SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources  · 157
University of Texas at Austin
About the HRDI
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Project Contacts
Christian Kelleher
HRDI Project Manager
Archivist, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection
Sid Richardson Hall 1.103 | UT Austin
T‐Kay Sangwand
Human Rights Archivist
University of Texas Libraries
Sid Richardson Hall 1.104 | UT Austin
Project Team
Anderson, Summer Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2011)
Barnett, Doug Chief Communications and Grant Officer
Choate, Aaron Head of Technology Integration Service
Cooper, Mark - Graduate Research Assistant (2010-2011)
Fishman, Jessica Resident Librarian (2009)
Hamilton, Amy Undergraduate Research Assistant (2008-2009)
Hanson, Ladd Head of Library Systems
Heath, Fred Vice-Provost & Director of the Libraries
Joiner, Emily Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2010)
Kelleher, Christian Archivist, Benson Latin American Collection
Lamphear, Anna Resident Librarian (2009)
Lee, Jennifer Head of Preservation
Mutegwaraba, Henriette Fellow, San Antonio College (2009)
Redding, Michael Graduate Research Assistant (2011)
Rejack, Nicholas Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2010)
Rushing, Amy Metadata Librarian
Sangwand, T-Kay Human Rights Archivist
Through service to international human rights scholars, activists, and students, the University of Texas Libraries (UTL) identified a need to preserve and make
accessible the historical record of genocide and human rights violations. In order to address this need, UTL established the Human Rights Documentation Initiative
(HRDI) at the University of Texas at Austin with a generous grant from the Bridgeway Foundation in 2008. Working with activists, scholars, and organizations to
identify electronic and analog resources that are particularly vulnerable to loss, the HRDI aims to preserve the most fragile records of human rights struggles
worldwide, promote the security and use of human rights archival materials, and further human rights research and advocacy around the world. Additionally, the
Human Rights Documentation Initiative has partnered with the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice to identify key strategic issues
for the Initiative as well as provide relevant programming to the UT community and beyond.
The Human Rights Documentation Initiative is international in scope, with projects ranging from Kigali, Rwanda to the Burma border. In keeping with the
University of Texas’ long-standing commitment to Latin American Studies, the HRDI is especially interested in developing and collaborating on new projects with
human rights actors in Latin America. We welcome your suggestions and proposals for human rights documentation projects worldwide. For more information, visit
our Work with Us page.
Current Projects
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Free Burma Rangers—Southeast Asia
In 2009, University of Texas Libraries began collaborating with Free Burma Rangers (FBR), a non-profit organization based in Southeast Asia that provides
humanitarian aid to internally displaced Burmese refugees and documents human rights violations that have occurred under the military dictatorship in
Burma/Myanmar. Since 1997, FBR has amassed over 900 hours of digital video documentation, 1,000 gigabytes of digital photographs, and hundreds of printed
reports and photographs. In the future, FBR hopes to use its collected documentary evidence in the pursuit of justice on behalf of Burmese victims of human rights
violations. As with the Kigali Memorial Centre project, FBR retains complete ownership over its materials, while UTL produces and preserves digital copies of the
materials and provides the technical and descriptive infrastructure for their long-term preservation and access. The project will increase FBR’s local information
management and distribution abilities as well as contribute to future human rights scholarship and advocacy efforts.
Kigali Memorial Centre—Kigali, Rwanda
The University of Texas Libraries initiated its special human rights documentation efforts through a partnership with the Kigali Genocide Memorial (KGM). KGM,
established by the U.K.-based Aegis Trust in cooperation with the Kigali City Council, documents and memorializes the victims of the Rwandan genocide. KGM has
created a corpus of hundreds of unique digital video recordings of genocide survivor testimonies and local court prosecutions of accused perpetrators. Our
partnership allows KGM to retain ownership of all materials, while UTL makes secure digital copies of these recordings and provides the descriptive and technical
infrastructure that will not only protect the material against loss, but also support the ongoing educational and outreach programs of KGM. UTL also provides
training to the KGM staff, which ultimately boosts the sustainability of the Centre’s programming, documentation, and preservation efforts. The KGM materials are
extremely important not only for their historical information, but also for their relevance to current conflicts in neighboring areas such as Darfur and the
Democratic Republic of Congo. Through a partnership with the HRDI, KGM materials are now available through the Genocide Archive of Rwanda, along with
genocide documentation materials from other repositories in Rwanda.
Texas After Violence Project—Austin, Texas, United States
In 2009, the HRDI partnered with the Texas After Violence Project (TAVP), an Austin-based non-profit organization that conducts video oral history interviews with
people who have been directly affected by the death penalty, incarceration, and the criminal justice system in Texas. By collecting and sharing these personal
stories, TAVP aims to promote dialog on effective ways to respond to and prevent violence. The HRDI is working with TAVP to ensure the long-term preservation
and access of its digital video testimonies, transcripts and organizational records.
About the HRDI
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