Today Monash University announced the Australasian launch of the largest visual history archive in the world.
Monash is the first Australian university, and the second outside the U.S., to provide access to the University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive. The archive was set up by internationally-acclaimed filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, after he completed Schindler’s List in 1994, to document experiences of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses.
With a collection of nearly 52,000 videotaped testimonies collected in 32 languages from 56 countries, it is the largest visual history archive in the world. It is a remarkable collection that has been digitised and indexed, making it an excellent example of e-research.
Monash has partnered with USC in presenting the archive for research and teaching purposes within Australia.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Larkins said the University is honoured to host the archive's launch. "Monash takes great pride in its partnership with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute," Professor Larkins said. "In addition to the valuable teaching and research opportunities across the University, Monash is able to use the archive to reach out into the Australian community."
Associate Professor Mark Baker, from Monash University’s Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, said Australia was home to the highest per capita proportion of Holocaust survivors outside Israel. “The preservation of their voices in this archive is central to guiding future generations to be vigilant against other genocides,” he said. Professor of History and USC Shoah Foundation Institute Executive Director Douglas Greenberg said the Institute conducted nearly 2,500 interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust in Australia. "These testimonies, which include stories of life after the war, are part of Australia's history. We are thrilled to partner with Monash University to bring these and all of the testimonies in the archive to Australia."
Access to the archive at Monash University is being funded by Ms. Lee Liberman and the Pratt Family Foundation. For more information about the Visual History Archive at Monash University, go to http://www.vha.lib.monash.edu.au/. For more information, phone Dr Elane Zelcer on +61 3 9905 5282 or 0418 563 562.
All media enquiries to John Watts on +61 03 9905 2901 or 0448 574 148.