More about the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive

Facts and statistics for the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive at a glance:

  •     54,854 testimonies
  •     115,000+ hours of video testimony
  •     628,000+ accessible images
  •     1.3+ million searchable names
  •     65,600+ keywords and phrases
  •     3151 transcripts for video testimonies
  •     Complete life histories (before, during, after) in most narratives
  •     Fully searchable; hyperlinks updated continually in real-time


USC Shoah Foundation--The Institute for Visual History and Education

For over twenty years, USC Shoah Foundation has given voice to the witnesses of genocide for education and action. The Visual History Archive was established to house testimonies of genocide survivors who have given a complete personal history of life before, during and after their first-hand experience with genocide. It is one of the largest digital collections of its kind in the world, fully searchable via indexed keywords, and hyperlinked to the minute.

The Visual History Archive initially made accessible audiovisual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust against the Jews (1939-1945), in which nearly six million individuals perished, and of parallel exterminations and massacres carried out by the German Nazi régime and its collaborators. The Visual History Archive continues compiling these eyewitness accounts while engaging in preserving narratives from other genocidal events before and after the European Holocaust.

The USC Shoah Foundation website offers detailed information and updates on the Visual History Archive.


Sharing research and resources

USC Shoah Foundation, located at the University of Southern California within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, partners with institutions and scholars around the world to promote research, provide resources for educators, and disseminate audiovisual testimonies for educational purposes. These partnering efforts include:

  • Center for Advanced Genocide Research, dedicated to advancing new areas of interdisciplinary research on the Holocaust and other acts of genocide, focusing on the origins of genocide and how to intervene in the cycle that leads to mass violence.
  • IWitness, a free educational website for secondary schools that brings first-person stories of survivors and witnesses of genocide to students through multimedia-learning activities that are accessible via Macs, PCs, iPads and tablet devices.
  • Preserving the Legacy, which works with partner organizations to digitize, index and integrate into the Visual History Archive Holocaust testimony taken and owned by other museums and institutions to make them more accessible to scholars, students, educators, and the general public.
  • Echoes and Reflections, a Holocaust-focused multimedia professional development program providing secondary teachers in the United States with accurate and authentic Holocaust information for their classrooms.