In Memory of Millions: The Holocaust Museum Library

By Chepesiuk, Ron | American Libraries, May 1996 | Go to article overview

In Memory of Millions: The Holocaust Museum Library

Chepesiuk, Ron, American Libraries

Since its dedication Apr. 22, 1993, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has been a cultural magnet, attracting more than five million visitors from all over the world. People come to see the moving exhibits, which tell the story of the Holocaust that annihilated millions of jews as well as other victims of Nazi atrocities, including Poles, homosexuals, the physically handicapped, and political and religious dissidents.

The U.S. Congress authorized the museum in 1980 to be a "permanent living memorial to all victims who perished in the Holocaust." Constructed with private funds, the museum is built on land donated by the federal government. Inside, visitors can find not only exhibits but also two theaters, areas for "impromptu discussions," and an interactive computer learning center.

What most visitors don't realize, however, is that the building housing the museum is dedicated to research as well as commemoration and exhibits. On the fifth floor is located the United States Holocaust Museum Research Institute, which opened in December 1993. The institute has seven departments, including a library that is helping to fulfill its mandate to serve as an international center for research in Holocaust and genocide studies.

"We provide access to printed materials not only on the Holocaust, but also on the subject of genocide, wherever it has happened," stressed Mark Ziomek, director of the library. "We want to become the world's greatest resource on those subjects."

It may seem like an overly ambitious goal for a fledgling library barely two years old, but driven by a sense of mission, the library's dedicated staff is confident they can reach their objective.

It's a great honor to work here," Holly Vorhies, the library's cataloger, explained. "I feel privileged. Making information available on the Holocaust is a very important job, because, recently, there has been an onslaught of denial that the Holocaust ever existed."

The library had been without a permanent director for 18 months until Mark Ziomek took the helm in May 1995. A 1984 graduate of the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign library school, Ziomek spent a year as an intern at the Library of Congress before going to work full-time at LC as a cataloging policy specialist in what was then the Office of Subject Cataloging Policy and is now the Cataloging Policy and Support Office. By 1994, Ziomek had reached the point in his career where he wanted to move into a management position.

"This job really suits me because my undergraduate history thesis was on the British response to the jewish refugee crisis of the 1930s," Ziomek explained. "It's giving me the chance to broaden my experience in an area I am interested in:"

Publicizing the library's mission is the most challenging part of his job, said the library director. "I inherited a young library that has barely learned how to stand on its feet. Now it needs to be promoted as much as possible so more people can start using our collection."

Ziomek supervises a staff of seven full-time employees and two weekend reference assistants and oversees a budget of $450,000, of which $100,000 goes toward the acquisition of materials. The U.S. Congress appropriates the museum's annual budget of approximately $40 million.

"Fortunately, the museum has its own congressional liaison officer, so I don't have to go to Capitol Hill and make a pitch for money," Ziomek explained. "I have enough to do without being a lobbyist."

Only Ziomek, Vorhies, and one other staff member are professional librarians, but the library plans to advertise soon for two new positions, which will be filled with graduates from ALA-accredited programs. Museum employees are classified as federal employees; their salaries paid by U.S. taxpayers.

The library also has 10 volunteers who work an average of four hours a week, including two retired librarians who help with professional duties. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

In Memory of Millions: The Holocaust Museum Library


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.