McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections has for many years collected materials related to the Second World War. The extension of this collecting to document the Holocaust and underground resistance movements is more recent, but has nonetheless developed into a significant and important body of material.
The University Library’s first large acquisition in this area was made in 2008, when a vast and rich set of archival materials, books, and ephemera relating to the Holocaust and underground resistance in France arrived from collector Michel Brisebois. Several additional donations from Brisebois, bolstered by donations from other individuals in the intervening years, have developed the collection further. These invaluable primary and secondary sources have been further complemented by an ongoing effort to purchase books and documents on the subject, supported in part by a gift from Madeleine and Monte Levy. These physical collections are given greater depth by a variety of related online sources, including the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (or VHA). For more information on the collections and available resources, see the Additional Resources page.
The Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust and the Resistance draws extensively on these collections. The site aims to showcase selected items from these collections and to intertwine them with video and images, case studies and other explanatory texts, with the goal of both placing the Holocaust and underground movements in the larger context of World War II in Europe and the often devastating and tragic experiences of individuals. The University Library is grateful for the support of the Levys in the development of this site and the telling of these important stories.
The Virtual Museum is divided into five successive modules, which you can browse using the links to the left.