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Armenian Genocide Oral History Collections at USC Shoah Foundation

Armenian Genocide Oral History Collections at USC Shoah Foundation

J. Michael Hagopian interviewing Hovhannes Davtyan in Katnaghbyur, Armenia in 1989. (Source: Armenian Film Foundation)

Hybrid lecture by Manuk Avedikyan of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies. This event is organized by the Armenian Genocide Research Program within the PAI and co-sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), the Ararat-Eskijian Museum, and the Armenian Film Foundation.

Friday, October 28, 2022
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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An overview of the Armenian Genocide survivor testimony collections in the USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive (VHA).

USC Shoah Foundation was founded in 1994 by director Steven Spielberg, initially conducting over 55 thousand Holocaust-related interviews and later expanding the breadth of its archive by including experiences from the Armenian Genocide, Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Guatemala Genocide, Cambodia Genocide, War and Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and others.

The first collection of Armenian Genocide testimonies included in the VHA was from the Armenian Film Foundation (AFF) documentary film archive by film director and survivor J. Michael Hagopian. This collection of 333 interviews has been transcribed, translated and subtitled. Currently, the Richard G. Hovannisian Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection - the largest collection of Armenian Genocide testimonies at over 1,100 - is being preserved, digitized and indexed with about 500 testimonies available on the VHA. This collection contains interviews presenting life histories, often including details on Ottoman-era life, that emphasize the interviewee's genocide experience and postgenocidal life in various diasporan communities.

The presentation will provide an overview of the collections and a demonstration on how to use the Visual History Archive by Manuk Avedikyan, former program officer (Armenian Genocide collections) at USC Shoah Foundation.


Manuk Avedikyan, worked on and managed the Armenian Genocide survivor testimony collections at the USC Shoah Foundation for over seven years. He recently began working at the USC Institute of Armenian Studies as Outreach and Education Manager on the 'California History through the Armenian Experience' oral history project. He has a Master of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs from the American University of Armenia (AUA) in Yerevan, Armenia focusing on non-Muslim minority issues and reforms in modern-day Turkey. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University of Northridge (CSUN).