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Visual History Archive from the Shoah Foundation Institute: Home

Guide to using the Visual History Archive from the Shoah Foundation Institute at the Northwestern University Library.

Introduction to the Visual History Archive

The University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute was started by Stephen Spielberg in 1994 to collect and preserve the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The Visual History Archive includes 52,000 interviews with Holocaust survivors from 56 countries in 32 languages. In addition the archive has expanded to include testimonies from the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China and the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide. An initial 60 testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Armenian Film Foundation's Armenian Genocide collection were integrated into the Visual History Archive in April 2015. Please see Basic Search Tips for tips on getting started searching this database.

The interviews can be viewed via streamed video inside of the Northwestern University Library. Members of the Northwestern community can access other resources and links on this website from off campus. To access these resources from off campus Northwestern users must log into the VPN and exproxy. Members of the public are welcome to use this resource but will need to visit the Northwestern library in person to gain access. Please see access details for more information.

Support for access to the Visual History Archive is provided in part by the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of History at Northwestern University.

Go to the database


Headphones will be necessary to listen to the audio component of the resources in the Visual History Archive. Headphones are available for 3 hour checkout at the circulation desk in the Main Northwestern University Library.  Please feel free to bring your own headphones if you prefer.

For more information

For more assistance with the Visual History Archive please contact the reference department at:
Phone: 847-491-7656