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Catalog & Research Guide :: Introduction

The videotaped testimonies in the Archive were given by Holocaust survivors and witnesses motivated by the desire to counteract forgetfulness, ignorance, and malicious denial. Viewers are urged to approach the tapes in the same spirit.

The Archive's testimonies broadly document the memories and thoughts of the individuals who choose to share their story. The recordings reflect the great diversity of this international community of witnesses.

Similarly, researchers at the Archive represent a vast range of interests. Historians have used the testimonies for research into specific places, individuals, and events; literary critics have studied the forms of narrative used by the witnesses. Psychologists have studied memory and trauma; dramatists, musicians and architects have sought inspiration and background material. Journalists, authors, and film makers consult the Archive, as do students and scholars representing disciplines such as art history, education, film studies, law, medicine, political science and sociology.

The Archive makes its holdings intellectually accessible to patrons through careful cataloging. Testimonies are cataloged by geographic names and topics discussed during the interview, and every catalog record includes a brief summary of the testimony, with particular emphasis on the fateful moments of the survivors' experiences. Researchers are encouraged to search our online catalogs in order to locate testimonies relevant to their interests and needs.

The catalog records are available from two electronic databases:

  • Orbis (available to all users)
  • Worldcat (this connection limited to the Yale campus)

Other connections to Worldcat's FirstSearch may be available from other libraries which subscribe to this OCLC service. Or, you can search Open Worldcat from any computer with an internet connection. The Archive staff will gladly provide assistance to researchers seeking specific types of material.

The Archive also creates time-coded finding aids for all cataloged testimonies. These enable patrons to locate specific segments of interest within a given testimony. Finding aids are available only at the Archive.

To have testimonies retrieved for your use at Yale, in each bibliographic under the “Location” heading is a hotlink, Request for Use in Manuscripts and Archives.  Click on this and follow the directions.  We require one business day in advance.  Retrieval takes place Monday through Friday only. 

For additional information or assistance, please contact us.