Ver esta página en español

About the HRDI

The Human Rights Documentation Initiative is a collaborative post-custodial archival project aimed at preserving and promoting the use of fragile human rights records from around the world, in order to support human rights advocates working for the defense of vulnerable communities and individuals. The HRDI was established at the University of Texas Libraries with a generous grant from the Bridgeway Foundation in 2008. 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 HRDI is broad in scope, with collections from Rwanda, Burma, Europe, Central America, and the United States. The HRDI preserves and provides access to paper-based collections, as well as digitized and born-digital audiovisual collections. Recognizing the importance of online human rights advocacy and the fragility of web content, the HRDI also maintains an archive of websites related to human rights issues, which is updated quarterly.

In addition to the HRDI collections available on this site, the University of Texas is home to a number of human rights collections and resources available to researchers and the public. Latin American Digital Initiatives, a repository similar to the HRDI and focused on Latin America, launched in 2014 and holds several human rights-related collections. For a more complete list of human rights materials and resources at the University of Texas, please consult this LibGuide.


A number of the collections found on this site have been preserved and made available through post-custodial archival collaborations between the HRDI and partner organizations and repositories. Post-custodialism is a collaborative, non-extractive, mutualistic approach to providing access to archival collections within their original contexts of creation. Through these collaborations, the HRDI aims to support the development of partners' archival capacity, particularly in the areas of digitization, preservation, arrangement, description, and access.

This repository

This version of the HRDI site launched in fall 2021 and is built with the Django web framework. The object browse and display pages are built using Blacklight, IIIF, and Islandora 7. The HRDI web archive is managed using the Internet Archive’s Archive-It service, and this site's Web archive page uses the Archive-It API.

The previous HRDI website launched in 2008 and was built using Drupal. HRDI audiovisual collections were previously published using Glifos, a wiki-powered AV platform providing transcription and other extended functionality. That site was retired in 2020, when Adobe Flash was discontinued. An archived copy of the previous site and the retired HRDI blog are each available via the Wayback Machine.


Abdirahman, Haian – ARL/SAA Mosaic Fellow (2016-2017)

Adair, Ashley – Head of Preservation and Digital Stewardship

Anderson, Summer – Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2011)

Barnett, Doug – Chief Communications and Grant Officer

Bennett, J.J. – Senior Software Developer/Analyst

Bliss, David – Systems and Digital Archivist

Bratcher, Brittany – Digital Archives Volunteer (2020)

Choate, Aaron – Head of Technology Integration Services

Cornell, Brandon – Lead Software Developer/Analyst

Cooper, Mark – Graduate Research Assistant (2010-2011)

Darnall, Kathryn – Graduate Research Assistant (2014-2015)

Diaz, Jade – Lead Agile Scrum Master

Fishman, Jessica – Resident Librarian (2009)

Grostic, Eric –Senior Systems Analyst

Hamilton, Amy – Undergraduate Research Assistant (2008-2009)

Hanke, Mirko – Digital Asset Management System Coordinator

Hanson, Ladd – Head of Library Systems

Heath, Fred – Vice-Provost & Director of the Libraries

Hutchins, Vanessa – Digital Archives Volunteer (2020)

Jackson, Joanna – Senior Software Developer/Analyst

Jacobs, Daniel – Captioning Service Manager

Joiner, Emily – Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2010)

Kelleher, Christian – Archivist, Benson Latin American Collection

Lamphear, Anna – Resident Librarian (2009)

Lee, Jennifer – Head of Preservation

Lisle, Matt – Instructional Technology Specialist

Murphy, Devon – Metadata Librarian

Mutegwaraba, Henriette – Fellow, San Antonio College (2009)

Peattie, Elizabeth – Graduate Research Assistant (2019-2020)

Polk, Theresa – Head of Digital Initiatives

Radcliff, Bethany – Digital Archives Volunteer (2020)

Rangel, Minnie – Senior Software Developer/Analyst

Redding, Michael – Graduate Research Assistant (2011)

Rejack, Nicholas – Graduate Research Assistant (2009-2010)

Roig Blay, Karla – Graduate Research Assistant (2020-2021)

Ronn, Dave – Software Developer/Analyst

Rushing, Amy – Metadata Librarian

Sangwand, T-Kay – Human Rights Archivist

Slater, Dustin – Assistant Director of Information Technology

Suárez, Alexandria – Digital Projects Archivist

Tenney, Martha – Graduate Research Assistant (2010-2011)

Villalobos, Matthew, Graphic Designer

Williams, Steve – Webmaster

Wood, Kevin – Senior Systems Analyst


To contact the HRDI staff, send us an email at hrdi [at]