“An incredible success, beyond our most optimistic expectations” were the first words spoken by Vincent Lemire, a well-known historian on the Jerusalem scene and the creator of this travelling conference on the Jerusalem archives!
Over 400 people attended the 9 events held throughout the week.
These were great moments for the organisers of these events, as Vincent tells us: “I’m thinking in particular of the event that took place in Gaza, where I was able to go and speak to students at Al-Aqsa University on Tuesday morning. Or the evening at the French Consulate on Thursday evening, when over 130 people came to see the 3D reconstruction of the North African quarter. It was a very powerful experience for me.
The collective dimension of the project was indeed highlighted, with nearly 30 speakers and more than 15 partner institutions, including the Ecole Biblique.
Indeed, Friar Jean-Michel de Tarragon was invited to the conference held at the Custody to present the school’s photographic archives and stock. A photographic collection that cannot be ignored, as was shown by the many uses made of these archives throughout the week.
As for Friar Jean-Jacques Pérennès, he was invited to speak at the conference at the Institut française Châteaubriand to present the biography he has written on Roland de Vaux. “Through archives, we give meaning and life to what happened before us. You discover that archives are alive, especially when it comes to biographical work. It quickly becomes very exciting, and you can even become a bit addicted to the work,” confides Jean-Jacques.
The week ended with a guided walk around the Jaffa Gate on Sunday 18 June. There was a lot of positive feedback and a lot of great moments, which bodes well for next year!