Appalachian State University to Provide Full Access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive this Fall

Published Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 11:22 am

By Ellen Gwin Burnette

BOONE, N.C.—This fall semester, Appalachian State University will become one of 79 sites to provide full access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive.

The archive contains 55,000 testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust, the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994), the Nanjing Massacre (1937), the Guatemalan Genocide (1978-1996), the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923) and the Cambodian Genocide (1975-1979). The testimonies were taken in 62 countries and 41 languages, and are fully indexed and searchable by the minute with 64,826 keywords, 718,940 images and 1,861,032 names.

To mark the archive’s launch, a public lecture and seminar with Dr. Jared McBride of UCLA will be held 7 p.m. Aug. 28 in Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114. McBride is a Holocaust scholar specializing in the areas of Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe. He is a recipient of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s Greenberg Research Fellowship and has worked extensively with the Visual History Archive. His visit is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies together with the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research.

“I’m excited to be able to partner with Belk Library and Information Commons to purchase this amazing collection for our students, faculty, staff and community,” said Dr. Neva J. Specht, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“It’s a powerful collection that we hope will be used widely in the classroom at the university and throughout the High Country in public schools. This collection preserves first-hand accounts of atrocities, as well as heroic examples of resilience that we cannot afford to forget.”

Appalachian will join 78 other universities and museums in 14 countries providing access to the entire archive. Currently, 226 additional sites have partial access to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. Appalachian is the only site in Western North Carolina where the archive will be accessible in its entirety.

In addition to access through Belk Library and Information Commons, Appalachian’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies will have two computer terminals in its library available with the complete archive.

In collaboration with Appalachian’s Center for Academic Excellence, the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies will offer additional workshops on how to use the archive in teaching and research throughout the 2017-18 academic year, including a session for public school teachers.

“As the largest and most comprehensive collection of audio-visual testimonies of Holocaust survivors, USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive is of pivotal importance for the study of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry,” said Thomas Pegelow-Kaplan, the Leon Levine Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies.

“It will help the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies tremendously in their efforts to broaden not only the teaching, but also to engage in original Holocaust research. The growing collections on other genocides, for example against the Armenians, only increase the archive’s significance. They will be tremendously helpful as part of the ongoing need to counter denial and racial hatred.”

The first event to incorporate the archive will be the 16th Annual Martin and Doris Rosen Summer Symposium on “Remembering the Holocaust,” being held Aug. 5-10 at the Marriott Hotel in Boone, near the Appalachian campus. This week-long symposium brings internationally and nationally acclaimed scholars, authors and educators, as well as Holocaust survivors, to Boone. For a schedule of events and complete list of speakers, visit https://holocaust.appstate.edu/symposium/2017-schedule. To register for Continuing Education Units, visit https://holocaust.appstate.edu/symposium/registration.

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About the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies

Appalachian State University’s Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies was founded in 2002 to develop new educational opportunities for students, teachers, and the community. Located administratively within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center seeks to strengthen tolerance, understanding, and remembrance by increasing the knowledge of Jewish culture and history, teaching the history and meaning of the Holocaust, and utilizing these experiences to explore peaceful avenues for human improvement and the prevention of further genocides. The Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies is an associate institutional member of the Association of Jewish Studies, a member of the Association of Holocaust Organizations and of the North Carolina Consortium of Jewish Studies.

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, two stand-alone academic programs, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities, social sciences, and the mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university’s strengths, traditions and unique location. Our values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of our students as global citizens. There are approximately 5,850 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at http://cas.appstate.edu.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

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