LOS ANGELES, CA—November 12, 2007—Today the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education launched its redesigned website at www.college.usc.edu/vhi. The Institute’s mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies.
The new website, which was designed and built by Evenson Design Group, has numerous advantages over its predecessor. Each webpage has been designed with a simple aesthetic in mind, and the site’s structure has been streamlined to ensure ease of use. For example, users who visit the site to view testimonies can now access the Online Testimony Viewer directly from the navigation bar on the Home Page; educators of non-English speaking students will find a page devoted to educational resources that the Institute makes available in languages other than English.
“The project was guided by the belief that the new website should be more than a portal to information about the Institute,” said Douglas Greenberg, Institute Executive Director. “It should be a destination where educators can find resources for their classrooms; where researchers and scholars can further their academic pursuits; where donors can discover new opportunities to make a difference; and where the general public can hear the stories of survivors and other witnesses.”
In addition to receiving a structural and visual overhaul, new content has been added to the website. This includes an online classroom lesson for educators of Polish students, and an interactive map of institutions around the world that have testimony collections or offer electronic access to the entire Visual History Archive.
An additional resource launched on the Institute’s new website is Segments for the Classroom, a video resource created in response to the interest expressed by educators of students ages 14 and up wishing to enhance the classroom experience by integrating visual history testimony with their classroom lessons. Segments for the Classroom consists of seven downloadable clip reels—six in English, and one in Spanish—that contain excerpts of testimony from the Institute’s Visual History Archive, covering a variety of topics.
“Regardless of where they are located, visitors to the website will now be able to benefit more directly from the Institute’s online resources and services,” said Kim Simon, Institute Director of International Programs and Communications. “We are optimistic about the potential impact the new website will have on our mission to overcome intolerance through the educational use of the visual history testimonies.”
With a collection of nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages and from 56 countries, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s archive is the largest visual history archive in the world. The Institute interviewed Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers and aid providers, Roma and Sinti survivors (Gypsy), survivors of Eugenics policies, and war crimes trials participants.
The Shoah Foundation Institute is part of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California. The Institute’s mission is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute's visual history testimonies. The Institute relies upon partnerships in the United States and around the world to provide public access to the archive and advance scholarship in many fields of inquiry. The Institute and its partners also utilize the archive to develop educational products and programs for use in many countries and languages.