The USC Shoah Foundation sponsors the Visual History Archive (VHA), a collection of almost 52,000 video interviews providing testimony to personal experiences of the Holocaust. The Shoah Foundation is also adding video interviews documenting genocides in the Balkans, Rwanda, and Central America.
You may create a username and password to login to the VHA, but it is not required for using the resource. This free registration establishes an account with which you can associate a personal collection of videos.
The mechanical aspects of searching the VHA are relatively simple and self-explanatory, but to search the database to full advantage, we advise that you at least browse through the User Manual.
The catalogers and editors of the VHA have created a Thesaurus of indexing terms which may prove helpful in identifying words and phrases to use for searching.
You may also find it helpful to examine or make a copy of the Survivor Pre-Interview Questionnaire. This document provides a roadmap to a typical interview, and it may serve to help you organize your notes and thoughts about what you see and hear.
Our colleagues at the Visual History Archive recommend the following for citations to interviews:
While the elements may be adjusted for specific needs, we recommend that citations of Visual History Archive testimonies include:
1) The author - in this case, the name of the interviewee(s).
2) The title (without quotation marks) - the word "Interview" and the interview code number.
3) The title of the website (italicized) - Visual History Archive.
4) The publisher or site sponsor - USC Shoah Foundation.
5) The year of publication - in this case, the year that the testimony was recorded.
7) The date of access - when the researcher accessed the testimony.
8) To cite the specific moments of the testimony, please use either the segment numbers or the relevant tape number and time-codes.
Birnhak, Rinah. Interview 49926. Segments 6-10. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1999. Accessed 12 May 2016.
Birnhak, Rinah. Interview 49926. Tape 1. 5:12-9:36. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation, 1999. Accessed 12 May 2016.
Birnhak, R. (1999). Interview 49926. Segments 6-10. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
Birnhak, R. (1999). Interview 49926. Tape 1. 5:12-9:36. Visual History Archive, USC Shoah Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2016.