The archival database (Pallas)
The “Perelman Archives” database is not intended to entirely replace the consultation of "paper" archives. It is intended as a research tool which can give an account of it in a significant manner, and enable direct access to a selection of items. It contains a description of the sub-collection, the files and, for some sections, the items which make up the collection BE.ULB-ARCH/89PP. The files can be illustrated with digitised examples. A selection of letters is also available in digital format (see below). We have chosen these items based on the criteria of the quantitative and/or qualitative importance of the exchanges (development of thinking, communication of works or articles, links with other countries, how well-known a correspondent is etc.), as well as their illustrative value (daily life at the university, or coverage of historic events…).
We wanted to highlight several sections of the collection:
- The items from the first sub-collection (BE.ULB-ARCH/89PP 1-3), specifically relating to Perelman’s academic activities at the Université libre de Bruxelles, have been encoded in detail. However, only the items which are deemed to be worthy of interest have been digitised;
- The forty notebooks containing Chaïm Perelman’s reading notes from between 1934 and 1948 (BE.ULB-ARCH/89PP 12 and 43, sub-collection 3) have been described and digitised in their entirety;
- Chaïm Perelman’s general scientific correspondence (BE.ULB-ARCH/89PP 20-27, sub-collection 3) was also given an item by item description, as was sub-collection 1 (creation of approximately 8000 records). Once again, only the exchanges or the items which were of scientific or illustrative interest were digitised;
- All of Chaïm Perelman’s outgoing correspondence between 1962 and 1983, on carbon copies (BE.ULB-ARCH/89PP 34-41, sub-collection 6) also merited special treatment. The large number of items concerned (more than 12 000) meant that they have not been described in detail. These documents have all been scanned, and the overall PDF file of each file (corresponding to the items on a same year) has been linked to its Pallas record. These PDF files have undergone OCR processing so that you can launch queries using key words.
The Washington “Fela and Chaïm Perelman” collection
The “Perelman Archives” Pallas database also provides an overview of the collections from the “Fela and Chaïm Perelman Collection” in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington DC). All the series and files, as they were organised by the team of the USHMM, are taken into account. We have selected a series of examples, which shed additional light on the Université libre de Bruxelles collection.
The USHMM plans to embark upon a more detailed inventory of its own collection, in addition to a complete digitisation of the contents. We will keep the user informed of the additional resources which will be made available.