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Human Rights Documentation Initiative Archive

In addition to materials contributed by partners, the HRDI also preserves and provides access to archival collections donated directly to the project. These include audiovisual as well as paper materials. Some of these collections have been digitized, while others are available for consultation on site only. To schedule a visit to consult a collection on-site, please contact us.


Chammah and Young 1976 oral history on the Jewish Community in Syria

Four-part oral history recorded by University of Texas professors Albert Chammah and Oran Young in 1976, recounting their trip to Syria to investigate the economic, social, and political conditions of Jewish communities in the country. This collection was donated to the HRDI by Maurice Chammah and is accessible online.

Deborah Shaffer documentary footage of Chile, El Salvador, and Nicaragua

Unedited, raw footage, audio recordings, interviews, transcripts, correspondence, film posters, and film production notes from three of Deborah Shaffer's film productions: Witness to War: Dr. Charlie Clements, Fire from the Mountain, and Dance of Hope. The collection also contains a full-length 16mm print of Shaffer’s short documentary Nicaragua: Report from the Front. The paper materials are available for consultation on-site.

Johnny Ray Johnson correspondence with Joanna Vaughn

The collection consists of 30 letters from former Texas Death Row inmate Johnny Ray Johnson (executed February 2009) to Joanna Vaughn between 2005 to 2009. The correspondence reveals insights into Johnson’s personal experiences and his faith, as well as daily life on death row in Texas. This is a physical collection available for consultation on-site.

SB Productions Records

Raw, unedited documentary footage produced in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. SB Productions is an independent documentary film production company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Mary Ann Smothers Bruni together with Frances “Sissy” Farenthold (former Texas state legislator and human rights activist) and Elizabeth “BJ” Warnock Fernea (professor emerita of Middle Eastern Studies at University of Texas at Austin) founded SB Productions in November of 2005 as a vehicle to document the complexity of women’s issues generally in the Middle East and particularly in Iraq. Please contact us for information on accessing these materials.

Scott J. Atlas Collection of Legal Materials on the Ricardo Aldape Guerra Case

Scott J. Atlas' digitized case files and audiovisual materials related to his work with Ricardo Aldape Guerra, a Mexican national wrongfully held on Texas Death Row for fifteen years before being exonerated in 1997. Atlas collected the materials that comprise this collection through his pro bono work as a defense attorney for Aldape Guerra's capital murder trial. These materials are available for consultation on-site.