Guantanamo Records to be Preserved at NYU and Seton Hall

Guantanamo Records to be Preserved at NYU and Seton Hall

New York University’s Tamiment Library and Seton Hall University’s Center for Policy and Research have announced a project to document, preserve, and provide access to legal records and other documents of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. The materials 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 project will be led by Michael Nash, director of the Tamiment Library and codirector of NYU’s Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center, and Seton Hall law professors Mark Denbeaux and Jonathan Hafetz, editors of The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law, to be published by NYU Press this October.

Nash told American Libraries that Denbeaux and Hafetz proposed that the library, which is devoted to the history of radical politics and labor, maintain an archive of the more than one hundred oral histories they obtained from attorneys who represented the detainees, as well as related materials. He added that the project, which he said is intended to document “both the legal issues and the human aspects” of the global detention system established by the Bush administration, will obtain oral histories of the detainees once they are released.

At this point, said Nash, the project is in the process of contacting the 200 different law firms involved in representing the detainees. He hopes to have the materials (other than those subject to lawyer-client confidentiality) available to the public beginning this fall. Plans also include remote online access to the oral histories and other digitized materials.

Gordon Flagg, American Libraries Online
Posted on May 6, 2009.