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Jewish Studies

Technical requirements

Technical Requirements

Please note: You must be on the Northwestern campus in order to search and view the testimonies on the Visual History Archive. A wireless connection is not adequate.

PC Requirements

  • Windows XP/Vista
  • Windows 9 Media Player or higher
  • Internet Explorer 6 or later or Firefox 3 or later (requires Windows Media Player Plugin)
  • 400 Mhz or faster processor
  • 256 MB (or more) memory

Macintosh Requirements

  • OS X 10.4 or later
  • Safari 3 or later only
  • Flip4Mac WMV Components for QuickTime
  • QuickTime 7 or later (7.1.6 or later recommended)

Macintosh users will need to follow additional instructions, below, in order to view the testimonies.

Initial VHA Searching

To begin searching you will need to:

  • Register : create a username and password that you will use to log on to the archive;
  • Choose either Quick Search one of the three Advanced Search modes:

Quick Search . Search for a word that may appear as a personal name, an indexing keyword (or a synonym), or an interview code.

People Search . Search for a specific person by first and/or last name.

Biographical Search by Experience Group . Search for testimonies of people within nine specific experience groups (i.e. Jewish Survivors, War Crimes Trials Participants, etc.).

Keywords Search . Search for segments of video testimonies that discuss specific topics, using more than 30,000 geographic and experiential keywords. This search mode is particularly useful for narrowing a large set of testimonies that you previously saved into a particular subset of interest.

To save a search you will need to:

• Select the save to project button. This will bring you to the Projects page, where you must choose between the following two options:

• Saving your search results to a new project , that you will be asked to name, or

• Saving your search results to an existing project , which will add the testimonies to an existing project file, not replace the file.

To begin a new search you will need to:

  • Select the new search button on the bottom left corner of the search screen, or
  • Select the Search tab from the archive menu across the top of the screen.

•    VHA version 6.1 now allows you to share or password protect your projects, as well as bookmark, delete, copy, move, print and export results to Excel or .XML.

Subsequent VHA Searching

To perform subsequent searches once you have logged off the archive, you will need to:

  • Log on : enter the username and password that you created at registration, and
  • Choose Quick Search or one of the three Advanced Search modes to begin a new search, or
  • Choose Projects to view previously saved searches, or
  • Choose Projects to search within a previously saved search.

VHA Search Tips

F11 button improves view.

Select the F11 button to have the VHA completely fill your monitor screen.

Use filters to narrow your search.

VHA 6.1 allows you to perform searches with a particular gender, language and other categories.

Navigation buttons.

Use the light blue buttons on the bottom of the screen to move through your search: new search, back, reset, next, enter, and save to search. Use the tabs provided on the top of the screen to navigate the archive: About the Shoah Foundation, Registration, Search, Search History, Projects, Site Map, Help, or Feedback.

Search History provided.

When searching, a Search History section on the left side of the screen indicates the number of testimonies currently resulting from your search. You can make use of this information to guide your search decisions, to further narrow your search if a large number of testimonies appear, or to go back and broaden your search if too few testimonies have resulted from your query.

Video segments may take up to 48 hours to access.

When your search results in a video segment that is “Viewable w/i 48 Hrs.,” you will see the following message on the left side of your screen, “Depending on traffic, downloading the video for this testimony will take up to 48 hours. To download, click here. You may continue searching while the video is downloading. Check back later for access.” Select click here to request that the testimony be downloaded from the Foundation's central digital video storage location to the local University of Michigan's cache. You will be notified by email, at the email address you provided at registration, once the segment is available for you to access.

Search Results.

Mouse over the interviewee icon for printable biographical information before going on to the viewing screen.

Macintosh requirements

The instructions below must be followed in order to view the testimony videos in Macintosh OS X 10.3.9 or later using the Safari Web browser (it will not work for ealier versions of the OS or for browsers other than Safari).

Install the Windows Media Components plug-in

  1. Download the Flip4Mac Windows Media Components for QuickTime plug-in. If it does not automatically extract (i.e. if the file name ends with '.sit'), find it in your download location and double-click it to extract.
  2. Follow the instructions to install the plug-in.

Getting Started

  • Sample Testimonies - If you don't want to search through the archive and simply wish to view one of the testimonies, you can select from one of the sample testimonies listed below. Please note that in order to view the testimonies, you will need to create an account and login.
  • Technical requirements
  • Advanced searching

Jewish Studies

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Geoff Morse
Geoff Morse
Liaison for American Studies, History, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies
Interim Head, Research Services
Room 2624
2nd floor, east tower
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, Illinois 60208-2300
phone: 847-467-1866

For more library assistance please see the Library web site.
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