17. März 2018

Landmark Partnership Improves Access to Eyewitness Accounts of Genocide

ProQuest and USC Shoah Foundation launch streaming version of Visual History Archive

ProQuest has partnered with USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education to distribute a streaming version of the Visual History Archive, dramatically improving access to 53,000 video testimonies of genocide survivors and witnesses.

This streaming version includes new ProQuest search capabilities that enable users to locate specific terms and related ProQuest® content – a billion searchable items spanning dissertations, news, periodicals, scholarly journals and ebooks – thereby improving contextual discovery. For libraries, a dedicated Internet2 connection and cache server is no longer required for Visual History Archive access, reducing costs and eliminating download delays. 

Visual History Archive encompasses more than 112,000 hours of testimony from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, including Armenia, Rwanda, and Nanjing. Interviews have been conducted throughout 63 countries and in approximately 40 languages, exploring life before, during and after genocide. The archive's scope is immense: streamed non-stop 24/7, it would take 13 years to watch all the testimonies in their entirety. However, with 62,000 manually indexed search terms, researchers can refine results to the minute-per-segment level.

ProQuest’s partnership with USC Shoah Foundation aims to broaden the use of the Visual History Archive. As part of its commitment to add value, ProQuest is transcribing English-language testimonies; this complements existing indexing methods, and will help users retrieve testimonies about specific points of interest.

Additionally, the Visual History Archive will grow yearly. In 2016 alone, 1,000 testimonies from the Cambodian and Guatemalan genocides as well as the Holocaust will be added.

In late 2017, ProQuest will enable the video testimonies to be fully cross-searched with the breadth of ProQuest content – including its vast historical collections, such as historical newspapers, periodicals, magazines, government records, and other primary source materials. For example, libraries that subscribe to ProQuest Historical Jewish Newspapers or History Vault, with its extensive content about World War II, can provide a richer experience for their students and researchers by adding the Visual History Archive to their collections.

“The USC Visual History Archive is an unparalleled resource that empowers researchers to learn history first-hand from the people who were there,” said Susan Bokern, ProQuest Vice President, Product Management. “We are honored that the USC Shoah Foundation has entrusted ProQuest to add value to this important primary source and make it more widely accessible and discoverable to students and researchers globally.” 

The Visual History Archive is available for trial or purchase now.