Connector Tube into Library at sunset.

Workshop on Teaching and Working with Holocaust Testimonies

In July 2013 our campus will host a four day seminar in the library on Holocaust testimonies as a classroom resource for teachers and others.

The workshop will take place in and throughout the Thompson Library, using several locations depending on the activity.

The database itself allows access to streaming video testimonies of holocaust survivors, be they victims, local citizenry or soldiers.

With the majority of eye witnesses to the events surrounding the Holocaust of WWII aging and dying, this invaluable collection has now been made available as an online accessible database of streaming video.

Plans have already been made and work is moving forward to add in the future sub-sets to the database which include genocides conducted in Rowanda as well as other locations around the world.

Funded by Steven Spielberg after the release and success of his hit movie,  Shindler’s List,  the database was created in conjunction with the University of Southern California.

The workshop is hosted by the University of Michigan Flint and directed by Dr. Kenneth Waltzer,  Director of Jewish Studies Programs at MSU — and former Winegarden Professor on our campus — with support from Thompson Library’s Emily Newberry and in conjunction with ITS.

The workshop is designed to introduce teachers, librarians and others to the collection and its use.

The four day workshop will include, among others, speaker Crispin Brooks,  Archivist from the University of Southern California.

Different aspects of the oral histories, or testimonies, included in the new database will be demonstrated and discussed with consideration given to how attendees could use this resource to aid classroom instruction or to enable them to effectively use the testimonies for educational purposes.

Some aspects discussed will be the visual archive, experiences in taking testimonies from survivors, use of the  iWitness  (a subset of the visual history archives) and a presentation by a visiting Holocaust survivor.

Thompson Library, through a 3-campus arrangement between the University of Michigan and University of California, will be one of a select number of sites to offer access to this database.

We are proud to have Emily as one of the first librarians in Michigan to have been trained and become proficient in use of this new resource, which allows users to download massive data files and store them temporarily, an ability our campus enjoys thanks to ITS and the storage server they have contributed for this purpose.

Each massive, data-dense file accessed will be temporarily downloaded onto the participating institutions server for easier access, so Emily worked closely with Sidney Horton of ITS to ensure that our campus will have quick and efficient access to the database (both during the workshop and beyond) and that our access will be seamless for users.

Enrollment for the workshop is now closed.

Participants coming to our campus to attend the workshop include a wide cross-section of users, such as librarians, teachers and historical researches from Michigan, Canada and Egypt.

Attendees will come away from their experience prepared to help others use what they have learned, enabling patrons and students around the world to explore this moment in history in detail previously impossible to obtain in one source.

The availability of this rare and unique collection to our campus, our community , our state and our nation will make the study of this period in history come alive in a more meaningful way.