Italian-Language Memories of the Holocaust
Italy’s National Archives to Launch Web Portal to Survivor Testimonies
September 23, 2011—Rome—For the first time, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s collection of more than 430 Italian-language testimonies—part of its collection of nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses—will be available online. On Monday, Italy’s Archivio Centrale dello Stato (Central State Archives) will launch an online research portal that provides access to the testimonies, as well as to other archival holdings.
“The USC Shoah Foundation Institute recognizes the Archivio Centrale dello Stato for making this important contribution to testimony-based scholarship and research,” Kim Simon, Managing Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, said. “The Italian-language testimonies are vital to the preservation of local historical knowledge, and their availability over the Internet supports the Institute’s enduring effort to make the content in its Visual History Archive accessible to the widest audience possible. We are grateful to the Archivio Centrale dello Stato for joining us in this undertaking, and we look forward to the opportunities for learning that its research portal will make possible.”
The Archivio Centrale dello Stato will host a gathering on Monday to recognize the launch of its research portal. Attendees will include Agostino Attanasio, Superintendent of the Archivio Centrale dello Stato; Paola Carucci, Superintendent of the Archivio Storico del Quirinale; Kim Simon, Managing Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute; Luciano Scala, Chief Executive Officer of the Archivio Centrale dello Stato; and project curators Lucilla Garofalo, Davide Merlitti, and Micaela Procaccia. Renato Gattegna, President of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, and Gianfranco Maris, President of Fondazione Memoria della Deportazione (ANED) will deliver remarks; proceedings will conclude with remarks by Piero Terracina, a survivor of Auschwitz who gave testimony to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
The research portal is the result of a partnership that includes the Archivio Centrale dello Stato, the Ministry of Cultural Assets and Affairs, and the University of Pisa, in cooperation with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. Involvement with the Institute began in 2001, when the Ministry of Cultural Assets and Affairs announced that it would provide support for a team of historians and archivists from the Archivio Centrale dello Stato to index the Institute’s Italian-language testimonies; the indexing project was completed in 2004.