Using the Visual History Archive at McMaster


Using the Visual History Archive at McMaster

The Visual History Archive is available for research to the McMaster community and to users not affiliated with McMaster when visiting the McMaster campus.

Testimonies are streamed from a McMaster cache server, connected to Internet2, and are available on campus only. The VHA can be accessed on both a PC using Internet Explorer and Firefox as the browsers and on a Mac using Safari as the browser. Please be prepared to use your own headphones for access to these audiovisual sources.

Also note that while many of the testimonies are immediately available for use, many others will require that users request the testimony to be pushed from the central server (located at the University of Southern California) to the local cache at McMaster. Such requests may take up to 48 hours to be fulfilled.

Transcripts of VHA testimonies are also available to McMaster students, faculty, and staff through our subscription to the Linguistic Data Consortium's Linguistic Corpora. Usage of the Linguistic Corpora transcripts must comply with LDC's data use license.

  • Every first-time user of the VHA needs to complete a one-time registration.  See Terms of Use.


Enter the Visual History Archive


Guides for the VHA

Some excellent guides to aid the in-depth researcher:

  • VHA User Manual
    55 pages of information on using the Archive for in-depth research.
  • VHA Thesaurus
    "...lists the indexing terms used to describe the Institute’s video testimonies and arranges them hierarchically under broad headings. These terms have been assigned directly to digital time codes within testimonies where the specific topics are discussed...."


Copyright FAQ's

Wondering whether you can reproduce sections of transcripts in your publication?
Wondering whether you can make audio recordings of whole or partial testimonies?

Check out the FAQ's on Copyright --

Questions pertaining to Usage Rights and Copyright