The Time Stamp Foundation

The Time Stamp Foundation was established in 2015. We are anon-profit, non-government organization registered in Warsaw, Poland. The  activities of the foundation are focused on supporting and carrying out cultural and educational projects, seminars, events, tours, volunteer activities and disseminating information.  In addition, the foundation encourages and nurtures the need to preserve the general, and specifically urban and rural, history of cities, towns and villages as well as the people and events which make up this history.

How does it work? Anyone passing a historic building can use a smartphone to scan the QR code on the "Time Stamp" sign on the facade of the building. Scanning the QR code will bring one directly to the homepage of the building on the Time Stamp website; www.thetimestamp.org.

The QR code on the building.

How is 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 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.

Navigating the site – What is here?

From the site we are able to learn about the history of the buildings and their purpose and function, throughout history, through their residents, the historic events which took place here, hidden places, etc. In addition, stories of the architects who designed and built the buildings, and new building technologies which might have been employed can be found here. The site contains extensive information integrating historical, scientific, and authentic “living” testaments.

The Time Stamp website facilitates the addition of a "Personal Stamp". Anyone, without regard to nationality, religion, gender, or belief - who lived in these buildings, at any time, can add personal experiences, memories, facts, archival information, personal stories, drawings, poems, songs, or any other information they wish to contribute to assist in providing more fully comprehensive narrative.

Why document urban history?

Documentation of urban history may sound complex, confusing, daunting and ambitious. However our intention is to examine and record the texture of the relationships between the city, its inhabitants and their homes in order to learn and understand the history of the period.
Buildings have always been a reflection of the interaction between the environment and the inhabitants of a place. If buildings could tell their story they would reveal the historical tale of their surroundings and the events that took place. They would tell a tale which is in turn sad, and happy, sometimes inspiring hope and belief, and in others, despair… but it is always a tale which triggers thought, curiosity and cannot be ignored.

We hope, and believe that this project and others will contribute to build a multi-cultural and tolerant society which decries segregation, inequality, antisemitism and xenophobia.

 

 

 

The QR code on the building.

How it all started?

The seeds of this project were sown during a "roots" trip with my children to Lodz, Poland, the city in which my father was born. I had only a home address, but I soon found out that the address I had was a complex of buildings, and I couldn’t identify the exact apartment number. As I wandered around I was overcome with a feeling of disappointment. At that moment I thought, “if only there was a convenient source of information regarding the physical conditions at the time. I would be able to find the correct address. I imagined a source of information from which I could easily glean the information I needed”. And so I began to plan the establishment of just such a tool which would allow access to a wealth of information regarding “Urban History”
In order to begin the establishment of this specific ‘search engine’ I had to access and gather written documents, first hand interviews, photos, and any other sources of data which could help piece together the puzzle. With each passing day, the number of people from whom first hand historical memories and data dwindles. Therefore it is imperative to gather these testimonies as quickly as possible.

The synthesis of brand new QR technology, first hand interviews, archival and historical information brought together by experts and young people create a backdrop that allows:

   “KNOWING THE PAST FOR A BETTER FUTURE”

Ron-Ami (Romek) Lerental
Founder and President
of the Time Stamp Project and Fund