The Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection

As part of its founding principles, as embedded in its name, the Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation wanted to document the Armenian experience and have Armenians write their own national history, and not leave it to others, who tended to portray that history in a way that suited them. 


The Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection is one of Zoryan Institute’s earliest and most transformative projects. It began in 1983 when it became evident that time was running out for the generation of Armenians who had firsthand accounts of the genocide. This project is comprised of a collection of videotapes containing carefully prepared oral history interviews with over 700 survivors of the Armenian Genocide, making it the largest collection to date. The interviews elicit invaluable details about the genocide as well as the life of the Armenian people before the Genocide.

The collection is open and free to use to anyone who comes to the Zoryan office, where we provide the equipment and research assistance, if required. Researchers apply in advance, giving their affiliation and the purpose of the research. An agreement is signed as to the use and limits of the material. The tapes may be available upon request by direct descendants of survivors for a fee. Please contact the Institute for more information.

The survivors are pretty well all gone now, but their legacy lives on for future generations to understand what they went through, what we lost, and what it means to be Armenian. Oral histories provide a direct and immediate link between the world of the survivors and future generations. For the historical, social and ethnographic information they contain, for the deep emotion they often convey, and for the preservation and strengthening of Armenian identity in our youth, these national treasures must be preserved, maintained, and made available as widely as possible.

– K.M. Greg Sarkissian and George Shirinian

Please visit the pages below for:

Overview of the project & collection

Use of the collection

Statistics on the Collection

Description of future challenges and directions

Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection Catalogue

Access Policy

Projects Stemming from the Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection