External Advisory Committee Plans Next Phase of Visual History Archive Program

Fri, 07/22/2016 - 5:00pm

USC Shoah Foundation colleagues from around the world met for two days to discuss the progress and next steps of the Visual History Archive Program, which aims to drastically expand access to the Visual History Archive over the next five years.

Made possible by an initial transformative donation from Lee Liberman, a member of the Institute’s Board of Councilors Executive Committee, the wide-ranging, five-year plan will look to design and implement a new Visual History Archive platform and interface that will offer enhanced functionality and better search results, improve access by building new pathways across a variety of devices for audiences to view and utilize testimony, and develop multi-modal support resources

USC Shoah Foundation will be looking to form strategic partnerships with companies and other institutions that can help the Institute expand access to the Visual History Archive for a range of users that includes scholars, educators, students, individuals from interested communities, as well as governments and non-governmental organizations. The goal is to maximize access and optimize use, increasing research and education, while continuing to be respectful of the unique nature of the content.

The External Advisory Committee (EAC) of the Visual History Archive Program provides feedback on the program and helps shape its strategic priorities.

The EAC includes Institute staff as well as other colleagues who have collaborated with the Institute on research, education, collections and technology, such as Freddy Mutanguha, director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda; director of FAFG in Guatemala Freddy Peccerelli; Armenian Film Foundation’s Carla Garapedian; and Andi Gitow from the UN, who was a visiting scholar at USC Shoah Foundation in 2014.

See what's next for USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive.

On the agenda for the meeting July 21-22 at USC was a discussion about policies for expanding access to testimony for the public and scholars over the next several decades. The committee also talked about how to make sure the Visual History Archive program remains sustainable in terms of finance, communications and partnerships.

There was also a discussion about the user-generated content that will be integrated into the VHA over the next several years. The committee needed to explore what kinds of content will be allowed into the VHA, how it will be vetted, and the ethics of permitting members of the public to contribute to the VHA.

The next EAC meeting is scheduled for October.