Yale University Library News

Holocaust Video Testimonies Converted into Digital Files

Donations from library supporters have enabled the migration of over 12,000 legacy analog video tapes to digital files, the complete holdings of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. The first migration occurred in February 2011 in the lab constructed in a renovated basement space in Sterling Memorial Library. This process assures preservation of these unique video documents, many recorded thirty-five years ago. It is also the first stage of the plan to provide free remote access to the Fortunoff collection to university libraries and to Holocaust museums and resource centers. Karen Prtizker and Michael Vlock, Dr. Lisbet Rausing and Professor Peter Baldwin ‘78, Helene Fortunoff, Joshua and Esther Fortunoff Greene, the late Judge Howard Holtzmann ’42, ’47 JD, Daniel ’51 and Joanna Rose, and Robert Weis are major donors who supported the migration. Foundation support came from the Mary Jane and Morton K. Blaustein Foundation, Conference on Material Claims against Germany, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, and Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah. Yale College courses in which testimony excerpts were recently screened by Fortunoff staff include Introduction to Ethnicity, Race, and Migration; Affect in the Writing of History; Poetry and the Holocaust; Postwar German Literature and Politics; Genocide and Ethnic Conflict; Visual Biography; and History and Holocaust Testimony. Excerpts have been incorporated in museum exhibits, documentaries, curricular units, conference presentations, and classes at universities throughout the world.

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