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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German Transcripts and ProQuest Search Added to Visual History Archive

USC Shoah Foundation released an updated version of the Visual History Archive (VHA) that includes functionality enhancements related to the Institute’s partnership with ProQuest.

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Visual History Archive Migrates to New Storage and Archive Manager File System

The work includes hardware and software updates to systems that have been in use in the Shoah Foundation digitization, archive and storage process for testimony ingest for over nine years.

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Impact in Profile

Meet Erin Mizrahi

USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive is a tool that allows genocide survivors to tell their stories. But it isn’t their words that summer research fellow Erin Mizrahi is interested in; it’s their silence.

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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 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda 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 41 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.