Yad Vashem Archive
About the Yad Vashem Archives
Over the years, the Yad Vashem Archives have collected extensive and comprehensive documentation in various forms. Today, more than 50 years since their founding, the Yad Vashem Archives house the largest collection of Holocaust documents in the world: over 179,000,000 pages of documentation. The collections include over 125,000 survivor testimonies; over 450,000 photographs and approximately 2.7 million names registered on Pages of Testimony which are preserved in the Hall of Names.
The material encompasses different aspects of the Holocaust narrative. The uniqueness of the collections lies in the vast documentation of the lives and fates of the Jewish Holocaust victims, yet they also contain information about the murderers, the persecutions, the extermination process, collaborators, the “bystanders”, those who rescued Jews and more. The material spans a wide period of time: it focuses on the years of persecution and war from the early 1930s until 1945, but also includes much material about Jewish life in the years before the war as well as the fate of the survivors after the war and the ramifications of the Holocaust until present time.
Documentation: Documentary material includes documents from Jewish organizations and other official institutions, original Nazi documents, documentation of historical commissions for the investigation of Nazi atrocities, and legal documentation collected on various occasions, such as investigations in preparation for the Nuremberg trials and the Eichmann trial in Israel.
Testimonies: One of the first departments established at Yad Vashem was the Testimonies Department. Yad Vashem began collecting written testimonies as early as the late 1940s. Later, audio testimonies were recorded, and from 1989, the testimonies have been videotaped. The Archives also collect copies of testimonies taken throughout the world. Presently, the Yad Vashem Archives house over 125,000 testimonies, approximately 60% of which are in video format.
Pages of Testimony: Since the middle of the 1950s, survivors, relatives and friends of those who perished, have been filling out Pages of Testimony forms and submitting them to Yad Vashem. The first 800,000 Pages of Testimony were collected in the 1950s. Today there are approximately 2.7 million names registered on Pages of Testimony, recorded in more than 20 different languages. The Pages of Testimony have all been scanned and can be viewed in the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names.
Click here for a list of Archive Record Groups.