What is the Visual History Archive?


About the VHA

In 1994, Steven Spielberg established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation with the goal of gathering video testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust. Between 1994 and 1999 the Foundation recorded over 52,000 testimonies in 56 countries and in 32 languages. These testimonies have been digitized and indexed and are now accessible to educators, students, and researchers all over the world.

Interviews are broad-ranging and include: Jewish survivors, homosexual survivors, Jehovah's Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers and aid providers, Sinti and Roma survivors, survivors of Eugenics policies, and war crimes trials participants.

Since 2006, the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation Institute has been a part of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Its mission is to “overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry—and the suffering they cause—through the educational use of the Institute’s visual history testimonies.”

McMaster University is the first institution of any kind in Canada to provide full access to the complete cache of testimonies housed within the Visual History Archive.

For more information go to the Shoah Foundation Institute site.


The Archive in Research and Teaching