Until 1939 Łódź was a place where four different cultures co-existed – Polish, German, Russian, and Jewish. The Time Stamp internet platform is a database of historical information about the buildings of Łódz and their inhabitants.
The project is based on QR technology, so information about each place is available immediately upon scanning the QR code on the building’s wall.
A few years ago, Ron Ami, an Israeli engineer with Polish roots, came to Łódź with his family to take a sentimental journey in the footsteps of his ancestors. He had the address of the building where his father lived before the war but he found that at the address was a complex of buildings and he couldn’t identify the exact apartment. It is these difficulties that prompted him to create a tool using the potential of the Internet to help to share the story of urban communities with others.
The project will be an evolving open database of knowledge about historical buildings, starting with those of Łódż. The catalogue consists of information about architects, important events which took place on the property, the purpose of the building, and its owners. The Time Stamp website also allows users to get to know the residents of the buildings, and finally to leave a trace of themselves or their families with a so-called ‘Personal Stamp’. Any person who somehow came into contact with a place will be able to share their experiences relating to it by publishing them on the website. This will provide multi-dimensional urban and historical maps of the city.
How does it work? Anyone passing a historic building can use a smartphone to scan the QR code on the ‘Time Stamp’ sign on each building's façade. Scanning the QR code will bring one directly to the homepage of the building on the Time Stamp website.
How is the data collected? Data collection is carried out by students, each of whom is an expert in their own field of interest, and they are aided by younger assistants. The sources of information are archives, museums, literature, and personal interviews. The involvement of youth in this process exposes them to a great deal of historical and multi-cultural information which can be used as a bridge for dialogue between cultures, religions, denominations and ethnic groups in order to enhance tolerance and acceptance of others.
Sources: press materials, www.thetimestamp.org; ed. and trans. by az, October 2016