Holocaust & Genocide Studies Collections

Since the start of the twentieth century, genocide and mass violence have resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of civilians and reshaped political borders around the world. These events, persisting into contemporary times, continue to threaten global peace and security. The Holocaust and Genocide Studies Collections formed with the vision to contribute to interdisciplinary global education and action to understand and prevent genocide through research, with particular emphasis on the Holocaust, Armenia, and the Great Lakes region of Africa. The collections encompass book and archival research materials that cross international boundaries to engage specialists, scholars, educators, students, analysts, and activists.

Testaments to the Holocaust (Gale Digital Collections)

Testaments to the Holocaust offers access to the unique documents and rare printed materials of London’s  Wiener Library,  the world’s oldest Holocaust museum. Alfred Wiener fled Germany in 1933 and established his collection in London. The collection offers fully searchable personal accounts of life in Nazi Germany, along with photographs, propaganda materials such as school text books, limited circulation publications and rare serials. Through this online platform, researchers can research topics including domestic policies of Nazi Germany, Jewish life in Germany from 1933 to after the war, wartime propaganda, life in the concentration camps, hiding from Nazi oppression, emigration policies, and refugee life. To access the Testaments to the Holocaust on campus, click here » To access the Testaments to the Holocaust from off-campus:
  1. Login using your USF Net ID at the top-left link on this page.
  2. Once logged in, under “Research Tools” in the menubar, click “Databases by title or subject.”
  3. Enter Testaments to the Holocaust and click GO.

Circulating Collections

The circulating collections at the USF Tampa Library include several thousand items – including monographs, journals, government documents, and multimedia resources – that support research on topics related to genocides worldwide. To view catalog records for all materials:

Special Collections

A collection of rare books, manuscripts, realia, photographic evidence, and other documents related to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, and genocides in the African Great Lakes region comprise the collection. In addition, the collection also includes materials related to the cultural, ethnic, and religious lives of the peoples impact by these events.
  • Published and unpublished materials in all languages on Armenian history and culture from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Special emphasis is given to Armenian-Turkish relations, genocide of Armenians and other ethnic groups during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, resistance to oppression, and survivor memory, narrative, and trauma.
  • Published and unpublished materials in all languages on the persecution of Jews and other groups by the Nazis and their collaborators. Special emphasis is given to survivor memory, narrative, and trauma as well as works about the Holocaust created between 1930 and 1950.
  • Published and unpublished materials documenting genocide and crimes against humanity in the African Great Lakes region, with a primary geographic focus on Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Special emphasis is given to collecting oral histories and primary documents on mental health, prejudice, history, education, politics, justice and reconciliation efforts, refugees, human rights, and militia groups.
View all items in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Collection in Special Collections »
The USF Libraries Oral History Program provides access to oral history testimonies that look to the past in order to understand the causes of mass violence, treat its effects on victims, and to help prevent future atrocities. For more information on the Oral History Program, click here »

Rwandan Youth & Children’s Testimonies

This collection contains testimonies that were handwritten in exercise books by students in Rwandan high schools between late 1999 and early 2000. Each testimony contains the first-hand account (in Kinyarwanda) of a child’s experiences from the beginning of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda until the child was rescued. Click here to access the Rwandan Youth & Children’s Testimonies online »

Concentration Camp Liberators Oral History Project

This completed collection comprises nearly 150 testimonies with the Allied service men and women who helped liberate World War II concentration camps. Author Michael Hirsh recorded the interviews for his book The Liberators: America’s Witnesses to the Holocaust (New York, 2010) and donated the tapes and transcripts with Special Collections. Click here to access the Concentration Camp Liberators Oral History Project online »

Holocaust Survivors Oral History Project

Begun by University of South Florida Department of Communication Professor Carolyn Ellis and her graduate students, in collaboration with the Florida Holocaust Museum, this collection of oral histories documents the memories of Holocaust survivors now in the Tampa Bay area. Click here to access the Holocaust Survivors Oral History Project online »

