Skip to content

Guantánamo Bay Detention Center Archive

This narratives collected on this site are merely the starting point for the development of a comprehensive archive.

Mark Denbeaux and Jonathan Hafetz, co-editors of the book based on these documents, The Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law, are motivated by a vision. They plan to collect and organize a wide-ranging body of primary-source materials that will tell the story of what happened at Guantánamo and preserve these materials for future generations.

Together with Michael Nash, director of New York University's Tamiment Library, they have embarked on a project to document, preserve, and make accessible the legal records and human stories of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center.

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Center Archive is collecting records from attorneys who have defended Guantánamo detainees and other detainees held outside the law, including texts, visual documentation (photographs, film, and video), and oral histories from lawyers and former detainees. As these materials are gathered and processed, they will be integrated into this site.

The materials collected in this project encompass court cases and legal strategy, profiles of detainees, detainee stories, torture, prolonged isolation, and other mistreatment, and other records relating to the system of indefinite detention at Guantánamo and other prisons, that was established by the Bush administration in the “war on terror,” and that continues to this day. The archive contextualizes the Guantánamo story as part of the continuing struggle for international human rights and global justice. It seeks the papers and other records of lawyers (including legal documents, such as lawyers’ notes) and other human rights activists who have been involved in the struggle around Guantánamo, as well as the personal stories of individual detainees. The materials will be collected, maintained, and made available to the public in a manner that preserves client confidentiality.

The Tamiment Library and Seton Hall School of Law’s Center for Policy and Research will house these collections. These institutions are committed to preserving and making available all of the materials for future research and study.

The Tamiment Library is a special collection at NYU that preserves the history of radical politics, civil liberties, and labor. The Guantánamo initiative is a project of the NYU’s Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center, an interdisciplinary research effort to preserve the history of academic freedom and the struggle for human rights within a broad social, cultural, and political context.

To contribute to the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center archive please contact Dr. Michael Nash, Director, Tamiment Library,, 212-998-2428.