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The Visual History Archive (VHA) is an online research resource that must be used on Rutgers campus on a computer connected to the Rutgers University campus network. Use of the Archive requires a one-time registration, which allows users to save searches and projects. Testimonies are streamed through the VHA interface from a Rutgers cache server. If a testimony you need is not currently available on the cache server, it can be requested and will be uploaded within 48 hours; users will then be notified by e-mail when the testimony is available.

The Archive can only be accessed:

  • On campus within the Rutgers University campus network
  • Users who would like to access the archive from OFFSITE must be connected via a VPN to the Rutgers Network.  VPN access can be obtained through the Office of Information Technology VPN or through local departmental VPNs (in some cases).
  • Using Internet Explorer (version 6 or later) with the Windows operating system (XP/Vista) and Windows Media Player. Macintosh users must be running OS X version 10.4 or higher and have Quicktime 7 or newer installed as well as the Flip4Mac WMV Components for Quicktime.  They must also have Safari 3 or higher. For more information, please see Technical Requirements.
  • Note for Firefox 23.0.1 Users 

The latest Firefox version (23.0.1) does not recognize the Windows Media Player plugin for Firefox that is needed to play videos in the VHA in Firefox.  The problem has been reported to Mozilla, but we do not know when (or even if) it will be fixed in a subsequent Firefox version release. As a result, we are recommending that only Internet Explorer be used on Windows computers to access the VHA.  We will be updating the system requirements on the login page to reflect this.

There is a manual workaround in Firefox that can be used to get Firefox to recognize the WMP plugin, but it requires changing a Firefox default configuration setting. Changing default configuration settings in Firefox is not recommended by Mozilla.  Attached below is a document with instructions to do the work around for those of you who may be interested and comfortable with it.

Getting Firefox to recognize the Windows Media Player plugin.pdf

Rutgers University students, faculty, staff, and outside researchers are authorized to use the Visual History Archive for teaching, learning and research purposes.

Users on the Rutgers University network can access the VHA through any computer meeting the below hardware and software requirements. Accessing the database is also possible by connecting to the high-speed Ethernet or wireless.

Downloading video from the VHA system is as easy as copying files, you just need to know where to find them.

Here's the procedure:

Contact Us

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    World History Librarian at Rutgers University