The USC Digital Repository is a collaborative effort between the USC Libraries, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education and USC Information Technology Services. Each of these USC units brings a unique portfolio of technical and content experience, supporting an unrivaled combination of research, pedagogy, preservation and infrastructure expertise.
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education
The USC Digital Repository was an outgrowth of the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education. Founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation was created to record testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust. The collection became part of USC in 2006 and now contains nearly 52,000 video testimonies from more than 50 countries.
The USC Shoah Foundation works with governmental entities, nongovernmental organizations, universities and other partners around the world to accomplish its work. With special expertise handling sensitive content, it is a leader in developing pedagogical methodologies to deliver unique archival material to educational settings, ranging from secondary to higher education scholarships.
Many of the systems and software employed by the Digital Repository were originated while collecting these testimonies, such as developing the Visual History Archive, which is the on-line interface used to search and access testimonies. We also developed patented software in the areas of cataloging and indexing large collections, and efficient systems for mass-conversion and media preservation.
The USC Libraries provide archiving, imaging and metadata services for its own collections and for the extensive holdings of the USC Digital Library, as well as those housed in the USC Digital Repository. The Libraries provide the collection management, curation and metadata creation services that are essential to the center’s success within the academic research community and to others.
USC Information Technology Services (ITS)
ITS will draw on its own technological and expert resources to provide additional, revenue-generating consultative services to the Digital Repository. Such services potentially include consulting on digital preservation for external clients and leveraging the High Performance Computing center to deliver humanities-based content to scholars and educators around the world. Beyond distributing costs across a larger number of client groups, building the capacity to provide these services will allow USC to become a leader in advanced scholarly preservation practices as well as a conceptual leader in the field.