Other WWII Trials Collections

ACCESS NOTE: The digital records of these collections are not yet available through this exhibit, but are being processed by the Stanford Libraries and will go live on this site soon.

Description of the Collections: The project work underway for this collection has focused on the digitization, production of machine-readable text, and creation of metadata for approximately 265 reels of microfilmed World War II trial records from the US military tribunals held in Germany, Japan, and the Philippines. Stanford Libraries accessioned the microfilm from the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, in order to be able to provide enhanced access and searchability to documentation from international criminal tribunals.

The materials being digitized for this exhibit are records from or related to WWII war crimes trial that have been previously microfilmed by the National Archives as 25 microfilm publications. The microfilm is associated with the following National Archives Records Groups:

  • RG 153, Records of the office of the Judge Advocate General (Army);
  • RG 331, Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II; and
  • RG 549, Records of United States Army, Europe (previously associated with RG 338, Records of United States Army Commands, 1942- ).

The microfilm consists of nearly all federal records, and include US Army investigation and trial records of war criminals for tribunals held in Germany; judicial reviews of US Army war crimes trials in Europe and of Class B and Class C war crimes held at Yokohama, Japan; transcripts and records of trials of Japanese War criminals held at Yokohama, Tokyo, and Manila; and selections from the records of the International Prosecution Section of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.

The records of this collection are part of an often overlooked set of World War II war crimes trials. The trials at Nuremberg of the German Major War Criminals are typically the materials that receive the most attention, notoriety, and study. However, these materials are part of the national war crime trials brought by the United States, and are part of larger World War II War Crimes Trials collections held by American and several other national archives. Thus they have complementary research value, which is increased by their availability in digital form. Currently, these records are only available in print and microfilm, but in these formats, the sheer volume renders discovery within this collection quite difficult. Digitization of these records will greatly expand access and opportunities for scholarship, thanks to improved discovery through metadata and full text.

A related body of WWII trial records from the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT) on microfilm reels in RG 238 at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are not included within the accessioning and digitization efforts currently underway pursuant to this project, but they are certainly part of the longer range plan of the collaborators to help facilitate discovery within these records once the collection is digitized.