Pioneering oral historian Laurel Fox Vlock honored on Sun., March 3

  • woman with short brown hair pearl earrings red sweater and gold necklace
  • Woman in white dress with grey stripes looks at camera; next to her is seated man with dark jacket and hands folded
  • Woman with short brown hair looks at camera, in backgroud are 1970s-style television cameras.
March 1, 2024

On Sun., March 3, at 2 p.m., the second annual Judith Ann Schiff’s Women’s History Program will honor Laurel Fox Vlock. Vlock—the child of immigrants and an award-winning television journalist—was cofounder of the the Holocaust Survivors Film Project (HSFP). This project laid the groundwork for the library’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies.

In 1979, Vlock cofounded the New Haven–based HSFP, the world’s first effort to record Holocaust testimonies on a sustained basis. By 1981, Vlock and the HSFP had built a collection of 183 recorded testimonies by residents of Connecticut and other states.

The collection came to Sterling Library that year, forming the foundation for the library’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. The Fortunoff Video Archive now contains more than 4,300 “life stories” of witnesses to the Holocaust. Vlock’s work continues to inspire others to create testimony projects documenting genocide.

Sunday’s event is hosted by the New Haven Museum and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven. Stephen Naron, director of the Fortunoff Video Archive, edited the program and created a video homage to Vlock with precorded remarks that will be screened at the event.

Register for the free March 3 event.

Read more about about Vlock and her work in the New Haven Register.

Watch a video about Vlock produced by Yale Library IT.

View photos of the signing of the deed of gift to Sterling Library in 1987.

—Deborah Cannarella

Images: portrait of Laurel Fox Vlock; Vlock interviewing Prof. Elie Wiesel in his suite at the King David Hotel during the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in June 1981; still of Vlock from video produced by Yale Library IT