Digital Preservation of at-risk records at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Cambodia


UNESCO selected DDD to digitize and preserve the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum archives of Cambodia to recognize its historical importance and increase awareness about the Cambodian genocide. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a Cambodian high-school-turned-prison by the Khmer Rouge in 1975, has a collection of over 400,000 documents. The archive contains photographs of over 6,000 prisoners, as well as elaborate handwritten “confessions” to real and imagined offenses, many extracted under torture, and other biographical records of prisoners and prison guards. 

Together, DDD and UNESCO undertook an extensive project to preserve the collection, assessing and improving conditions for optimal digitization. DDD associates digitized and indexed the collection, creating a database in English and Khmer. 

Additionally, DDD trained the Tuol Sleng museum staff in preservation, digitization, and indexing techniques to continue preserving the collection as needed. Currently, DDD associates are building the website to host and disseminate the educational resources to thousands of online visitors.