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Visual history archive

Connect to Visual history archive


You can access the resource from a computer on either the Mississauga (UTM), St. George, or Scarborough (UTSC) campuses. On the St. George campus, the subscribed content of the Visual History Archive (VHA) can be viewed on most library computers in Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street. The public may access this resource at a LIRA computer in Robarts Library.

The Visual History Archive (VHA) is an online portal from USC Shoah Foundation that allows users to search through and view nearly 52,000 audiovisual testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust, the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi genocide, and the 1937-38 Nanjing Massacre.

In September 2013, the University of Toronto joined the group of institutions which host the entire Visual History Archive (VHA), making all the testimonies available to the university community and researchers who visit UofT.

Note the following details regarding accesss:

If you want to listen to videos, you need to bring headphones with you.

You must create a username and password to log in to the VHA portal. This free registration establishes an account with which you may associate a personal collection of videos.

This resource is best viewed using Internet Explorer. Alternatively, the latest version of Firefox (25+) accepts the Windows Media Player plugin, or a plugin called 'IE Tab' can be installed that allows a Firefox tab to render pages as Internet Explorer.

The status "Viewable w/i 48 Hrs" means the testimony has been digitized but is not loaded on an institution's local video cache/server. To request the video, on the "Viewing Screen" click on the 'Request Video' button. The system will transfer the testimony video from the Shoah Foundation's central video storage location to the University of Toronto Libraries' local video cache/server. This may take up to 48 hours.

Downloaded testimony videos may remain available for as long as a few weeks, depending on traffic to the site.

System requirements:
Windows XP/7/8 +
Windows Media Player 11 +
Internet Explorer 8 +
Firefox 25 + (requires Windows Media Player Plugin)

Mac OS X 10.6 +
QuickTime 7.7.3
Safari 5.1.1 +