The Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection

About the Collection

In 1983, before the perish of the last survivors of the Armenian Genocide, the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation realized the importance and urgency of recording and preserving the testimonies of those who had lived through the horrors of the 1st Genocide in the 20th centaury, and empower the Armenians to portray their own national history for the record of future generations.Photo of recording an Oral History Interview

The Zoryan Institute undertook documenting the testimonies of a generation of survivors in audio-visual format and utilizing scientific interview methods. The interviews covered four main headings:

  1. City/Village life in the Armenian homeland.
  2. Massacres and deportation from the Armenian homeland.
  3. Experiences as an immigrant.
  4. Attitudes and interpretations.

Photo of an interviewee

Interview teams consisted of an interviewer, a camera operator, and a scribe. The interviews took place in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Jersey, New York, Paris, Providence, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, and Yerevan. The language of the interviews are Armenian (77%), English (22%), and Turkish (1%). 

Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection is the largest audio-visual testimonies archive of the Armenian Genocide survivors with 780 interviews varying in length, from 20 minutes to 13.5 hours. The interviews present records of historical events by those who witnessed them, and a precious reservoir of Armenian cultural heritage and aspects of human experiences, and in this they provide raw data for research, broadcasts, and documentaries in a broad range of social sciences and humanities topics.

How to access the collection?

You may access the Armenian Genocide Oral History recordings through the Zoryan Institute and AUA Center for Oral History in AUA's AGBU Papazian Library. 

Please, visit the Services page to learn about Access Policies and Procedures and fill the Access Request Form.

Clips from the Armenian Genocide Collection
Numbers and Statistics
Interviews in Armenian 77%
Interviews in English 22%
Interviews in Turkish 1%
Interview in Spanish
Duration of the Interviews
20 minutes to 13.5 hours
Interviewees born before 1900
Total Number of Interviews
Male Interviewees 56.2%
Female Interviewees 43.8%