Stanford University: “Ba’ath Party Archives at the Hoover Institution Reveal Brutality of Saddam Hussein’s Authoritarian Regime”
From Stanford University:
This treasure trove of insights into recent Iraqi history includes more than 10 million digitized page images and 1,500 video files collected from Iraq’s Ba’ath headquarters and other sources. Housed in the Hoover’s Library & Archives, the files shed light on how Iraq was governed and the totalitarian nature of Hussein’s rule. The Iraq Memory Foundation collected the documents, with Hoover receiving the first batch in 2008.
Since 2010, 170 researchers have accessed the documents. In March, representatives from the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center – comprising special agents from the FBI, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security – visited the collection while on campus.
The materials are divided into two collections. The larger collection consists of documents created by the Ba’ath Party and other administrative and security agencies – Hiẓb al-Ba’th al-’Arabī al-Ishtirākī Records, 1968–2003. A smaller set of video files and printed matter was created by other parties after the fall of the Ba’ath Party – Muʼassasat al-dhākirah al-ʼIrāqīyah Records, 2003–2010.The Hoover Institution’s Library & Archives boasts nearly 1 million volumes and more than 6,000 archival collections pertaining to war, revolution and peace. One of them is the Ba’ath Party Archives, with more than 10 million digitized page images and 1,500 video files collected from Iraq’s Ba’ath headquarters and other sources. (Image credit: Tim Griffith)
Eric Wakin, the Robert H. Malott Director of the Library & Archives, said, “The collection provides unique access to the inner workings of a brutal authoritarian regime; researchers gain insight to both elite and foot soldier thinking and practice and can see how detailed the surveillance and coercive measures of Saddam’s state were.”
Researchers must sign an agreement before being granted access to the records because the collection contains information that could be used to identify people. The records may be viewed on computer workstations in the Hoover Archives reading room, with some printed matter available as hard copies.
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.