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Yad Vashem Archive

About the Yad Vashem Archives

Photo and Film Archives

A page from a photo album from the Lodz ghetto A page from a photo album from the Lodz ghetto

Photographs and films are important historical resources for both research and visual commemoration.

The collection of historical photographs at Yad Vashem, comprised of more than 214,000 photographs, approximately 400 albums and 9,000 collections, is the largest in the world dealing with the Holocaust. In addition, there are over 130,000 photographs of victims, which were attached to Pages of Testimony.

The collection documents a variety of areas: Jewish life before and during the Holocaust; the lives of the survivors in Europe after the war; Holocaust commemoration activities around the world, and so on. The photographs arrive at the Archives from a wide range of sources including: official archives; private collections; museums; historical collections as well as storerooms and attics.

The origins of the photograph collection lie in the documentation efforts of individuals and groups immediately after the end of the war. Following the opening of the Yad Vashem Archives, photograph collections that had been received previously were incorporated into the Archives. In 1983, a separate Photo Archive was set up, and since then, this section has coordinated the collection, cataloguing and research of historical photographs related to the Holocaust. In 1993, computerized cataloging of the collection was initiated, and in 1998, the scanning of the photographs began. In 2008, the online collection of photographs was uploaded to the Internet.

The collection of original films from the time of the Holocaust contains hundreds of titles including raw footage, newsreels, amateur films, propaganda films, institutional films, feature films and trials. Use of the material in the films and footage is subject to restrictions placed on the materials in accordance with copyright law.

Click here to view the Online Photo Archive.