The Human Rights League, new archives, new lines of research, education, and digital mediation (LDH 120)

The Human Rights League, new archives, new lines of research, education, and digital mediation (LDH 120)

Icon reference in the fight for human rights, the Human Rights League (LDH), founded in 1898 during the Dreyfus Affair, is celebrating its 120 anniversary in 2018. Its pre-1940 archives, pillaged and then “returned” from Moscow, have been held by the BDIC since 2000 and freely accessible since 2004. The League’s post-1945 archives, transferred to the BDIC between 2001 and 2016 are still being treated and will be accessible in 2017-2018.


There is a double objective:


  • From a study of the political and social history of the LDH, compare and contrast the evolution of the fight for human rights from the origin of the organization to today;
  • Share this analysis with a larger audience through mediation and education.


LDH 120’s research program is multidisciplinary, relying on the competencies of historians, political scientists, jurists, sociologists, and philosophers.


It has four lines of inquiry:


  • Create new sources of oral archives (interviews with former and current members of the League, who held specific positions at different levels);
  • Organize a programmatic conference using the accessible post-1945 archives;
  • Develop both educational tools for middle schools as well as training courses for university students about the whole archival collection, notably oral sources, and to sensitize them to the issues of digital archiving;
  • Propose new digital mediation actions (virtual exhibitions) from the archival collection.

Project Leader

Valérie TESNIÈRE , Directrice de la BDIC , Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine

Internal cluster partners

  • La contemporaine | bibliothèque, archives, musée des mondes contemporains
  • Institut des Sciences sociales du Politique (ISP) - UMR 7220

Associated partners

UFR Droit et Science Politique, Université Paris Nanterre

Laboratoire Sociologie, philosophie et anthropologie politiques (SOPHIAPOL - EA3932)

Département d'histoire de l'université Paris 8

Département d'histoire de l'université de Vienne


18 months


Human rights, oral archives, virtual exhibition