Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (TSGM) launched here on Jan. 29 a website for “Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives Preservation and Digitisation Project”.
Organised by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia and the TSGM, the launching ceremony was attended by a number of honourable guests including H.E. Mrs. Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, H.E. Park Heung-kyeong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Cambodia, Mr. Rho Hyun Jun, Country Director of KOICA Cambodia Office, and Mr. Alam Sardar Umar, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Cambodia, Mr. Hang Nisay, Director of TSGM, and other national and international participants.
KOICA and UNESCO agreed to work together on the project “Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives Preservation and Digitisation” from 2015 to 2020 with the grant aid of US$1,150,000. After five years of implementation, the project has just ended by a website launching ceremony today.
According to a KOICA’s press release, the objectives of this project are 1)-to preserve and digitise the archives of the TSGM, inscribed on the international Memory of the World Register in 2009, 2)-to support the TSGM in developing into an educational and peace-building site where youth, Khmer Rouge survivors and the general public can have access to information about their historical past and carry on dialogue about peace and non-violence, and 3)-to build the capacity of the staff at the TSGM and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to manage the archives.
The archives was incorporated into a bilingual website facilitating access to rural Cambodians, youth, and international researchers, and it contributed to youth education on peace and memory. The website has been developed in close collaboration with TSGM and with the technical support and guidance provided by UNESCO experts and the Technical Committee.
The website includes the following main features: 1. The public and researchers can access the two databases that been created by the project, the one based on the detainees and the one based on the records (documents), 2. Users can contribute to improving the functionalities of the website through a feedback platform integrated in the portal, 3. The website is accessible both in Khmer and English languages, 4. The website integrates the archives portal to the TSGM website, and 5. The website includes two different interfaces: 1-User Portal: the user portal is the portal dedicated to users (general public, researchers, scholars, etc.). In other words, this is the interface that internet users will access, and 2-Admin Portal: The admin portal is the interface that has been developed for TSGM staff). Through this portal TSGM IT and Archive Staff will be able to update the content of the website and database, including text, banners, links, documents records, detainee’s records, etc. This is the feature that will enable the continuous update of the archives.
Before the project implementation, not many people are aware of the thousands of documents left in TSGM compound after the liberation. Through this project, all documents are well-preserved until today, and now everyone was able to access them.
The project promoted peace and intercultural dialogue, facilitate reconciliation efforts, and expand educational outreach, including through the preservation and digitisation of the TSGM archives. Through the project, a total of 405,782 pages have been digitised, and 745,494 pages have been preserved through the project (including photographic prints, negatives, confessions, biographies, lists, revolutionary Magazines, Khmer Rouge handbooks and other documents).
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press