultural Heritage is a “complete storage of recordings from fieldwork [which] allows for future researchers to use the material in a variety of ways.”
As the latest chapter in this ongoing collaboration, 38 new items are now accessible in the series HU OSA 437-1-10 Recordings of Yezidi Culture of Northern Iraq: Yezidi Laments. Collected by Eszter Spät among Yezidi communities (an ethno-religious, Kurdish-speaking minority) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and along the Iraqi-Syrian border, the recordings capture Yezidi laments. While most performances are recitals of old laments, some recount the current sufferings of Yezidis at the hand of ISIS.
The Digital Archive of Cultural Heritage was processed and updated by Blinken OSA Archivist Márk László-Herbert. Explore the item-level descriptions of the series here (look for the note field for the recordings), and browse the full collection here!