Holocaust Centre for the North at the University of Huddersfield has been awarded almost £300,000 for its Homeward Bound project that will enable it to preserve digitally and expand its collection to 10,000 items.

A grant of £105,000 from Claims Conference – the conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany – has seen the centre reach its target of £300,000 for the Homeward Bound project.

This will enable HCN to convert its physical collection of documentary evidence of the Holocaust into an online archive that will be accessible to all.

The project will also help HCN increase its collection in size by 50% in time for the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2025.

Alessandro Bucci, director of the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association, said: “This is a moment of generational transition with the 80th anniversary of the liberation of the camps in 2025, and thanks to the grant that completes the funding for the project we will make our incredible collections fully accessible.

“These are rare collections from survivors of the Holocaust who made new lives in the north of England that tell both a global and local story.

“It is an important moment to do this, as these collections could be lost if we do not collect and curate them.”

HCN archivist Hari Jonkers added: “Our collections are the voice of under-represented communities, those that identify as both Jewish and Northern.

“With the passage of time, it is vital that we both preserve our collections and make them as widely accessible as possible.”

HCN rebranded in 2022 from its previous title of Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre, and is the only specialist resource in the region that is dedicated to helping future generations learn about the genocide of European Jews during World War II.

It recently hosted an event to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with a talk by Michelle Greene, a second generation survivor whose mother settled in Harrogate after being one of just two family members to survive the Holocaust.