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Jewish Studies

Advanced searching help

See the User Guide for a complete guide to the searching features and functions of the Archive. (PDF file, below)

The Visual History Archive is only available to computers on the U-M network. If you are off-campus, you can search for, but not view, testimonies via the Shoah Foundation's Testimony Catalogue, at right.

Testimony catalog

The Shoah Foundation Testimony Catalogue & When to Use It

The Shoah Foundation Testimony Catalogue is designed to help researchers navigate the Visual History Archive more easily. During the interviewing process the Shoah Foundation collected testimonies from nearly 52,000 survivors and other witnesses as well as biographical data from pre-interview questionnaires. In some cases, interviewees may not have provided answers to all questions, resulting in some answer fields remaining blank. Currently, staff members at the Shoah Foundation are entering this biographical data into a searchable database – the Testimony Catalogue.

The Testimony Catalogue can be accessed off-campus and provides data from the VHA, including city and country of birth, religious identity, and wartime experiences of interviewees. The Testimony Catalogue does not provide access to the video itself, it is a resource created to assist researchers in locating material relevant to their work, which they can then use to more easily access testimonies in the Visual History Archive.

To access the Testimony Catalogue, go to and click on the arrow next to "TESTIMONY CATALOGUE".

You can search the Testimony Catalogue using a Global Search or a search within one of the nine biographical experience groups: Jewish Survivors, Homosexual Survivors, Jehovah’s Witness Survivors, Liberators and Liberation Witnesses, Political Prisoners, Rescuers and Aid Providers, Sinti and Roma Survivors, Survivors of Eugenics Policies, and War Crimes Trials Participants.

The result of a successful search is a list of applicable interviewee names and their corresponding accession numbers (interview codes). For privacy and security purposes, last names are omitted from the online version. Also associated with each name is a biographical profile sheet that provides general information about the interviewee.

If you identify one or more testimonies via the Testimony Catalogue that you would like to view when you come to the U-M campus to use the Visual History Archive, please email us at with the Interview Codes for the testimonies you are interested in, along with the anticipated date of your visit. This will allow us to have the video for the testimonies transfered to our local system and available for use when you arrive.

(Please note: if you are on the U-M Ann Arbor campus, you should be searching in the regular Visual History Archive; the Testimony Catalogue is intended for off-campus use.)

The Testimony Catalogue continues to be updated regularly as new data is entered into the Shoah Foundation database.