FAQ topics:


Recognize anyone?


My Portfolio






Q.        What does “Recognize anyone?” mean?  Who would use it and why?


Answer: People who donate photographs to our archives do not always know the identity of persons, dates and/or locations in the photographs.  This function of the database permits our database users to let us know if they recognize persons or places in the photographs.  If a user recognizes a person or place not already identified in the text section of the item record, we would love to know that identity.  This is a way for the information to be conveyed to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Archives.






Q.        In what format can I get image copies?


Answer: The use of copies of the jpeg photographs that appear on the website is free for educational and one-time academic use.  There is no need to request permission, and no fees are charged for educational and one-time academic use of downloads.  Users need simply credit the source of the photographs:  “Courtesy of Simon Wiesenthal Center Library and Archives, Los Angeles, California.”


High resolution photographs may be ordered through the My Portfolio section.  There are no user fees.  The only charge to the user is costs incurred such as processing and shipping and handling.  Please refer to our fee chart.






Q.        What is My portfolio?


Answer: My Portfolio is a location where the user can warehouse items of interest for further study.  It is personal to each user, and can only be accessed by that user.  It also serves as a gateway to the order function.  A user must register in My Portfolio as a pre-requisite for ordering high-resolution photographs from the Simon Wiesenthal Center Digital Archives.  A user’s portfolio will hold chosen items for a period of sixty (60) days.






Q.        How do I order copies of photographs?


Answer: Using the My Portfolio section, you can contact the Simon Wiesenthal Center to order copies of high-resolution photographs.  The use of copies of the jpeg photographs that appear on the website is free for educational and one-time academic use.  There is no need to request permission, and no fees are charged for educational and one-time academic use of downloads.






Q.        Do I need to use the “categories” and “date” searching boxes?


            Answer: No.  These searching methods are always optional.  If you do not care to limit

your searching by their use, simply ignore them.  But you always need to enter a

keyword, unless you start a search through the collections route.


Q.        When searching by date, why are some items excluded from the search?


            Answer. Not all items in our collections have been associated with specific dates.  Only

those items with specific date identification will be retrieved using a date range search.


Q.        If I am searching for a topic from a particular geographic region, are they listed under

their current geographic names (e.g. Slovakia) or their historical name (e.g.,



Answer: Our policy is to follow Library of Congress geographic names.  Geographic

names are updated, but often the Library of Congress is years behind current geo-political

changes.  We try to maintain and up-to-date database, and we also try to include

alternative geographic names whenever possible.


Q.        I notice that each record has “subject search terms.”  What are they?


            Answer: The subject search terms are words that the Simon Wiesenthal Center database

creators use to research and index particular topics.  When viewing the text record for an

item, the user of our digital database can simply double click on any of these search terms

and be rewarded with all items in our collection that are relevant to or match that topic.  We anticipate providing our users with our subject search term list in the near future, so that the user can begin the search knowing what vocabulary we used in indexing our information.


Q.        Can I use Boolean search connectors?


            Answer: Not yet.  The use of connector words such as “and,“ “or,” and “not” to link or

limit concepts is not yet available.  We anticipate adding this technique for more

advanced searching in the near future.


Q.        Does the database allow the use of truncation for searching plurals and other word roots?


            Answer: Yes.  Truncation through the use of a symbol (in this case an asterisk “*”) is

available to search alternative roots of words.  For example, if you wanted to research the

word Nazi, you can simply type in “Nazi*” as a keyword, and your search will retrieve

every text record that uses any of the following words: Nazi, Nazis, or Nazism.  Another

example is the keyword “Crea*”.  Typing that text will retrieve records that include any of the words that match Create, Creates, Creation, Creator, Creators, Creativity, etc.


Q.        What if I know the Collection number and want to search or view that collection?


            Answer: Our collections are denoted by seven numbers.  The first four numbers are the

            year that the donation was received, and the following digits, after the hyphen, is a

            sequential number.  If you want to view more of a particular collection, but cannot go

            directly to that collection from the page you are on, simply note the collection number

and then type it in the keyword search box.  (The numbers in the bracket after the

collection number denote each item number in that collection.)


Q.        Why am I getting so few results when I am searching for items of major significance to

the Holocaust?


Answer: Assuming that the researcher is using keywords or subject search terms that will

target resulting records or returns, it is of note that the Simon Wiesenthal Center Digital

Archives is a work-in-progress.  In our early stages, we have only a limited number of

collections available for research.