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Human Rights Documentation Initiative

The UT Libraries' Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) is committed to the long-term preservation of fragile and vulnerable records of human rights struggles worldwide, the promotion and secure usage of human rights archival materials, and the adv

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Coverage: Africa, United States and Canada

The Transcription Centre began its brief but significant life in February 1962 under the direction of Dennis Duerden (1927-2006), producing and distributing radio programs for and about Africa. The organization was created with funding provided initially by the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) to foster non-totalitarian cultural values in sub-Saharan Africa in implicit opposition to Soviet-encouraged committed political attitudes among African writers and artists. The records of the Transcription Centre comprise scripts and manuscripts, correspondence, legal documents, business records, ephemera, photographs, and clippings. Particularly noteworthy is a large file of scripts and script fragments arranged topically as a broadcast and publishing resource, including material not represented elsewhere in the papers. Making up about a quarter of the papers, the correspondence series contains significant evidence of the Transcription Centre's efforts on behalf of African art, writing, and scholarship through broadcasting, conferences, and cultural festivals. The correspondence files include artists (Jimo Akolo, Julian Bienart) and writers (Chinua Achebe, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Rajat Neogy, David Rubadiri), as well as academics and other scholars (Ulli Beier, Sillaty K. Dabo, Gerhard Kubik, Margaret Laurence, Ivan van Sertima). The extensive body of correspondence with Wole Soyinka is especially noteworthy.

Topic:  Civil Liberties and Censorship, Civil Rights, Segregation, and Apartheid, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Language: English, French, German, Hausa, Italian, Swahili

Date: 1979-1983, (bulk: 1960-1977)

Contributing Library: Harry Ransom Center
Coverage: Latin America

Nine members of the military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1982 were put on trial by the Buenos Aires Federal Court of Criminal Appeals, a civilian court, and were charged with crimes including homicide, torture, illegal detention, and robbery. The collection consists of photocopies of case transcripts of testimonies by 828 witnesses at the 1985 trial of these military commanders. The 7630 sheets of testimonies, chiefly by released prisoners like Jacobo Timmerman, document instances of kidnapping, illegal detention in clandestine centers, systematic torture, coerced collaboration, and death under torture. Transcripts are arranged chronologically and a list of witnesses is included.

Topic: Civil Liberties and Censorship, War Crimes
Language: Spanish

Date: 1985

Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection

Coverage: Latin America, United States and Canada

Charles Edmund Horman, a Harvard educated American freelance journalist, was abducted, tortured, and executed in Chile during General Augusto Pinochet's coup d'état that began on September 11, 1973 to overthrow the government of Salvador Allende. The Hormans sued Henry Kissinger and Nixon Administration officials over Charles Horman's wrongful death and its concealment. The collection contains materials written and collected by Joyce Horman and Edmund Horman, wife and father of Charles Horman, that document events resulting from Charles Horman's death.

Topic: Civil Liberties and Censorship, War Crimes
Language: English, Spanish

Date: 1973-present

Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection
Coverage: Latin America

Audio recordings and scripts of the news report and interview segments of the "Latin American Press Review" (1973-1974) and "Latin American Review" (1976-1984) radio programs from the Longhorn Radio Network and the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Topic: Civil Liberties and Censorship, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Language: English, Spanish

Date: 1973-1984

Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection
Coverage: Latin America, United States and Canada

Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean diplomat and opponent of the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, was assassinated by a car bomb in Washington, D.C. on September 21, 1976, together with Mrs. Ronni Moffitt. An investigation conducted by an international commission established by bilateral treaty concluded that Chilean secret police were responsible for the assassination and determined the settlement. The bulk of these materials consist of four bound volumes of briefs filed by the governments of the United States and the Republic of Chile before the international commission.

Topic: Civil Liberties and Censorship
Language: English

Date: 1980-1991

Contributing Library: Tarlton Law Library
Coverage: Europe and Russia, United States and Canada

The papers of Maurice Cranston (1920-1993) span his professional career as an author, free-lance reviewer, and professor of political philosophy. In 1967 Cranston published the influential essay "Human Rights, Real and Supposed." His papers include the page proofs for What are Human Rights? (The Bodley Head Ltd., 1973), as well as subject files related to human rights.