Asaba Memorial Oral History Project

Asaba Memorial Oral History ProjectThis collection of survivor testimonies, conducted in the U.S. and Africa by University of South Florida Department of Anthropology professors Elizabeth Bird and Dr. Erin Kimmerle, USF Department of History professor Fraser Ottanelli, and Tampa Police Detective Charles Massucci documents the massacre that took place on October 5th 1967, in the Delta State of community of Asaba, in Nigeria. Click here to access the Asaba Memorial Oral History Project online »

Holocaust Studies

The systematic persecution and murder of over six million Jews and other groups by the Nazis and their collaborators during the 1930s and 1940s is one of humankind’s greatest tragedies. The Holocaust was so unprecedented in modern human history that Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide to describe these atrocities. Though not the first such event in the 20th century, the Holocaust has reframed the way in which people understand other genocides, such as the massacre of Armenians during the First World War and the slaughter of well over a million Africans in the last several decades. The Holocaust Studies collections advance knowledge and teaching, allowing researchers and educators to apply lessons from the Holocaust to build empathy and understanding between cultures and  giving voice to survivors and their children to end the effects of trauma, which often are passed from one generation to the next.

Armenian Studies

content-image-left An understanding of the Armenian genocide and its place in history is critical. For example, few realize that Adolf Hitler reportedly drew from the Armenian Genocide to justify his maniacal intentions in 1939. Genocide is the greatest scourge of the 20th and 21st centuries: one that can be addressed by giving voice to the silence. The Armenian Studies collections provides access to research materials in English, Armenian, and other languages, and supports researchers and educators in teaching about Armenian history and culture and enhancing intercultural dialogue about the shared experiences of the survivors of oppression and attempted annihilation. You can learn more here.

The African Great Lakes Region

The painful legacy of genocide in Europe and East Asia now affects East Africa. Hard lessons learned during the Second World War failed to prevent the horrors experienced in Cambodia or Bosnia. For survivors of genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Darfur, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, the effects also linger. Communities coping with the aftermath of genocide have much to offer researchers, teachers, and mental health professionals. Yet challenges remain for future generations. The African Great Lakes collection advances knowledge and teaching by encouraging researchers and educators to apply lessons from East Africa to build empathy and understanding between cultures and relate lessons from East Africa to current events in order to identify and prevent the forms of persecution that can lead ultimately to genocide.

Florida Holocaust Museum

Florida Holocaust MuseumIn 2007, the University of South Florida and the Florida Holocaust Museum signed a formal affiliation agreement enabling cooperation in a number of areas. Chief among these are efforts to provide greater access to collections held at the Museum and USF Libraries. Access the Museum library’s online catalog.

Waging Peace

The USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center has formalized a partnership with UK-based non-governmental organizations Waging Peace, and their sister (aid) agency, Network for Africa. Waging Peace campaigns against genocide and systematic human rights abuses, with a particular focus on Africa.  

Drawings by Darfuri and Chadian Refugee Children

While on a fact-finding mission to eastern Chad in June and July 2007, Waging Peace researcher Anna Schmitt was told by Darfuri refugee women how their children had witnessed horrendous events when their villages were being attacked. This prompted Anna to talk to the children. She gave the children, aged 6 to 18, paper and pencils and asked them what their dreams were for the future and what their strongest memory was. The resulting drawings have toured the world, to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur. In November 2007, the drawings were accepted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague as contextual evidence of the crimes committed in Darfur. A selection of these drawings were exhibited at the USF Tampa Library in January of 2009. The original 500+ drawings comprise a collection to be donated by Waging Peace to the USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center upon completion of exhibitions worldwide. Rebecca Tinsley, founder of Waging Peace and Network for Africa spoke at the USF Tampa Library as the USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center’s 2009 Lecture Series inaugural speaker. Click here to access the Waging Peace Darfuri Children’s Drawings online »

Center for Conflict Management at National University of Rwanda

The need to widely disseminate research on genocide by scholars in Rwanda has been a challenge due to limited circulation of the two printed journals that are published by the Center for Conflict Management at National University of Rwanda. In May 2012, University of South Florida Libraries signed a Memoranda of Understanding to host the Journal of African Conflicts and Peace Studies and Peace and Conflict Management Review so that these journals could be published in the online open access model. National University of Rwanda was established in 1963. Most of the research in Rwanda regarding the Rwandan genocide is conducted by researchers at the National University of Rwanda’s Center for Conflict Management (CCM).