Shoah Foundation Dedicates new Tapper Research and Testing Center

Fri, 10/25/2002 - 12:00am

Today supporters of the Shoah Foundation celebrated the dedication of the new Tapper Research and Testing Center at the Foundation’s Los Angeles headquarters. The dedication of the Center, named for benefactor Albert M. Tapper, marks a major milestone for the Foundation, making the rich resources in the Shoah Foundation archive available to students, educators and scholars.

Housing six computer workstations, the state-of-the-art Tapper Center is home to the Foundation’s digital Visual History Archive, a cutting-edge software application developed by the Foundation that will eventually allow visiting scholars and educators to search through nearly 52,000 eyewitness testimonies, and to identify and view the interviews that are most pertinent to their own work. In addition to being a research facility, this Center will also serve as an on-site classroom open to teachers, researchers, and students. Access to the Tapper Center is currently by appointment only.

In attendance at today’s event, Mr. Tapper remarked, “I consider my involvement with the Shoah Foundation to be a wonderful opportunity. The Foundation’s archive is a tremendous resource, and it is vital to disseminate this important information to communities around the world. Society does not seem to learn from the past, and this Center might help scholars pass on some crucial elements of history.” Also in attendance was Debórah Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History and the Director of the Strassler Family Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, who spoke of the academic significance of the Center, “As a scholar, professor, and the founding director of the world’s only Ph.D. program in Holocaust history, I am delighted
that this remarkable archive of testimonies is now available to researchers.”

Douglas Greenberg, President and CEO of the Shoah Foundation said, “In time, it is hoped that the Tapper Research and Testing Center will become a model that can be replicated in universities and research institutions around the world—allowing students and researchers to see and hear the testimonies in the Shoah Foundation’s archive.”

This past summer, the Center hosted two workshops for researchers, both funded by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The first session included a group of researchers from Clark University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The second hosted four participants specializing in emerging fields related to the Holocaust and the study of historical human rights violations. They were observed and interviewed by visiting technical researchers from Johns Hopkins University, IBM, and the University of Maryland – three institutions affiliated with the NSF grant. Next year, the Foundation will continue hosting workshops that will bring a range of people, including teachers, scholars, filmmakers, and authors, to the Center.