Virtual Tribunals is a major initiative of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, which aims to facilitate free, comprehensive, enduring access to the records of international criminal tribunals and truth commissions around the globe. The objective is to assemble this material online to make research far easier and more efficient than is currently the case for both legally trained users and lay-audiences, including populations directly affected by conflict or living in relevant diaspora communities.

International criminal tribunals are generally ad hoc institutions responsible for investigating crimes against humanity and other matters of grave concern and operate with a limited term. There is great potential that the documentary record of these tribunals will disappear. Thus, the materials need a long-term preservation and access strategy. The vision of Virtual Tribunals is to provide access to this documentation long after these tribunals and their residual mechanisms finish operations. This project takes seriously the question of how temporary justice institutions might leave behind a legacy that will be of lasting value for scholars, experts, and international students, as well as for the people of the post-conflict societies in whose name investigations and accountability have been pursued.

Here one can explore the Nuremberg Trial Archives in its entirety, showcased in a dedicated environment optimized for archival collections. One can also explore the Virtual Tribunals exhibit, where a growing number of collections of various types are assembled, including a portion of the IMT collection, World War II U.S. Army Courts trials and Special Panel for Serious Crimes, East Timor.

Home page of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice website

Taube Archive of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg, 1945-46

The Taube Archive of the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg, 1945-46 archival collection incorporates approximately 250,000 pages of digitized paper documents, a full set of audio recordings of the proceedings, as well as evidentiary films, and is hosted on ArcLight collection display and discovery software. Stanford University Libraries is the digital repository responsible for digital preservation of the collection. The official archives of the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg (the “Nuremberg Trial Archives”) were entrusted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1950. The ICJ and its Registry are the custodians of the entire physical archive.

Access and preservation of the Nuremberg Trial Archives is made possible due to the generous support of Taube Philanthropies.

Virtual Tribunals Spotlight exhibit

At present, Virtual Tribunals collections are hosted on two different platforms. The Virtual Tribunals exhibit provides access through the open source Spotlight software. Trial records from:

are included for browsing and searching in the Spotlight platform. For searching this particular platform, please refer to the How to Search the Collections page for tips on searching using keywords and facets, and how to search across collections within Spotlight.