Oral History Collection
While the scope of the Center’s activities has grown tremendously over the years, the collection and preservation of more than 2,500 interviews from among South Florida witnesses to the Holocaust and making them available and accessible for scholarly and educational purposes still remains at the heart of the Center’s mission.
The unique qualities of the Center’s Oral History Library Collection of eyewitness testimonies are that the material is being:
- Organized, preserved, and cross-referenced for a worldwide audience of researchers
- Used to educate new generations of young people about the dangers of bigotry and ethnic hatred
- Preserved, highlighted, and featured as the cornerstone of a distinctive museum on the Holocaust that will tell the story to our diverse community.
Interviews are conducted by a core of volunteers who have completed a 54-hour university-accredited training course. The interviews are recorded in our own video studio.
The structured interviews are conducted with the utmost sensitivity. When completed, they are transcribed verbatim and after careful proof reading to assure accuracy are bound on acid-free paper. The transcription and audit/editing process is supported by the work of volunteers. It is important to note that the Center is the only known institution to date that is transcribing verbatim each acquired interview.
One of the major current efforts is to digitize, index, and catalog the interviews, enabling the creation of a unique database that can be queried for names, dates, locations, subject matter, and other variables. The result of this process will be an invaluable tool for researchers.