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USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive: Searching

Search links

Basic search VHA search tips

Initial VHA Search
  1. Go to the Archive web site.
  2. Register:  create a username and password if you want to create a project to save testimony segments.  Otherwise you can proceed as a guest.
  3. Choose a type of search - Quick Search or one of 3 advanced search modes:
    • Quick Search: Search for a word that may appear as a personal name, an indexing keyword (or a synonym), or an interview code.
    • People Search: Search for a specific person by first and/or last name.
    • Biographical Search by Experience Group: Search for testimonies of people with specific experience groups (e.g. Jewish Survivors, War Crimes Trials Participants, etc.).
    • Keywords Search: Search for segments of video testimonies that discuss specific topics, using more than 30,000 geographic and experiential keywords. This search mode is particularly useful for narrowing a large set of testimonies that you previously saved into a particular subset of interest.
  4. Use the light blue buttons at the bottom of the search screen to move through your search: new search, back, reset, next.


    • Click next for the results screen.
    • At the results screen you can save to project.
Save a search
  1. Select the Save to projectbutton at the bottom of the results screen.


    This will bring you to the Projects page
  2. On the Projects page, choose one of the following options:
    • Save your search results to a new project. You will be asked to give the project a name.
    • Save your search results to an existing project. This will add the testimonies to an existing project file, not replace the file.

    save an name project

You can share or password protect your projects, as well as bookmark, delete, copy, move, print and export results to Excel or XML.
Subsequent search
To perform subsequent searches once you have logged off the archive, you will need to:
  1. Log on : enter the username and password that you created at registration, and
  2. Choose Quick Search or one of the three advanced search modes to begin a new search, or
  3. Choose the Projects tab to view previously saved searches


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