The Documentation Center’s collections cover the history of the Second World War and of the Jews of France in the 20th century. They are a unique archive and key resource for studying the destruction of the Jews of Europe.
Since 1945, most of the Holocaust research in France has been done in the Documentation Center’s archives. Prosecutors from France and other countries have also abundantly drawn upon them to convict those responsible for the “Final Solution”, from the Nuremberg trial to the Barbie trial.
Since the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center) was created in 1943, its outstanding collection has been steadily growing with donations and acquisitions of materials from Holocaust survivors and witnesses. The center includes an archive of over 30 million pieces, a photo library with some 280,000 images, a 50,000-volume library and many films.
Cataloguing and digitizing the collections have given the Shoah Memorial a powerful computerized research tool allowing it to accurately answer researchers’ questions and meet families’ expectations. All the databases making up the catalogue are accessible in the Shoah Memorial reading room.
The reading room is accessible to all persons who can prove they are doing research on the Holocaust. Before admittance, they must fill out a registration form, valid for one year, and show ID. Two rooms with 12 computer terminals, four microform reading-reproducing posts and 55 seats are available to researchers.
Various search tools — the computerized catalogue, the paper files and inventories —can be used to access the Shoah Contemporary/Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center (CDJC) collections.
No document may be taken out of the reading room. The method of consultation depends on the form it is in (microfilm, digital materials or originals).
On Thursday nights, Sundays, holidays and Jewish holidays, only materials reserved in advance are accessible.
Photographs are digitized, so no originals are accessible without special permission. In that case, researchers are kindly requested to wear protective gloves and to keep the photographs in their sleeves.
The inventories and search tools of archives and libraries with complementary collections, as well as many common materials, are freely accessible.
Before coming, researchers can contact staff to orient their search:
By post: Shoah Documentation/Documentation Center, 17 rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 75004 Paris
By fax: 01 53 01 17 44
Reproduction of materials:
See the photo library’s 2016 rates.
An abridged version of the catalogue, without the personal data of the persons mentioned, is available on this website.