Skip to Main Content

Visual History Archive

About the Partnership

Steven Spielberg introduces the Visual History Archive at Harvard University

Reference to the USC Shoah Foundation starts at 13 min 11 seconds. 

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, Liberator, 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, Descendant 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. South Sudan Civil War Survivor.
  • War and Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) with the following experience groups: Bosnian Muslim Survivor and Miscellaneous.

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

  • More than 56,000 video testimonies at an average of two hours each
  • Roughly 116,000 hours of film (equal to 13 years’ continuous streaming content)
  • Transcripts for English-language testimonies: 4,907 (produced through our partnership with ProQuest)
  • Transcripts for German-language testimonies: 896 (produced by our colleagues at Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Almost 66,000 index terms in English, applied at the one-minute segment
  • Over 750,000 images (photographs, documents, works of art, artifacts from war, etc.)
  • Filmed in 65 countries
  • Testimonies given in over 44 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 2,100 musical recitals
  • 2,300 interviewers
  • 1,000 videographers

USC Shoah Foundation Collection Partners

Total Number of Testimonies - 56,669

European Holocaust, 1939-1945

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 51,581
  • Blavatnik Archive Foundation — 25
  • Florida Holocaust Museum — 25
  • Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus — 25
  • Holocaust Museum Houston — 278
  • Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS), San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties — 924
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust —10
  • The Azrieli Foundation — 47
  • Community - 3
  • University of Michigan-Dearborn - 2
  • Canadian Collections—1,279

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—595
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—761
  • USC Shoah Foundation—2

Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 5

Central African Republic Conflict, 2012-present

  • USC Shoah Foundation—4

Contemporary Antisemitism

  • USC Shoah Foundation—68

Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, 1994

  • Holocaust Museum Houston—1
  • Kigali Genocide Memorial—120
  • USC Shoah Foundation—26
  • "The 600" documentary—7

Guatemalan Genocide, 1978-1996

  • Fundación de Antropologia Forense de Guatemala (FAFG)—32

Nanjing Massacre, 1937

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 101

South Sudan Civil War

  • USC Shoah Foundation — 5

War and Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Srebrenica Memorial Center – 20

Updated  23 February 2024