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Approach to the main gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp (Auschwitz II). [Source]
Please be aware that due to the nature of the topic, some of these resources may contain graphic and disturbing material, both audiovisual and textual, that you may find upsetting.
Additional resources are available on the following related guides:
Since the Holocaust remains a contested area of research, a crowd-sourced reference work such as Wikipedia may not be your best place to start, especially if you are still unfamiliar with the subject matter; instead, try Credo Reference for (in this case, at least) overview information that has been carefully vetted for accuracy and is written by experts in the field.
In addition to general encyclopedias etc., you should definitely also check specialized reference materials dedicated exclusively to the history of the Holocaust. For example:
- Holocaust Encyclopedia
Provides survey articles about people, organizations, events, and locations involved in the Holocaust written by experts in the field and curated by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Encyclopedia of the Holocaust
Comprehensive if a bit dated 4-volume encyclopedia on the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. Print Reference Collection D804.3 .E53 1990
- Holocaust Encyclopedia
This one-volume reference work comprises substantive articles on aspects of the Holocaust (e.g., historiography, concentrations camps, representation in film, etc.) authored by experts in their fields.
Search for Books in the Library Catalog
Browse in the Stacks
Books on the Holocaust can be found in several locations in the stacks:
D804 is the main range, which covers all aspects of the Holocaust from a general perspective. You will find books on individual concentration camps under D805.5 (e.g., Auschwitz is filed under D805.5 .A96), while books on the Holocaust in specific places are often (but not always) in the DS134.2 section.
DatabasesIf you are looking for scholarly articles about the Holocaust as a historical event, as well as about its context of Nazi Germany and World War II, try:
Historical Abstracts [EBSCO]
Indexes journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations pertaining to the history of the world from 1450 to the present (for U.S. and Canada historian, use America: History and Life); 1955 - present.
Jahresberichte für deutsche Geschichte
Provides a comprehensive bibliography of books, book chapters, and articles on German history and related fields in both German and other languages. 1949-present.
If you are interested in the representation of the Holocaust in literature, film, and the arts, try the following databases:
MLA International Bibliography
Indexes critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics and folklore, including journal articles, series, monographs, dissertations, bibliographies, and proceedings. A ProQuest database ProQuest; 1926 to present.
Humanities Full Text [H.W. Wilson / EBSCO]
Indexes journals in the disciplines of archaeology and classical studies, art, folklore, history, language and literature, literary criticism, music and performing arts, philosophy, and religion; includes over 320 full text journals; 1984 - present.
Art Full Text [H.W. Wilson / EBSCO]
Indexes material in the fields of art, art history, architecture, design, and film, including articles in periodicals, yearbooks, museum bulletins, and reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed journals; 1984 - present. Includes over 320 full text journals. For coverage of art literature from 1929 to 1984, search Art Index Retrospective.
Several other databases available from the Wallace Library may also contain scholarly articles on the Holocaust:
ATLA Religion Database [EBSCO]
Indexes scholarship of religion, including Biblical studies, world religions, church history, and religious perspectives on social issues. From the American Theological Association; 1949 - present.
Indexes journals, dissertations, conference papers, and selected books in sociology and related disciplines. A ProQuest database; 1952 to present.
Specific JournalsThere are several scholarly journals that focus exclusively or primarily on the Holocaust and/or genocide. These are good places to browse, not only for research articles but also for their book reviews:
From the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, this online resource contains primary sources from the museum's collections, arranged thematically and curated by experts. Sources range from letters and diaries to images and other media forms and are usually accompanied by contextual information.
International Tracing Service (ITS)
Established immediately after World War II, ITS originally sought to collect documents that would allow Holocaust survivors to find missing surviving family members or find out what happened to family members who perished. In the process, it became one of the largest archives of Holocaust-related documents worldwide, with archives now open to researchers. Some of the documents have been digitized and are available in ITS's Digital Collections platform.
Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust museum (officially known as the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority), is not only the arguably most important museum commemorating the Holocaust worldwide, but also an archives and research center with substantial document collections. Many of these are now accessible online, including primary source documents, databases of victims' names, and an extensive photography collection.
Die Quellen sprechen
This project offers audio versions of historical documents about the Holocaust, read by actors and writers, which came about as a side project to the critical edition of Holocaust primary sources conducted by the Institute of Contemporary History in Germany. In German.
Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust
Recordings of oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors in Great Britain, held by the British Library and available to stream online.
Nuremberg Trials Collection from the Avalon Project at Yale
Includes motions, presentation of cases, testimony by witnesses, key documents related to the proceedings, etc.
There are also plenty of primary sources that have not been digitized but are available in print. Make sure to search the HELIN Catalog —and feel free to ask your librarian(s) for help!
Here are a few sites which, in addition to the ones already mentioned in other sections of this guide, could serve as starting points for your research on the Holocaust:
This listserv is a digital space where scholars can debate important research questions concerning the Holocaust. It also includes book reviews, conference reports and announcements, and other academic information. You can browse the listserv archives or subscribe to new messages.
- Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is an educational non-profit that advocates and provides resources for teaching about prejudice, racism, genocide, and social injustice, from both a contemporary and a historical perspective. The program originated as a Holocaust education effort but has since expanded to include many other areas. Its website offers a weath of lesson plans, learning objects, and other educator resources.
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)
Established by Congress in 1980 and opened to the public in 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is a museum, an educational institution, an archives, and a research center. Its website includes a wealth of information about the museum's collections and exhibitions, but also a significant section dedicated to making scholarship and primary sources on the Holocaust broadly available to the public.
- USC Shoah Foundation
Hosted at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the Shoah Foundation seeks to document the Holocaust by, among many other activities, recording oral history interview with survivors. The foundation's website is an extensive repository not only of these interviews, but of other programming offered.
- The Wiener Library
One of the first and still most extensive archives set up to document the Nazi persecution of Jews, the Wiener Library in London is an extensive archive and research library on the Holocaust and other genocides.
- Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas
Official website for the foundation that operates the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany, which provides information on the memorial itself, affiliated memorial sites commemorating non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust (gay people, Sinti and Roma, and those killed during the Nazis' "euthanasia" killings of mentally ill patients), as well as a virtual tour of the documentation center / exhibit hall attached to the memorial. In German and English.
- EHRI Project
The European Holocaust Research Infrastructure Project serves as a collaborative space as well as a portal to resources about the Holocaust and brings together several larger and smaller libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies. Among other things, it also serves as a kind of meta-catalog or meta-finding aid for primary source collections related to the Holocaust.
- Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies