Institute News

Armenian Testimonies Added to IWitness

Just two weeks ago, USC Shoah Foundation launched its Armenian Genocide Collection in the Visual History Archive; now, 12 of those initial 60 testimonies are already available for students and educators to view in IWitness.

The 12 testimonies include survivors such as Samuel Kadorian and Haroutune Aivazian, as well as witness Nium Sukkar and Henry Morgenthau III, grandson of U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Mogenthau.

All the testimonies are fully indexed. IWitness now includes 26 new indexing terms that are used in the Armenian testimonies, such as “Young Turks,” “Tehcir Law,” “gendarme” and “Euphrates River.”

In the coming weeks, IWitness will also debut an Armenian Genocide Information Quest. Information Quests introduce students to the context of the genocide and include several clips of survivor testimonies for students to watch. Students them construct a word cloud featuring their chosen clip’s themes, people, places, emotions and other aspects that stand out to them. Students share their word clouds with each other and comment on each other’s work.

USC Shoah Foundation partnered with the Armenian Film Foundation to digitize, index and integrate filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian’s collection of nearly 400 interviews with Armenian Genocide survivors and witnesses into the Visual History Archive. The Armenian interviews were recorded between 1972 and 2005, when most survivors were in their 70s and 80s. The survivors and witnesses who make up this rare collection – most now deceased – were interviewed in 10 different languages and were between the ages of 8 and 29 during the genocide. The 400 interviews represent the largest archive of filmed Armenian Genocide interviews in the world.