Fonds RA000 - Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1994–2019 (Creation)
    Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre
  • 1981-2019 (Creation)
    Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance

Physical description area

Physical description

596.8 cm of textual records / 5.96 m of textual records
524 photographs : prints, black and white, colour
545 slides : 35 mm ; black and white, colour
65 photographs : negatives
51 videocassettes
33 audio cassettes
754.1 MB of born-digital records
116 CDs
61 DVDs
9 floppy disks
16 zip drives
23 posters
2 banners
4 flash drives
3 objects
2 .mp4s
12 .mp3s

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance (VHCS) was founded in 1983 by a group of British Columbian survivors of the Holocaust and those with ties to the Warsaw Ghetto Committee and the Standing Committee on Holocaust Education of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Pacific Region). The society was incorporated in 1985. Its goal, realized in 1994, was to leave a permanent legacy to the province in the form of a Centre devoted to Holocaust-based anti-racism programming. In 1990, the VHCS partnered with the Jewish Community Centre on the Phase III development of its centre at 41st and Oak in Vancouver.

In 1992, the purpose of the VHCS was:

  1. To collect, preserve and make available in audio-visual or written form the personal testimonies of British Columbia survivors and eyewitnesses to the events
    of the Holocaust.
  2. To collect, preserve and make available documents, photographs and artefacts related to the Holocaust experience of British Columbia survivors as well as from
    other sources.
  3. To create within the centre a teaching museum demonstrating the events of the Holocaust, its antecedents and its contemporary relevance, as well as the
    continuity of the Jewish people and the human will to survive.
  4. To create and make available a Holocaust education program and study materials for students, teachers and special interest groups.
  5. To build a research quality library of Holocaust related books, journals and audiovisual materials and make them available on-site.

Key members of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society:
Dr. Robert Krell, Founding President, 1983-1998
Robbie Waisman, President, 1998-2004
Rita Axelrod, President, 2004-2007
Jody Dales, President, 2007-2010
Ed Lewin, President, 2010-2016
Philip Levinson, President, 2016-2020
Corinne Zimmerman, President, 2020–

Rubin Pinsky chaired the VHCS collections committee in the early 1990s.

Early activities and programs of the VHCS occurred in the following areas:
Remembrance, Holocaust documentation, outreach program, community education, publishing, exhibitions, collecting museum and archival items, supporting survivor groups, fundraising and the construction of a Holocaust memorial.

The VHCS opened the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in 1994 as a way to operationalize its mandate, which in 2006, was to establish and maintain a Holocaust education program centre as a resource for the community.

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC) was opened in 1994 by the Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society (VHCS). The VHEC is devoted to Holocaust-based anti-racism education and commemoration. Its staff produce thematic exhibits, school programs and commemorative events, publish a newsletter entitled Zachor and administrate the Wosk Publishing Program. The VHEC holds Western Canada’s largest collection of Holocaust-related artefacts, Holocaust testimonies and archival records and manages a comprehensive library of books, films, educational resources, as well as rare books and special collections.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records generated by staff and volunteers of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in the planning and administration of exhibitions, school programs, commemorative events, symposia, communications as well as a resource centre. Fonds has been arranged into the following series: Exhibition records, Newsletters, Event programming records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Fonds is arranged into three series. Arrangement leaves room for further series to be identified as a result of future processing of institutional records.

Language of material

  • Chinese
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Spanish
  • Yiddish

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    Credits note

    Funding from Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program (DHCP) supported the processing and arrangement and description of materials in the Exhibitions and Event programming records series.

    Credits note

    Funding from the IK Barber BC History Digitization Program supported the digitization and item-level descriptions of materials in the Newsletters series.

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    Rules for Archival Description



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    Dates of creation, revision and deletion

    Prepared by Sarika Kelm in 2017. Revised in 2018 and 2019 by Shyla Seller.

    Language of description

    • English

    Script of description


      Accession area