Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies

Description: The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies (VAHT) currently holds over 4,300 videotaped testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses that constitute over 10,000 recorded hours of videotape. The Archive creates time-coded finding aids for all cataloged testimonies, which enable patrons to locate specific segments of interest within a given testimony. Finding aids are made available only at the Archive. The three main goals of the program are to (1) standardize the Video Archive's finding aids, (2) implement a file format that can be easily manipulated and will remain available over time, (3) develop new means of access to our materials through a search engine and the integration of digital video files. A prototype database has been developed to allow TEI searching, but the result is redirected to the publicly available MARC record. As of September 2004, two hundred files have been encoded using TEI, with new files being added.

Implementation description: The Archive has begun retroactively encoding these finding aids using the Text Encoding for Interchange (TEI), including additional information provided by the Archive staff. The Archive has implemented an Open Office template that will ensure that future finding aids remain consistent and can be easily manipulated to create on-the-fly TEI-compliant XML files, which can be used to output documents in a variety of formats. Structured catalog information is added to the TEI files by merging with MARC data derived from the university's online catalog, ORBIS.


Stephen Yearl
Systems Archivist Yale University Library

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