About Human Rights Studies Online

Learning about human rights violations is often a complex and labor-intensive process; it is difficult for students and scholars to find documentation that represents multiple perspectives and addresses the full scope of the events. Human Rights Studies Online is a research and learning database providing in one place comprehensive, comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide. The collection is growing to include 75,000 pages of text and 150 hours of video that give voice to the countless victims of human rights crimes in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

The collection provides primary and secondary materials across multiple media formats and content types for each selected event, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than 30 additional subjects. Resources for each topic guide users through the full scope of the event, from the historical context that made such violations possible through the international response, prosecution of perpetrators, and steps toward rebuilding.

Resources to support the study of the events will include upon completion:

  • Contemporary personal accounts and artifacts such as a sample of diaries, letters, individual papers, and personal items—identity cards, ration cards, government records such as arrest warrants and documentation of confiscation of property and forcible detention—that allow students to understand the impact of policies on individuals.
  • Contemporaneous television footage, photographs, and NGO press releases that show how events were portrayed in the media as they took place, as well as the efforts of NGOs to raise public awareness of these atrocity crimes.
  • Government, NGO, and court documentation, including memos, reports, court transcripts, and testimonies from victims and witnesses, many of which have never before been available digitally.
  • Documentaries, interviews, monographs, essays, and articles that help contextualize the primary sources and clarify the breadth of the events.
  • Selected works of arts and literature that memorialize those affected by the crimes and capture efforts at reconciliation.
  • Reference material such as maps, bibliographies, chronologies, and newly commissioned essays that provide key overviews and analyses of events.
  • Links to third-party web content, including resources local and contemporaneous to the events.

The project is curated with assistance from an advisory board of respected scholars in the field. Content is provided by preeminent historical archives as well as video partners including Witness.org—an organization with more than 20 years of experience using video as an advocacy tool for addressing human rights violations and fostering change. Other respected content partners include Journeyman Pictures, Chip Taylor Communications, NARA Archives, Basic Books, and the Harvard University Press.

These materials work together to help explore significant questions and themes such as how these violations could have been prevented, what common patterns are associated with these crimes, and what impact can be made by government intervention.

Editorial Board

Laetitia Atlani-Duault (IRD; Hunter College/CUNY)

Olivier Bercault (University of San Francisco)

Phillip Cantrell (Longwood University)

Catherine Filloux (Playwright)

Pamela Graham (Columbia University)

Adam Jones (University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus)

Laura McGrew (Consultant, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation)

David Scheffer (Northwestern University)

Ruti Teitel (New York Law School; London School of Economics)

Sensitivity Statement and Takedown Policy

Materials contained on the Alexander Street platform include historical content that may contain offensive language, negative stereotypes or inaccurate representations. Alexander Street does not endorse the views expressed in such materials, but believes they should be made available in context to enable scholarly comparison, analysis and research.

In making material available online, Alexander Street and our content partners act in good faith. To the best of our knowledge, content contained within these collections has been cleared for publication by the appropriate rights holders and has not been placed under any restrictions for privacy, cultural or other sensitivities. If you have found material for which you believe you hold the copyright without proper attribution, which contravenes privacy laws, or which is a breach of the protocols determining accession provision for heritage materials which reflect indigenous history, culture, language or perspective, please contact us in writing at history@alexanderstreet.com. Please include with your query:

1. Your full name

2. Your contact information

3. URL to the content in question

4. The reason for your inquiry

Upon receipt of inquiries, the following steps will be undertaken:

1. Inquirer will receive confirmation of receipt.

2. Alexander Street will contact the holding source and/or any related copyright holder to notify of the inquiry.

3. Alexander Street will make all possible efforts to resolve the takedown request quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Possible outcomes include: Access to content remains unchanged on the Alexander Street platform; Access to content is modified on the Alexander Street platform; Access to the content is removed from the Alexander Street platform.

Alexander Street strives to provide the broadest possible online access to content where permissions have been granted by the known rights holders and/or the content holding institution. Permanent access restrictions will be considered only as an exceptional response.