Scope & Purpose
The Harvard Law School Library Nuremberg Trials Project began in 1998 with the limited goal of analyzing and presenting only the trial documents of NMT 1, the Medical Case. The goal of the Project is to present on a website the digital images of all the English language trial documents, trial transcripts, and related evidence collections in Harvard Law School’s Nuremberg Collection, which covers the initial international trial (the IMT) and twelve subsequent trials conducted by the United States at Nuremberg (NMT 1–12). The collection is freely available to people around the world.
The project is meant to serve multiple purposes and audiences: a reference resource for contemporary war crimes and human rights prosecutions; a research collection for legal academics and historians in the field; and a resource for students and members of the public interested in war crimes issues and the history of World War II. Beyond that, the project aims to produce a permanent and universally available record of the trials and the eventsdescribed in the documents, which would otherwise erode as the original paper records deteriorate.
Since 1998 the scope of the project has grown considerably with the Library undertaking the huge task of systematically digitizing as much of its collection of Nuremberg materials as possible. Currently three of the trials (NMT 1, the Medical Case, NMT 2, the Milch Case, and NMT 4, the Pohl Case), along with much of the evidence collections associated with those trials, have been completed and are available on the website. A fourth trial (NMT 3, the Justice Case) is nearly completed (as of December 2015), and work has begun on a fifth case (NMT 7, the Hostage Case). Work on the evidence collection most relevant for Case 3 is also in progress.
For trial documents, the website links the images with document identification and content analysis, explaining what each document is and how it fits into the trial. Evidence file documents, which were prepared for use in the trials but not necessarily actually used, will be identified with fewer details; these include Photostats of the original documents, evidence analyses, and English and German typescripts. The trial transcripts will be presented in a similar way, with a searchable text and some navigational tools.