Online Resources: Holocaust and Genocide


The Shoah Visual History Archive is largest database of first-person Holocaust testimonies, founded by Steven Spielberg.  With over 50,000 testimonies from Holocaust survivors and liberators, carefully indexed in short segments for ease of searchability and use, the VHA is a tremendous resource for the history of the Holocaust.

Recently, the VHA has expanded to include other genocides, and now also holds 65 indexed testimonies of survivors from the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi Genocide.

To search the database, visit the Visual History Archive.  Once you create a username and password, you will be allowed access to the tremendous index within the database.  You can search by basic keyword, but also limit by qualifiers like "Warsaw" or 'ghetto bribery," to narrow your search and make it extremely specific.

Due to the large size of the database, the videos are not held locally at Columbia, but are uploaded upon request to a Columbia server.  Once you find a testimony that looks appropriate for your research, click on the link to "request this testimony."  You will receive an email notification when it is available for viewing. Because the uploaded videos are held on a Columbia server, the testimonies can only be viewed on the physical campus.  If you are not in New York, or can't get to Columbia, you can view testimonies at one of many access sites ( located around the world.

(Cross-posted on the Jewish Studies blog:

2 thoughts on “Online Resources: Holocaust and Genocide

  1. to whom this may concern,

    im doing research on holocaust survivors with a good friend of mine .
    we found out that her aunt, rose farbiarz was interviewed by the usc shoah foundation in 2006.
    im able to see some pictures but not able to see the video of that interview ( number 11150)
    i really need your help in requiring that video .
    thank you for your time

    1. Dear Hila,

      Thank you for your comment. I have replied to your question via email.

      My best,
      Michelle Chesner
      Norman E. Alexander Librarian for Jewish Studies

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