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About the Museum's Collections

Film and Video Archive

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The Museum’s Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive is one of the world’s most comprehensive informational and archival resources for moving image materials pertaining to the Holocaust and World War II. Staff continue to locate, acquire, preserve, and document historical film footage from sources throughout the United States and abroad. Unique original film collections and a wide range of videotape and digital formats are preserved and stored offsite in temperature and humidity-controlled vaults. The online catalog (film) includes descriptive information and streams thousands of digital video clips from the collection.

In the News

Archival Holdings

1,050 hours of historical film, dating primarily from the 1920s to 1948, covering:

  • Prewar Jewish and Roma/Sinti life
  • Germany in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Nazi rise to power
  • Persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany and occupied Europe
  • Nazi racial science and propaganda
  • Internment camps
  • Deportations of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps
  • Refugees
  • Resistance movements
  • Liberation of Nazi concentration camps
  • Displaced persons camps
  • Postwar war crimes trials, including Nuremberg and the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann
  • American responses to the events in Europe from 1933-1945

9 hours of film and video programming directly related to the creation of the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition

220 hours of film outtakes from Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah, featuring Holocaust survivor testimonies

Featured Collection

Preservation

Working with several prominent motion picture facilities, the Archive preserves its unique 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, and 35mm film holdings by cleaning and repairing the originals, copying them to polyester-based film stock, and transferring the new films to digital video for research and reference use. All film and video elements in the collection are stored offsite in temperature and humidity controlled vaults to ensure their continued safety and longevity.

Research

Search the archive of historical film by subject, title, source, copyright, keyword, language, location, event date, or genre. Onsite viewings take place by appointment between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Inquiries are welcome by letter, phone, fax, or e-mail. Common searches include: Auschwitz, Jewish life before, amateur film, Hitler speeches, concentration camp, Shoah outtakes, or most viewed.

Contact Us

Film and Video Archive
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2126
Tel.: 202.488.6104
Fax: 202.314.7820
E-mail: filmvideo@ushmm.org

Reproduction

If archive footage is in the public domain and has no copyright restrictions, we can supply digital video files of historical film directly by a share file service. Staff will upload files and share a link with the client for downloading. Films that are not in the public domain must be cleared with the rights holder by the requestor before duplication. Read the procedures for duplication (PDF).

Donate

The Archive actively seeks to expand its collection of moving image documentation of Holocaust history to make it the largest central repository worldwide of such materials for research. If you have original films or related materials, like a camera, diary, or posters, contact staff at filmvideo@ushmm.org. If you wish to make a financial donation to the Archive or become a Museum member, use the online form or call 866.99USHMM (866.998.7466).

Other Film and Video Resources

The Museum’s Oral History department contains a large collection of unpublished oral testimonies on videotape and digital formats. To locate a specific item, consult the Collections Catalog.

The Museum’s Library includes published documentary and feature films on Holocaust-related topics. To locate a specific item, consult the Library Catalog.

Learn More about the Film and Video Archive (PDF)

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