Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Cambodia witness exhibit materials, 1981-1987

Summary Information


The collection includes 52 photographs and a map that were part of the Cambodia Witness Exhibit (1983). It also includes the exhibit brochure, catalog list, and a file on the exhibit from its coordinator, Joan Libby. The photographs were taken by David Hawk during two trips to Cambodia in March 1981 and April 1982. The exhibit includes images of the prison at Tuol Sleng, prisoners (from existing files), survivors, mass graves, and the destruction of temples and churches. The exhibit was curated by Joan Libby for Amnesty International (USA)

At a Glance

Call No.: HR# 0003
Bib ID 6269848 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Hawk, David R.
Title Cambodia witness exhibit materials, 1981-1987
Physical Description 1 linear foot (52 Photographs, 1 Map, and 2 Files in 3 Oversized Boxes; Text Panels in 1 Oversized Box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



The collection is divided into two series.



The bulk of the collection consists of both black & white and color photographs used in the Cambodia Witness Exhibit (1983).

The first series contains two paper files of material related to the exhibit. The first file contains the exhibit brochure and the catalog list of exhibit materials. The catalog list includes a number, title and caption for all exhibit items, except for three "optional" photographs of executed prisoners and a map of Cambodia. The second file contains documentation on the exhibit kept by its coordinator, Joan Libby. Other files on the Cambodia Witness Exhibit may be found in other record groups of the archives of Amnesty International of the USA, Inc.

The second series contains the exhibit material. The photographs are filed using the titles, numbers and original order described by the exhibit's catalog list. The three "optional" exhibit photographs and the map are filed last.

The photographs document several subjects: Tuol Sleng (Images of the interior and exterior of the prison); prisoners (Images of entry photographs and of executed prisoners taken from existing records in Cambodia); survivors (Images include surviving prisoners, Buddhist monks and nuns, and Cham, an ethnic minority); mass graves and memorials (Images of sites at Cheung Ek, Tonle Bati, Ta Mon, and Siem Reap); and destroyed religious buildings (Images are predominantly of destroyed Buddhist temples. There is one image of the site of a destroyed Catholic cathedral).

The exhibit text panels will be scanned and copies included in the collection for use and reference.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from Amnesty International of the USA, Inc.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Amnesty International of the USA, Inc.: Cambodia Witness Exhibit, Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

There is additional material related to David Hawk's work and the Cambodia Witness Exhibit in the Cambodia Documentation Commission Records, 1985-1990, held by Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University

Ownership and Custodial History

The material was originally deposited at the University of Colorado at Boulder by Amnesty International USA's National Office in the 1990s. The material was deposited with the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University in February 2006. The exhibit coordinator's file on the exhibit was donated to the library by Joan Libby in March 2007.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Catherine N. Carson June 2007.

Revision Description

2008-11-07 File created.

2009/01/16 xml document instange created by Patrick Lawlor

2009-05-15 xml document instance edited by Catherine N. Carson

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Amnesty International USA Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cambodia -- History -- 1975-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cambodia -- Politics and government -- 1975-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Extrajudicial executions -- Cambodia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hawk, David R. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Human rights -- Cambodia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Libby, Joan Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mass burials -- Cambodia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorials -- Cambodia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Party of Democratic Kampuchea Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Prisoners -- Cambodia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Prisons -- Cambodia Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tuol Sleng (Prison : Phnom Penh, Cambodia) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Amnesty International (AI), a non-governmental organization (NGO), was founded in 1961 to campaign for internationally recognized human rights. In its early years, the main focus of AI's campaigns was to free prisoners of conscience. Within a short time, its mandate expanded to include campaigning for prompt and fair trails for all political prisoners, to end extrajudicial executions and disappearances, and to abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel treatment or punishment. The organization also works to bring perpetrators of these abuses to justice in accordance with international standards.

Amnesty International of the USA, Inc. (AIUSA) is the United States section of Amnesty International. AIUSA was incorporated in 1966. The section is governed by a Board of Directors. The work of the section is carried out through the national office, regional offices, networks, country specialists (co-groups), student groups and local groups.

The photographs for the Cambodia Witness Exhibit were taken by David Hawk during two trips to Cambodia in March 1981 and April 1982. Hawk had worked on Cambodian relief and refugee issues while based in Bangkok, Thailand during 1980-1981. Hawk later became the Director of the Cambodian Documentation Commission in the mid-1980s and directed the Cambodia Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in the 1990s. He has also been involved in other human rights issues.

The Cambodia Witness Exhibit was organized and sponsored by Amnesty International USA, of which David Hawk is a former executive director (1974-1978), and was first shown in Washington D.C. in April 1983.