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Wednesday, November 20 • 2:00pm - 2:25pm
Digitisation of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum archives

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The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives are the largest and most complete record of the Khmer Rouge actions against the citizens of Cambodia during the reign of Pol Pot. This unique archival collection of materials held within the Archives of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (TSGM) are mostly paper-based with the main exceptions being the photograph and negative collections along with the microfilm reels, which are themselves a copied rendition of documents and photographs. The Archives is located in rooms where previously prisoners were held and there is evidence throughout the digitization room of its former prison state including cell numbers on walls. UNESCO and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have provided funds to digitize the Museum’s archives. KOICA writes about the Archives   The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum archives constitute the most complete existing documentary picture of the Democratic Kampuchea prison system. The prison was a fundamental part of the regime under which around 2-3 million people lost their lives. In 2009, the archives of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum were recognized as world documentary heritage of international significance and were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register. The archives of the museum contain photographs of over 5000 prisoners as well as their “confessions”—many extracted under torture—and other biographical records of prisoners, prison guards and officials. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives were inscribed into UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in July 2009. Upon conclusion of digitization, the Archives will be accessible via the World Wide Web using Greenstone , open source digital library software developed at the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and endorsed by UNESCO. The challenge for this project was to create a digitization capture and post-processing solution that was both high quality yet straightforward and uncomplicated for an inexperienced team to learn. The digitization team has been trained by experts on the most critical imaging skills in order to achieve maximum quality and production results in a very short time. Besides the digital images the most important aspect of this project is training and capacity building, Brechin and DDD decided to train the Museum staff and digitization team not only on a specific part of the digitization process but on the whole process. Even though digitization projects may seem like a high-skilled factory process (protocols, quality control, standardization, etc.) it makes sense only if the different parts of the production is understood and mastered by the technicians who work on it. The project is a collaboration between the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a Cambodian library and museum service bureau; a Canadian imaging service bureau specializing in archival cultural heritage digitization and preservation consultant; an Argentinian digital library consultant; and an Australia based metadata expert with oversight and funding provided by UNESCO and KOICA This paper and presentation will describe the digitization process at the Museum, training of the staff, collection of descriptive, technical, and administrative metadata, and the creation of a database of images and metadata with a Greenstone web portal for the digitized Archives.

avatar for Frederick Zarndt

Frederick Zarndt

Consultant, Global Connexions
Frederick Zarndt has worked with historic and contemporary newspaper, journal, magazine, book, and records digitisation since computer speeds, software, technology, storage, and costs first made it practical. Frederick has experience in every aspect of digitisation projects including... Read More →

Wednesday November 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:25pm NZDT
Rangimarie 1 - Breakout Room Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand