Visual History Archive

An invaluable resource for humanity, with nearly every testimony encompassing a complete personal history of life before, during and after the subject’s firsthand experience with genocide.

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Armenian Scholar Donates Four-Volume Research Book to USC Shoah Foundation

“The Extermination of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” will be used by scholars and and researchers currently indexing testimonies of Armenian Genocide survivors.

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French Exhibit “Paroles de libérés” Now Available Online

A French-language testimony exhibit that first launched on the ENS Lyon campus last April has been published online.

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Impact in Profile

Meet Kosal Path

It’s been three and a half years since Kosal Path’s Institute Fellowship at USC Shoah Foundation. Looking back, he says the fellowship ended up changing his life.

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The Visual History Archive is USC Shoah Foundation’s online portal that allows users to search through and view more than 53,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide. Initially a repository of Holocaust testimony, the Archive expanded in April of 2013 to include 64 testimonies from the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and again in April 2014 to include 12 testimonies from the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China. All told, the testimonies have been conducted in 63 countries and 39 languages.

The initial Rwandan testimonies were collected in the United States and Rwanda in two languages (English and Kinyarwanda) in collaboration with Aegis Trust and the Kigali Genocide Memorial, with additional support provided by IBUKA.

The Chinese interviews were conducted in Mandarin in the city of Nanjing, China, through a partnership with the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.

An initial 60 of the 400 testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Armenian Genocide were integrated into the Visual History Archive in April 2015, to mark the 100-year anniversary of the onset of those atrocities. The remaining testimonies are being digitized and will be indexed and integrated by the fall of 2015. For this collection, USC Shoah Foundation partnered with the late Dr. J. Michael Hagopian, who filmed all the interviews, his wife Antoinette, and the Armenian Film Foundation he founded.   

Each collection added to the Visual History Archive adds context for the others, providing multiple pathways to learn from the eyewitnesses of history across time, locations, cultures and social-political circumstances.