Tokyo War Crimes Trial Documents Digitized by UVA Law School Library
The University of Virginia School of Law is digitizing tens of thousands of documents from the Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), informally known as the Tokyo War Crimes trial following World War II.
A custom-built camera tucked away in the law school library snaps an image and captures the document in digital form. The project is posting online more than 30,000 letters, legal papers, and pieces of evidence from the trial of 28 Japanese government and military leaders.
The collection comes from Frank Tavenner, a 1927 alum of the law school, who was an assistant chief prosecutor in the trial.
Elizabeth Ladner, the project's director, said, "Researchers thought this was really interesting, because they were really well organized. It was quite extensive. Perhaps one of the largest collections in the world."
UVA law school librarian Taylor Fitchett said, "There are many things unique in libraries all around the country and around the world, and we need to get these things online and well-organized and preserve them."
Librarians say the camera and computer software enhance the text and images to preserve an even clearer document.