Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum archives facility to be upgraded with the support of UNESCO

In support of the preservation and conservation of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (TSGM) archives, UNESCO is working with TSGM, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), for upgrading the archive preservation facility. These works will ensure that the rich documentary heritage of the museum is maintained in the best possible conditions, following international standards in preservation and conservation, for generations to come.

UNESCO along with the MoCFA undertook an assessment of the archive facility, and noted that the tropical and humid Cambodian climate, and the conditions in which the records are held, is accelerating the degradation of the archives. The archive room is being upgraded to international standards of conservation, including with non-inflammable shelves, new boxes to protect the documents from external agents that can degrade the materials, a fire protection system, cabinets with temperature and humidity control technology, and incorporation of state-of-the-art equipment that will ensure the proper conservation of the archive documents. A multimedia facility will be also be set up in the building, for visitors, students and historians to access, and engage with the documentary heritage of the Museum.

This work is part of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archives Preservation and Digitization Project, implemented by UNESCO, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and with the generous financial support of KOICA. The project seeks to promote peace and intercultural dialogue, facilitate reconciliation efforts, and expand educational outreach, including through the preservation and digitization of the TSGM archives. As part of the project, nearly half a million S-21 documents have been digitized such as biographies, photographs, negative films, Khmer Rouge Revolutionary Flag Magazines, Khmer Rouge’s notebooks, and confessions. Mr. Hang Nisay, Director of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, noted that the works “will help a wider public to access the rich documentary heritage. Not many people are aware of the thousands of documents left in former S-21 compound after the liberation. They are well-preserved until today, and now everyone will be able to access them”.