Khmer Legacies Records

Date Range: 20072011
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-11-11
Creator: Khmer Legacies Records

History: A non-profit organization founded by Socheata Poeuv in 2007, Khmer Legacies’ mission is to document testimonies of Khmer Rouge survivors to create an archive as an educational resource for researchers, students and the global community. Poeuv’s vision for Khmer Legacies was inspired by her family-based documentary, New Year Baby. The film explores the historical legacy of the Khmer Rouge through Poeuv discovering her family’s formation and her parents’ experience during the Khmer Rouge. Despite historically being one of the largest mass genocides in modern history where over 2 million people were killed, the Khmer Rouge remains a largely unwritten topic. Khmer Legacies is meant to address these informational gaps in history through building an archive as an educational tool to heighten awareness and work towards preventing future human atrocities.

After Poeuv was awarded the title as one of the 2007 Echoing Green Fellows, funding enabled Khmer Legacies to spearhead a goal to record 10,000 testimonies. Since its inception, the organization’s documentary work aims to bridge generational gaps by encouraging younger Cambodians to interview their parents who survived the genocide. Khmer Legacies partners with various organizations across the United States, including work with CAAAV (Organizing Asian American Communities) in creating walk-in studio hours for survivors to share their testimonies. Khmer Legacies currently collaborates with Light of Cambodian Children and Metta Health Center in Lowell, Massachusetts and Khmer Health Advocates in Connecticut. Most recently, the organization has worked with students from Yale University, who traveled to Cambodia and documented testimonies of Khmer Rouge victims and perpetrators. The organization is also working on a translation project to transcribe and accurately translate all interviews originally conducted in Khmer to English to provide on-screen subtitles and transcriptions. The organization continues to foster community space for dialogue and healing to survivors affected by the Cambodian genocide. As survivors and interviewers are engaging and listening to testimonies, the process empowers them to move beyond trauma and paralysis towards rebuilding. The Khmer Legacies Records are currently incubated at Yale University’s Genocide Studies Program.

Sources: “Cambodia Tribunal Monitor: Historical Overview of the Khmer Rouge.” Accessed February, 3 2015.

“Cambodian Genocide Program: The CGP, 1994-2011.”Accessed February 3, 2015.

Fletcher, Dan. “A Brief History of The Khmer Rouge.” Accessed February 3, 2015.,8599,1879785,00.html.

Poeuv, Socheata. “Khmer Legacies: The desire to be heard.” Accessed February 3, 2015.….

Schoneker, Jake. “One Man’s Mission to Open History of Khmer Rouge.” Accessed February 3, 2015.

Summary: The Khmer Legacies records measure a total of 3.0 linear feet, consisting of recorded testimonies, digital project files, administrative files and research materials on the Khmer Rouge.

Of significance are digitized files of over one hundred testimonies spanning from 2007-2011. The majority are stored on a terabyte drive and .5 linear feet of the original copies are organized in a serial system, by participants last name, location and date. An inventory list of the SD tapes and digitized files is recorded on an Excel file. Sixty of the testimonies were conducted in Cambodia and 40 were conducted in the United States, all of which document the testimonies of both cadres and survivors of the Khmer Rouge. Interviews conducted across the United States include the Cambodian presence in California, Connecticut, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Supplementary materials to the testimonies are 1.0 linear feet of participant files, containing pre-interview questionnaires of participants in both the United States and Cambodia. Each individual file contains contractual agreements and information on the participant, detailing information on refugee camps, family members involved in the Khmer Rouge, educational background and information on life before and after the Khmer Rouge.

Supporting research materials of 1.25 linear feet encompass Poeuv’s personal library and scholarly research on books and films of the Khmer Rouge.

Additional records include administrative files and documents on program development, some of which are computer stored and others are hard-copy documents (.25 linear feet). These files cover board meeting minutes, grant applications and papers that document the process of jumpstarting a non-profit organization, such as the article of incorporation.

Total Size: 3.0 linear feet
APA-related Size: 3.0 linear feet
Languages of materials: Khmer and English
Arrangement: other
Location: Genocide Studies Program, Yale University
Bibliographic Control: inventory
Conditions Governing Access: Please contact Socheata Poeuv at if interested in accessing records.

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