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the guide to historical resources • Issue 7: The Holocaust •

The Holocaust


This section of History in Focus presents an overview of some of the archival and library resources available on the Holocaust. The listings below mainly cover the collections held in the UK, although a few key international collections are also included.

Archives in the United Kingdom

British Library oral history archives: Jewish experience collections

Held in the British Library oral history archives are several collections of testimonies and interviews concerning the Jewish experience of the Holocaust. There are three collections of audio and video interviews with Holocaust survivors, the 'Testimony recording project', 'Living memory of the Jewish community' – taken from the 'National life story collection' – and 'Holocaust Survivors Centre interviews'. In addition, there is also the 'Central British Fund Kindertransport interviews', which looks particularly at the efforts to help Jewish children escape Nazi Germany.

Opening hours: Available by appointment
Telephone: 020 7412 7405
Address: The British Library, St Pancras, 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB
Centre for German-Jewish Studies: the Arnold Daghani collection

The Centre for German-Jewish Studies is based at the University of Sussex. It is an established institution for the study of the history and culture of Central European Jews, and amongst its projects are studies into the Holocaust and its effects on post-war history. The Centre has two main archival collections, one of which is the Arnold Daghani collection. This is an archive of some 6,000 drawings, paintings and writings by Arnold Daghani, a German Jew interned in Mikhailowka, a slave labour camp, during the Second Word War.

Opening hours: Available by appointment
Telephone: 01273 877109
Address: Centre for German-Jewish Studies, The Library, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QL
Imperial War Museum collections

The Imperial War Museum collections are extensive, covering many aspects of twentieth century conflicts. The archives at the museum are split into seven separate curatorial sections: documents, art, exhibits and firearms, film and video, sound, photographs and printed books. Within these collections is a substantial amount of primary source material relating to the Holocaust. Many items from the collections can be searched in the online catalogue.

Opening hours: 10pm-6pm daily
Telephone: 020 7416 5320
Address: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Rd, London SE1 6HZ
The National Archives

The National Archives holds a considerable number of documents concerning most aspects of the Holocaust. For example these include records on Kristallnacht, British Government awareness of Jewish persecution, the liberation of the concentration camps, war crimes and criminals (both alleged and proved) and the associated trials, and displaced persons in post-war Europe. Whilst other documents are held here, the principal record series, with department codes, are Foreign Office (FO), War Office (WO), Prime Minister's Papers (PREM), Cabinet Papers (CAB), Treasury Solicitor (TS) and Bletchley Park Decryptons (HW). The National Archives catalogue can be searched online, and there are also online research guides on war crimes, refugees and prisoners of war.

Opening hours: 9am-5pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 10am-7pm Tuesday and Thursday; 9.30am-5pm Saturday
Telephone: 020 8876 3444
Address: The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
The Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations: the Jewish archives

The Parkes Institute is part of the University of Southampton, and is a repository for resources on Jewish history and culture. In the Jewish archives housed at the Institute there is a substantial amount of archival material related to the Holocaust. This includes material on the American prosecution of Nazi war criminals, the Nuremberg Trials, and European refugees from Nazi Germany. Accessible from the web site is the Survey of Jewish Archives in the UK and Eire database, which provides the facility to search for material in archives in these two countries.

Opening hours: 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Closed 12.30pm-1.30pm
Telephone: 023 8059 2261
Address: The Parkes Institute, The James Parkes Building, University of Southampton, Southampton
SO17 1BJ
University of Essex Albert Sloman Library special collections: Amy Zahl Gottleib collection

The Amy Zahl Gottleib collection is held as part of the special collections in the University of Essex’s Albert Sloman Library. It is composed of the private library of Amy Gottleib, one of the leading teachers on the Holocaust, and contains over 400 books and 40 reels of microfilm. Available on microfilm are the Archives of the Central British Fund for World Jewish Relief 1933-1960, with material on the efforts made to evacuate Jews from Nazi Germany and occupied Europe, the subsequent refugees, and how the Zionist movement was affected by the Holocaust. Microfilmed copies of the Jewish Chronicle, 1937-1939, are also in the collection.

Opening hours: 9am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday
Telephone: 01206 873192
Address: University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ
The University of Sheffield Library special collections and archives: The Holocaust

The special collections and archives department at the University of Sheffield houses some resources relevant to the Holocaust as part of its Jewish studies and other migrant communities collection. The two resources that are most relevant to the Holocaust are the Britain and the Refugee Crisis collection, a collection of oral testimonies from refugees of Nazi Europe, and the Holocaust collection, a growing library of books on the Holocaust.

Opening hours: 9.30am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm, Monday to Wednesday.
Thursday to Friday access by prior arrangement
Telephone: 0114 222 7230
Address: Special Collections and Archives Department, Main Library, The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN
The Wiener Library

The Wiener Library was founded in 1933, and is the oldest Holocaust memorial organisation. It concentrates on modern Jewish history, particularly Third Reich Germany,the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, Zionism, and the Middle East. Within its collections are books, periodicals, memoirs, press cuttings, video footage, photographic archives, oral histories, and primary source documents such as family papers and official documents.

Opening hours: 10am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday
Telephone: 020 7636 7247
Address: The Institute of Contemporary History and Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DP

International Archives

Simon Wiesenthal Center Library and Archives

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organisation dedicated to educating on the Holocaust. It has an extensive library containing 50,000 books and non-print materials. The archive at the Center contains a range of primary source material, including photographs, rare books, artwork, artefacts, letters and diaries. The library and archive catalogue can be searched online, and a selection of archive collections can be viewed in the recently launched Simon Wiesenthal Center digital archives.

Opening hours: 8.30am-6pm, Monday to Thursday; 8.30am-2pm, Friday
Telephone: (00 1) 310 772-7605
Address: Simon Wiesenthal Center Library and Archives, 1399 South Roxbury Drive, Los Angeles CA 90035-4709, United States of America
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collections

The archives and collections held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum comprise one of the largest and most comprehensive repositories of material relating to the Holocaust in the world. The holdings cover practically every subject related to the Holocaust and the Nazi persecution of Jews and other targeted groups, such as Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, communists and Slavs. Topics such as resistance movements, war crimes trials, and restitution are covered, as well as resources on the ghettos and the camps. Resources include extensive microform holdings, personal papers, memoirs, oral histories, film footage, and photographs.

Opening hours: 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday
Telephone: (00 1) 202 488-6113
Address: Archives, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW, Washington DC 20024-2126, USA
Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem is dedicated to documenting the history of the Jews during the Holocaust, and its archives are the biggest and most extensive Holocaust archives in the world. It contains over 62 million pages of material, which include oral testimonies and memoirs, unpublished documents from the Nazi regime and Jewish organisations, photographs, film footage, and the growing ‘Pages of testimony’, a repository of biographies of those who died during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem also has a library of more than 90,000 titles and thousands of periodicals.

Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm, Sunday to Thursday
Telephone: (00 972) 2 6443400
Address: Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, PO Box 3477, Jerusalem 91034, Israel
Members of the Kessler family (Holocaust victims)

Members of the Kessler family from Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, all of whom perished.

Image copyright the Imperial War Museum.

Larger image (450k)