Columbia University Libraries Acquires The Physicians for Human Rights Archives

The Physicians for Human Rights mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice while promoting the right to health for all. PHR’s mission has been to harness the specialized skills, rigor, and passion of doctors, nurses, public health specialists, and scientists in order to investigate human rights abuses and work to stop them.

"Physicians for Human Rights is pleased to bring our records of 25 years of documenting human rights violations through the power of medicine and science to Columbia University," said Robert Lawrence, one of PHR’s founders and Chair of the Board of Directors. "We are proud to join the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research and hope that our collection will offer a unique opportunity for researchers and advocates alike."

The materials, which cover the range of dates from 1982 until 2010, include organization and administration files, country files, and mission files. These files detail fact-finding and emergency missions and include background materials, correspondence, documents, field notes, newspaper clippings, publications, and reports. There are extensive files specifically concerning missions to the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, and Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Physicians for Human Rights joins Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, among others, in recognizing the CHRDR as an international documentation center for the global human rights movement.

The Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research (CHRDR) at Columbia University Libraries supports the community of teachers, researchers, and law and social justice advocates working in the multidisciplinary sphere of Human Rights. The Center develops global collections – primary and secondary resources, as well as archival collections and internal records from human rights organizations – and enhances the visibility and accessibility of these collections through high-profile programs, collaborative projects and library services. The CHRDR website is the central access point for its activities, archives, and research resources:

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: