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.
1,265 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
Deportations of Jews to ghettos and concentration camps
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 unseen footage from Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah, featuring interviews with Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators
Exquisite color footage of the Jewish quarter of Warsaw in summer 1939, mere weeks before the Nazis invaded the city with devastating consequences for the Jews of Poland. Dr. Benjamin Gasul recorded these scenes with his cherished 16mm film camera during a lecture tour and European holiday with his wife. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Gift of the Gasul Family
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.
Search the archive of historical film by subject, title, source, copyright, keyword, language, location, event date, or genre. 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.
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s in person research services are temporarily closed. Museum staff are still available to assist you with research questions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.