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Jewish Studies

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Visual History Archive

(Note: The VHA is only accessible when using a computer on the Northwestern campus network)

Mission Statement

The mission of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute is to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry--and the suffering they cause--through the educational use of the Foundation's visual history testimonies.

Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive makes available over 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

Steven Spielberg established the nonprofit organization, Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, in 1994, shortly after the filming of Schindler's List. The original mission of the Foundation was to document the experiences of Holocaust survivors. To this end, the Foundation set out to collect and record the testimonies of 50,000 survivors and other witnesses.

To date, the Foundation has gathered nearly 52,000 testimonies, in 32 languages, and from 56 different countries. The Foundation is interested in making these testimonies available to the public for educational purposes, in an effort to overcome prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry.

A project of this scale, would, of course, take many years to complete. In 2003, the Shoah Foundation completed the indexing of one half of the Foundation's archive. In this same year, they launched an interactive website to provide access and educational resources to people worldwide.

Thanks in part to a one million dollar grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Shoah Foundation was able to partner with US universities to provide access to the archive via Internet 2.