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The Visual History Archive

The UCS Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive is a repository of more than 54,000 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses of genocide.

What will I find in the Visual History Archive?

"Initially a repository of Holocaust testimony, the Visual History Archive has expanded to include testimonies from the Armenian Genocide that coincided with World War I, the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China, the Cambodian Genocide of 1975-1979, the Guatemalan Genocide of 1978-1983, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and the ongoing conflicts in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, and anti-Rohingya mass violence. It also includes testimonies about contemporary acts of violence against Jews."  Visual History Archive homepage

"The majority of the interviews are with Jewish Holocaust survivors. The archive also includes the testimonies of political prisoners, Roma (Gypsy) survivors, Jehovah's Witness survivors, survivors of eugenics policies, and homosexual survivors as well as rescuers, liberators, and participants in war crimes trials."

How Do I Access the Visual History Archive?

You can access the Archive database from the Libraries' homepage (

  1. Click on FIND and select A-Z List
  2. Either type 'Visual History Archive' into the search box at right, or click on V and scroll down to the database name.
  3. Click on the database name to access their site.
  4. Registration is required upon initial login

Basic Search Options

  1. The search box on the database page directs you to select a collection (at left) and enter search terms below. 
  2. You then select the option of searching for All Words, Any Words, or Exact Phrase
  3. You can narrow your search by Language, Gender, or Experience Group, before or after searching. 
    • To narrow your search, click on the small blue down arrow below the search box. 
    • To narrow your results, use the filters to the left of the results.

Advanced Search Options

Four advanced search options are available including:

  • Experience Groups  (Find testimonies using biographical and interview information.)
  • Index  (Find segments of testimonies by searching or browsing indexing terms in the USC Shoah Foundation Thesaurus.)
  • People  (Find testimonies of interviewees by name, or find a testimony that refers to a specific person by name.)
  • Places  (Find segments of testimonies about geographic locations by browsing, searching, or zooming in on a Google Map.)

Each of these advanced options has different search methods.  See the following manual for specific assistance.