Saddam’s Regime in Hoover Institution Archive

Hoover Institution photo from Baath Party officesThe Hoover Institution’s collection on the Baath Party, which arrived at Stanford in 2008, includes nearly 11 million digitized pages and 108 video files.  Hoover holdings on Iraq comprise 15 collections, of which the Baath Party collection is the largest.  Standford University News claims that “it may be the largest publicly accessible archive of documents collected from an authoritarian regime.”

The documents at Standford have given researchers and historians an unprecedented view of the inside workings of an authoritarian regime – and how the Baath Party became a bloated bureaucracy, fed by an unending atmosphere of war.  Scholars and journalists alike have used the documents in divergent and ways to shed some insights on the former regime…

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Contrast this reading with a 2008 New York Times article that highlights the political importance of controlling former regime archives.  In the New York Times piece, some Iraqi officials and members of the Society of American Archivists along with the Association of Canadian Archivists, deplored the ostensible rescue of these millions of Iraqi papers.

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