An Introduction to the Visual History Archive


On October 12th, Doug Ballman, from the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, will be here to discuss the Visual History Archive (VHA) and its multifaceted uses. He will provide an introduction to the database and illustrate ways the content is being used by scholars around the world. We hope you can join us for this event!

The event will be held on October 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in 203 Butler Library. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation.

Please send RSVP by October 7th to


The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation was established by Steven Spielberg in 1994 to gather video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The Foundation interviewed an extraordinary group of survivors including Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witness survivors, liberators and liberation witnesses, political prisoners, rescuers, Roma and Sinti (Gypsy) survivors, among others. Within several years, the Foundation’s Visual History Archive held nearly 52,000 video testimonies in 32 languages, representing 56 countries; it is the largest archive of its kind in the world. The archive is now held and preserved at the University of Southern California’s Los Angeles campus.

Today, the archive is used by scholars and researchers from a wide range of disciplines including Jewish studies, women’s studies, human rights, literature, anthropology, arts, and history. Columbia is the only repository in New York City providing access to the Archive.

For more information, visit the Columbia link to VHA at:

Non-Columbia users can visit the main website for information at: