Our new museum space and exhibition was the culmination of work undertaken by the Collections and Curatorial Department with support from the other departments at the Centre and the wider community.
Outstanding community support has allowed us to collect and exhibit priceless artefacts from the Holocaust period using the most cutting-edge technologies.
This department coordinates the receipt and safekeeping of more than 1,300 testimonies predominantly from survivors from the Polish, German, Czech, Dutch, Russian, Hungarian, Austrian, French and Greek communities of Europe who have now settled in Australia.
The Jewish Holocaust Centre houses an extensive collection of materials related to the Holocaust, most of which have been donated by local Holocaust survivors. The collection includes original documents, photographs, textiles, craftwork, precious objects and memorabilia about the Holocaust. Only a small portion of this valuable collection is on permanent display in the museum; the rest is housed in temperature-and humidity-controlled storage facilities maintained by trained personnel to ensure their preservation for future generations.
The JHC Collection is a vital repository of Holocaust-era material. Artefacts and documents are carefully catalogued and stored in a state-of-the-art temperature controlled facility to ensure their preservation for future generations.
The JHC invites members of the public who have precious items relating to the Holocaust to consider donating them to our collection for safekeeping.
The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection. These provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines.
The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors.
The thousands of books housed in the Centre's multi-lingual collection covers the rise of Nazism and World War II as well as post-Holocaust analyses. Recent additions to the library include prose and books written by local survivors, copies of reports and papers presented at selected Holocaust-related conferences, journals, periodicals, booklets from other museums and research centres around the world. Journals and documents are available in a number of languages, among them Hebrew, Yiddish, French, English, German, Hungarian, Russian and Polish.
The Jewish Holocaust Centre has access to the “Visual History Archive” of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education through a portal to Monash University.
With a collection of nearly 52,000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses, in 32 languages and from 56 countries, this is the largest visual history archive in the world.