Introduction to the Cambodian Genocide Databases

The Cambodian Genocide Data Bases (collectively, the CGDB) were developed by a CGP team of academics, technicians and documentalists at Yale University, the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. The team was headed by Yale’s Prof. Ben Kiernan, CGP Director, and Dr. Helen Jarvis, CGP Documentation Consultant and Associate Professor at the School of Information Systems, Technology and Management at UNSW.

The CGDB contains information pertaining to massive violations of human rights in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975 to 1979. In our preliminary release of the CGDB in 1997, much of the information focused on “S-21,” also known as Tuol Sleng prison, and on oral testimonies of the DK era. For our larger 1998 and 2001 supplementary releases, much of the additional information came from documents from the archives of the headquarters of the Khmer Rouge security police, the Santebal (Special Branch), discovered by the CGP and DC-Cam in 1996.

There are four different types of information in the CGDB: bibliographic, biographic, photographic and geographic. The bibliographic database contains records on 2,963 primary and secondary documents, articles and books dealing with atrocities during the Khmer Rouge regime. The biographic database is an index of data on 19,049 Khmer Rouge military and political leaders and many victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. The photographic database is a display of more than 5,000 prisoner mug shots taken at Tuol Sleng prison. The geographic database comprises an interactive computerized map, plus a collection of approximately 100 scanned maps showing the locations of around 19,000 mass grave pits, as well as dozens of Khmer Rouge-era prisons and memorials to their victims.