New York University’s Tamiment Library and Seton Hall University's Center for Policy and Research are working together on a project to document, preserve, and make accessible the legal records and the human stories of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp.
The project is co-directed by Mark Denbeaux, professor of law at Seton Hall University Law School and director of the Center for Policy and Research; Jonathan Hafetz, adjunct professor of law at Seton Hall; and Michael Nash, director of the Tamiment Library and co-director of the Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center at NYU. Denbeaux and Hafetz are editors of The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law (NYU Press, October 2009), a collection of more than one hundred personal narratives from attorneys who have represented detainees held at Guantanamo. With the fate of many detainees still undecided, the project aims to collect as much primary material as possible now, before stories and documents disappear off the web.
The Guantanamo Bay Detention Center archive will include lawyers’ files, oral histories of the attorneys and detainees, Department of Defense websites, photographs and videotapes, and electronic records, as well as records relating to the rules governing enemy combatants, prisoner interrogation, and the government’s representation of battlefield capture. The collection will debut under a digital-archiving project called Web-at-Risk: Preserving Our Nation's Cultural Heritage. The program is run by the California Digital Library, part of the University of California system, under the auspices of the Library of Congress. On its Web site, the California Digital Library describes Web-at-Risk as an effort to create digital tools to "enable librarians and archivists to capture, curate, preserve, and provide access to Web-based government and political information."