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Holocaust Studies: Manuscript Resources at the Library of Congress

Primary sources for research can be found in personal papers, official documents, and written accounts. This guide focuses on the study of the Holocaust in Europe using manuscript collections, as well as related digital and print materials.

Introduction

Jack Eliezer. Letter to Hannah Arendt. 1963. Hannah Arendt Papers. Series: Adolf Eichmann File. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

The Library of Congress holds many collections relevant to the study of the Holocaust. Researchers, genealogists, and historians will find a wealth of resources in the Manuscript Reading Room that cover the history of the Holocaust in Europe, the Jewish experience, testimonies, American foreign policy before and after the Second World War, and related American journalist experiences abroad, including site visits to various camps and ghettos. This guide includes search tips, suggested collections, and provides access to selected Library of Congress Digital Collections, as well as outside resources pertaining to Holocaust studies.

The Manuscript Division primarily collects materials related to the United States and American political, cultural, and social events, movements, and persons. There are also significant foreign holdings in the division's custody. Only the official records of the State Department surpass the richness of the Manuscript Division's holdings for documenting American foreign policy. Researchers will find many relevant materials when searching the papers of secretaries of state and foreign ambassadors, anthropologists, scholars, and scientists. The papers of journalists and psychoanalysts also offer many records and files that concern Nazi war crimes, Holocaust survivors, and concentration camps across Europe.

Attention: All researchers are advised to contact the Manuscript Reading Room prior to visiting. Many collections are stored off-site, or may have access restrictions, and advance notice is needed to retrieve these items for research use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the division's collections are strongly encouraged to write the Manuscript Reading Room via the Ask a Librarian form or email at mss@loc.gov to inquire about the status of collections of interest.