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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

About the HRDI

About the HRDI

Through service to international human rights scholars, activists, and students, the University of Texas Libraries (UTL) identified a need to preserve and make accessible the historical record of genocide and human rights violations. In order to address this need, UTL established the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) at the University of Texas at Austin with a generous grant from the Bridgeway Foundation in 2008. Working with activists, scholars, and organizations to identify electronic and analog resources that are particularly vulnerable to loss, the HRDI aims to preserve the most fragile records of human rights struggles worldwide, promote the security and use of human rights archival materials, and further human rights research and advocacy around the world. Additionally, the Human Rights Documentation Initiative has partnered with the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice to identify key strategic issues for the Initiative as well as provide relevant programming to the UT community and beyond.

The Human Rights Documentation Initiative is international in scope, with projects ranging from Kigali, Rwanda to the Burma border. In keeping with the University of Texas’ long-standing commitment to Latin American Studies, the HRDI is especially interested in developing and collaborating on new projects with human rights actors in Latin America. We welcome your suggestions and proposals for human rights documentation projects worldwide.

Current Projects

Project Contacts

Theresa Polk
Post-Custodial Archivist
University of Texas Libraries
Sid Richardson Hall 1.206C | UT Austin


Project Team 

  • Anderson, Summer – Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2011)
  • Barnett, Doug – Chief Communications and Grant Officer
  • Choate, Aaron – Head of Technology Integration Service
  • Cooper, Mark – Graduate Research Assistant (2010-2011)
  • Fishman, Jessica – Resident Librarian (2009)
  • Hamilton, Amy – Undergraduate Research Assistant (2008-2009)
  • Hanson, Ladd – Head of Library Systems
  • Heath, Fred – Vice-Provost & Director of the Libraries
  • Joiner, Emily – Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2010)
  • Kelleher, Christian – Archivist, Benson Latin American Collection
  • Lamphear, Anna – Resident Librarian (2009)
  • Lee, Jennifer – Head of Preservation
  • Mutegwaraba, Henriette – Fellow, San Antonio College (2009)
  • Redding, Michael – Graduate Research Assistant (2011)
  • Rejack, Nicholas – Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2010)
  • Rushing, Amy – Metadata Librarian
  • Sangwand, T-Kay – Human Rights Archivist
  • Tenney, Martha – Graduate Research Assistant (2010-2011)
  • Wood, Kevin – Senior Systems Analyst

About the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center

The Rapoport Center is situated within the University of Texas Law School and "serves as a focal point for critical, interdisciplinary analysis and practice of human rights both locally and globally." Its mission is "to build a multidisciplinary community engaged in the study and practice of human rights that promotes the economic and political enfranchisement of marginalized individuals and groups both locally and globally."

About the Bridgeway Foundation

The Bridgeway Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of Bridgeway Capital Management, Inc. Through their grants, the Bridgeway Foundation commits resources to a broad spectrum of humanitarian organizations and projects. Bridgeway defines its core issues as the elimination of genocide and promotion of peace, reconciliation and human rights. It also focuses more broadly on early and higher education, international human aid and relief, the Houston community, and other grassroots efforts.



  • Anderson, Jade – Information Architect
  • Engle, Karen – Cecil D. Redford Professor in Law and Director of the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice 
  • Grostic, Erik – Senior Systems Analyst 
  • Harlow, Barbara - Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English Literatures and Interim Director of the Rapoport
  • Center (2009)
  • Hunter, David – Music Librarian 
  • Kemp, Meg – Graduate Research Assistant 
  • Kerr, Tim – Information Analyst 
  • Kraft, Susanne – Technical Staff, Department of Radio-Television-Film 
  • Lisle, Robert – Information Analyst 
  • McFarland, Mark – Associate Director for Digital Initiatives (2008-2012) 
  • Villalobos, Matthew – Web Designer 
  • Williams, Steve – Webmaster, Developer

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