Topic: Civil Liberties and Censorship, Civil Rights, Segregation, and Apartheid, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Language: English, French, Italian

Date: 1943-1997

Contributing Library: Harry Ransom Center
Coverage: United States and Canada

The Texas After Violence Project (TAVP) is an independent, Austin-based, nonprofit organization. TAVP’s oral history archive documents the effects of murder and capital punishment in Texas and aims to serve as a resource for public dialogue on alternative ways to prevent and respond to violence. The TAVP collection includes video testimonies and transcripts from survivors of violence; religious actors; law enforcement officials; legal actors; media witnesses; and activists and scholars.

Topic: Civil Rights, Segregation, and Apartheid, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Gender and Sexuality, Prisoner Rights
Language: English

Date: 2008-present

Contributing Library: Human Rights Documentation Initiative
Coverage: United States and Canada
Nathan "Babe" Leopold (1904–1971) and Dickie Loeb (1905–1936) were convicted of murder in 1924. There are photographs, many unpublished, of these and other notorious homosexual murderers and victims in the photograph morgue of the New York Journal American. The correspondence between Leopold and Erle Stanley Gardner (1889–1970) in Gardner's "Court of Last Resort" archive provides more insight into the Leopold-Loeb case. Additional unpublished photographs of Leopold are scattered among the correspondence there, along with intriguing third-party correspondence, including a lengthy letter from one of Leopold's fellow prisoners that confirms the continuing homosexual practices and attitudes of both Leopold and Loeb after their imprisonment. There is no finding aid available for these materials.
Topic: Gender and Sexuality
Language: English
Date:
contact the Harry Ransom Center for more information
Contributing Library: Harry Ransom Center

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Coverage: Africa, United States and Canada

The Transcription Centre began its brief but significant life in February 1962 under the direction of Dennis Duerden (1927-2006), producing and distributing radio programs for and about Africa. The organization was created with funding provided initially by the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) to foster non-totalitarian cultural values in sub-Saharan Africa in implicit opposition to Soviet-encouraged committed political attitudes among African writers and artists. The records of the Transcription Centre comprise scripts and manuscripts, correspondence, legal documents, business records, ephemera, photographs, and clippings. Particularly noteworthy is a large file of scripts and script fragments arranged topically as a broadcast and publishing resource, including material not represented elsewhere in the papers. Making up about a quarter of the papers, the correspondence series contains significant evidence of the Transcription Centre's efforts on behalf of African art, writing, and scholarship through broadcasting, conferences, and cultural festivals. The correspondence files include artists (Jimo Akolo, Julian Bienart) and writers (Chinua Achebe, Ezekiel Mphahlele, Rajat Neogy, David Rubadiri), as well as academics and other scholars (Ulli Beier, Sillaty K. Dabo, Gerhard Kubik, Margaret Laurence, Ivan van Sertima). The extensive body of correspondence with Wole Soyinka is especially noteworthy.

Topic:  Civil Liberties and Censorship, Civil Rights, Segregation, and Apartheid, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Language: English, French, German, Hausa, Italian, Swahili

Date: 1979-1983, (bulk: 1960-1977)

Contributing Library: Harry Ransom Center

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Coverage: Latin America, United States and Canada

The Texas Farm Workers Union (TFWU) was established in August 1975 under the leadership of Antonio Orendain. Wanting a union that was accountable to them, a core of Rio Grande Valley farmworkers supported the foundation of the TFWU. Despite the financial problems it faced, the TFWU was able to focus the media spotlight on the plight of farmworkers. They campaigned for the establishment of a Texas Agricultural Board and the right of farmworkers to vote on union representation, but legislation died in subcommittee. In 1977 union members started a 420-mile march from San Juan to Austin. To gain more public support for their cause, Orendain led forty union members on a historical 1,600-mile march from Austin to Washington, DC. However, unable to maintain firm financial backing, the union continued to have a sporadic existence until its demise in the mid-1980s. In addition to the correspondence of TFWU labor organizer Orendain, the collection includes promotional materials such as the newspaper El Cuhamil, a half-hour film titled Los Trabajadores Agricolas de Tejas and several phonodiscs of songs for TFWU written by Esteban Jordan. Other items found in this collection are posters, buttons, bumper stickers, and banners.

Topic: Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Language: English

Date: 1977-1980

Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection

Search by Language

Coverage: Asia

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the Burma areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. The Free Burma Rangers Collection features documentary and advocacy videos produced from FBR's humanitarian mission footage. Videos are in regional Burmese languages with English subtitles and translations.

Topic: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide
Language: Burmese, English

Date: 2003-2007

Contributing Library: Human Rights Documentation Initiative

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