Part of Spielberg’s Holocaust Digital Archive Located in Prague

Prague, 18 July 2016. The Malach Visual History Center at the Charles University in Prague (Centrum vizuální historie Malach – CVHM) is a node within a network of digital backup archives of one of the world’s largest projects based on the oral history method, backed by the famous American film director Steven Spielberg.

The project started emerging in 1994 when Steven Spielberg established the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in Los Angeles. The goal of this foundation is to gather on the worldwide level as many audiovisual recordings of interviews with those who remember the Holocaust as possible: witnesses and survivors of the genocide during the Second World War.

This unique archive has been extended in recent years with recordings of interviews with witnesses of other genocides, mainly the ones in Rwanda and Armenia. The result is over 53,000 audiovisual records created in 39 languages and 61 countries, 560 of which have been done in Czech.

Digitization of the recordings was launched at the start of the new millennium, including keywords tagging, which allows for easier searching among over 105,000 hours of recordings. In this respect scientific cooperation between the Shoah Foundation and the Charles University in Prague has been opened, within the research project Multilingual Access to Large Spoken Archives (MALACH).

This project, taking place in 2002–2007, is referenced also in the name of the Malach Visual History Center at the Charles University in Prague (CVHM). The center was established in 2010 as an access point to the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.

The main objective of CVHM is to provide technology, space and staff for working with large archives of oral history data. All available CVHM resources are used primarily for education and research needs. This has led to creation of dozens of expert studies.

Due to capacity reasons, only a portion of the archive is being stored locally. This involves data most frequently requested by researchers from the Central European region. In June this year a new digital archive has been put into operation, to allow CVHM to become a node within a network of backup archives, storing full copies of all data.

The new hierarchical repository of CVHM in Prague, with capacity ready for up to 8PB, is connected to the CESNET e-infrastructure node with the speed of 10Gbps, optionally extensible to n x 10Gbps. CESNET offers international connectivity of 100Gbps to the pan-European GÉANT network and this network features connectivity of 5 x 10Gbps to the Internet2 network in the USA, of which the University of South Carolina is a part.

In similar cases a great deal of attention needs to be given to the computer network architecture as well as transfer routes, used to transfer large volumes of data between the CVHM archive and the primary repository of the Visual History Archive at USC. Parameters of network protocols used on the transfer routes will be optimized soon, with cooperation of all parties involved.

Last change: 19.7.2016