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How to Use the VHA

The following is a brief overview designed to help you begin using the VHA. For a comprehensive tutorial and explanation of the VHA’s advanced features, please consult the User Guide below, published by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

  In-Depth User Guide from USC Shoah Foundation Institute


The USC Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive (VHA) may be accessed by anyone as long as they are on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Campus. Any sufficiently modern workstation or laptop with network access should be able to display the VHA. Researchers from outside of the University of Minnesota and members of the community are invited to use the public workstations on campus to access the archive. Designated public terminals for viewing VHA content can be found in Wilson and Andersen Libraries.

Upon connecting to the VHA, you will be asked to create a user name and password. Click on the link to register as a user. The registration page will require some basic demographic information. All information is for statistical purposes only and will be kept private. Please make sure to enter a valid e-mail address, as the VHA system will use this to communicate important information regarding your requests for testimony files.

Once you are logged in, you will be able to search by four methods: Quick Search, Biographical Search, People Search, and Keywords Search. The Search Menu is always available on the link bar at the top of the screen, along with a Help option and a link to the Projects section, where you can save searches and search results.

Also available:

 2008 Step-by-Step Guide with images  if this loads slowly try the  2007 guide (U of M Libraries)

 PowerPoint Demo (U of M Libraries)

 Preview sample testimonies and learn about the VHA database (USC)

Practical information on using the VHA in Wilson Library, West Bank, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Search the Visual History Archive     (Recommended Web browsers Windows: Internet Explorer; Mac: Safari)

(Accessible only from workstations on the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities campus)


Questions about this site? E-mail us at vhahelp@umn.edu