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Visual History Archive: About

The Visual History Archive (VHA) is a streaming collection of primary source video testimonies from survivors of and witnesses to genocide, including the: 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda; Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017); Armenian Genocide (1915-23); Cambodian Genocide (1975-1979); European Holocaust (1939-1945); Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996); Nanjing Massacre (1937); Central African Republic (2012-Present); South Sudan Civil War, (2013-present); and contemporary antisemitism against Jews. The largest digital archive of its kind in the world, the VHA offers insight into life before, during, and after the interviewee’s experience with genocide.

VHA Search Demonstrations

VHA in Teaching

About the Collection

The Visual History Archive contains interviews with witnesses of mass violence including:

  • 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994) with the following experience groups: elder, Hutu power opponent, rescuer, Tutsi survivor, victim's spouse;
  • Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017) with the experience group:  Rohinga survivor
  • Armenian Genocide (1915-23) with the following experience groups:  Armenian survivor, descendant, foreign witness, rescuer and aid provider, scholar, Yezidi survivor, and miscellaneous; 
  • Cambodian Genocide with the following experience groups:  Cambodian genocide survivor;
  • Central African Republic Conflict with the following experience group: Central African Republic conflict witness;
  • Contemporary Antisemitism with the following experience group:  interviewee
  • European Holocaust (1939-45) with the following experience groups:  Eugenic policies survivor, homosexual survivor, Jehovah's Witness survivor, Jewish survivor, liberator, Non-Jewish forced laborer, political prisoner, rescuer and aid provider, Sinti and Roma survivor, War Crimes Trial participant, and miscellaneous;
  • Guatemalan Genocide (1978-96) with the following experience groups: Guatemalan Genocide survivor;
  • Nanjing Massacre (1937) with the following experience groups: Nanjing Massacre survivor; and
  • South Sudan Civil War (2013-present) with the following experience groups:  Conflict witness.

The Visual History Archive is a fully streaming primary source that includes:

  • More than 55,000 video testimonies at an average of two hours each
  • Roughly 116,000 hours of film (equal to 13 years’ continuous streaming content)
  • 896 German transcripts and 3,374 English transcripts.
  • Almost 66,000 index terms in English, applied at the one-minute segment
  • Over 724,000 images (photographs, documents, works of art, artifacts from war, etc.)
  • Filmed in 65 countries
  • Testimonies given in over 40 languages
  • 1.9 million names of family members and prominent figures
  • Roughly 49,000 locations referenced
  • 2,755 recitations of literary works (poems, letters, diaries)
  • Over 2,225 musical recitals
  • 2,300 interviewers
  • 1,000 videographers

USC Shoah Foundation Collection Partners

Total Number of Testimonies - 55,000

European Holocaust, 1939-1945

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 51,497
  • Blavatnik Archive Foundation — 25
  • Florida Holocaust Museum — 25
  • Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus — 25
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — 277
  • Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS), San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties — 923
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust —10
  • The Azrieli Foundation — 4
  • Canadian Collections—1,257

Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives—64
Calgary Jewish Federation—10
Concordia University Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling—30
Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre—52
Jewish Archives & Historical Society of Edmonton & Northern Alberta—15
Living Testimonies, McGill University—104
Montreal Holocaust Museum—573
Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre—406
Ottawa Jewish Archives—3

Anti-Rohingya Mass Violence (August-October 2017)

  • USC Shoah Foundation—11

Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923

  • Armenian Film Foundation—333
  • Richard G. Hovannisian Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection—98
  • USC Shoah Foundation—1

Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 5

Central African Republic Conflict, 2012-present

  • USC Shoah Foundation—4

Contemporary Antisemitism

  • USC Shoah Foundation—66

Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, 1994

  • Holocaust Museum Houston—1
  • Kigali Genocide Memorial—80
  • USC Shoah Foundation—17
  • "The 600" documentary—8 

Guatemalan Genocide, 1978-1996

  • Fundación de Antropologia Forense de Guatemala (FAFG)—31
  • USC Shoah Foundation—1

Nanjing Massacre, 1937

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 101

South Sudan Civil War, 1913-

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 5

updated 04 May 2021