Preservation and Access through Microfilming of Khmer Rouge Documents and Archives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for Research and Tribunal
In early 1998, Mr. Richie was approached by Professor Ben Kiernan, Director of the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University's MacMillian Center for International and Global Studies to collaborate on an urgent project to preserve and copy the 100,000 page records of the Khmer Rouge state police archives (or Santebal). These records had been discovered in the Ministry of the Interior of the Royal Cambodia Government in 1996 and were held by the Documentation Center of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh. Concerned that the ex-Khmer Rouge cadres might try to destroy this evidence, and worried about the brittle condition of the original documents, project planners from the Yale University Library, the Cambodian Genocide Program and the Documentation Center of Cambodia searched for alternative preservation solutions to digitizing the documents utilizing an undependable power supply, and outdated scanners and computers held at the Center. Mr. Richie's presentation will discuss the planning, organization and choices made to microfilm the Santebal and other Khmer Rouge genocide archives at the Documentation Center of Cambodia in Phnom Penh over several years, with the project led by Yale University Library, but in close cooperation and financial assistance from the Center for Research Libraries and Cornell University.