Academic Year 2022/23 Begins at Blinken OSA

After a record-hot summer, the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives will reopen its temporary Research Room in Budapest in the CEU Library on September 5, and will participate in the CEU Orientation Sessions in Vienna on September 8. Continuing its long standing cooperation with several CEU departments and programs, the Archives shall present the latest faculty contributions to its holdings, and its courses offered to CEU students.

You can meet us in Vienna at the CEU Orientation Sessions on September 8:

11:30 Oksana Sarkisova (Research Fellow, Blinken OSA) presents to undergraduate students, CEU Campus Quellenstrasse, D001
14:00 Ivan Szekely (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 conducting research at the Archives, Robert Parnica (Senior Reference Archivist, Blinken OSA) will be available for personal consultations both in ANKERSAAL and in the Blinken OSA Office, CEU Campus Quellenstrasse, C302!

Although classes take place 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 maintain 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 Spat, 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!


The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives continues to receive researchers temporarily on the CEU Budapest Campus (CEU Library Floor 3). Before your visit, please book a time slot online! If this is your first time at the Archives, you can fill out our registration form in advance, or upon your arrival. When planning your visit, please take into consideration that in this temporary period we transport requested archival materials to the temporary Research Room twice a week.