May 23, 2022

Holocaust Research: USC Shoah Foundation/ProQuest Announce Partnership to Increase Access to Visual History Archive

From Today’s Announcement:

In the first step of an ambitious multiyear plan to significantly broaden access and meet growing demand for the world’s largest archive of genocide testimony, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education announces a landmark partnership with ProQuest.

Starting immediately, ProQuest will become the exclusive distributor of USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive to colleges and universities around the world (except China).


The company’s agreement with the Institute will initially pertain exclusively to colleges and universities, but eligibility over time will extend to museums and K-12 schools.


Access to the Visual History Archive through ProQuest will no longer require a high-speed Internet2 connection; access will be available via the standard Internet creating a contemporary streaming experience.

The two organizations are currently creating a new interface that will be launched in 2017. In the meantime, the current interface will be used for the 2016-17 school year that will enable the Visual History Archive’s rich, compelling content to be cross-searched with other ProQuest resources, increasing its discoverability and usage with college and university students and researchers around the world.


The partnership with ProQuest is also allowing for archival-quality transcripts of all 53,000 testimonies. This massive endeavor will complement the Institute’s indexing methods and further refine the process of searching testimonies for specific points of interest.

Until now it has been prohibitive for the Institute to transcribe its testimonies owing to the scale of the Visual History Archive (the full Archive represents over 112,000 hours of testimony). The ProQuest partnership is enabling the Institute to transcribe the interviews.

Revenue from the partnership will be used to offset the cost of transcripts. The transcription process is expected to take five years and will be undertaken by native-speaking academic research transcriptionists for the 39 languages represented in the Visual History Archive.

The transcripts will not replace the current use of indexed keywords. Instead, they will work together to provide scholars and researchers the best option that suits their needs. The transcripts will appear on the screen as interviewees are talking so there will not be any loss of nuance of expression or paralinguistic cues. And as the Institute’s keywords are tagged to specific minutes of testimony, so too will transcripts be time stamped to exact points within a testimony.

Much More in the Complete Announcement

See Also: USC Shoah Foundation’s iWitness Portal Adds Full Text Book: “The Holocaust and Other Genocides: An Introduction”

Note: The iWitness Portal (a free resource) contains a variety of materials from the USC Shoah Foundation including video clips from the Visual History Archive organized by topic.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.