More than 55,000 interviews with survivors of and witnesses to genocide are now available via streaming video to members of Hungary’s Electronic Information Service National Programme (EISZ) – providing researchers an evocative, deeply personal view of the impact of the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity.
The testimonies were collected by USC Shoah Foundation, an institute dedicated to using the voices of those who witnessed some of history’s darkest times as a tool to teach about empathy and respect. They reside in the Institute’s Visual History Archive, a fully searchable portal of testimonies that detail first-hand experiences with genocide. It is distributed to academic libraries by ProQuest. 40 Hungarian academic and public libraries who are members of the EISZ consortium can now make this content available to their users.
“The Visual History Archive includes rich content about local history in Hungary – including more than 1,300 Hungarian interviews that enable students and researchers to gain further insight into and understand their history,” said Professor István Monok, General Director of the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Science and President of EISZ Programme Board.”Having access to these primary sources will ensure that these stories will never be forgotten.”
The largest digital collection of its kind, the Visual History Archive encompasses 115,000 hours of interviews, conducted in 65 countries and 43 languages. Each interview is expertly indexed in one-minute segments, resulting in 65,000 searchable terms. More than 1,800 transcripts of Holocaust-related interviews enable granular searching – part of an ongoing project to transcribe all interviews. Designed to empower researcher and student learning, the Visual History Archive also includes tools for studying and sharing testimonies. For example, users can bookmark clips, save projects and embed testimonies in LMS course packs via durable URLs.
“The Visual History Archive is an incredible tool for students and researchers,” said USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith. “Access for researchers and students is sure to spark further discovery on the social and cultural dynamics that lead to genocide, and ultimately provide vital clues on how best to intervene in that deadly cycle.”
USC Shoah Foundation and ProQuest launched an exclusive partnership in 2016 to expand, enrich and simplify access to Visual History Archive in the academic market. This version surfaces the library’s related ProQuest® content, which can encompass six centuries of content spanning dissertations, news and historical newspapers, periodicals, scholarly journals and primary source materials – a combination that improves contextual discovery while viewing the video testimonies.