Now open: ICRC archives from 1966-1975

15 June 2015
Now open: ICRC archives from 1966-1975
Nigeria-Biafra War: Distribution of food and wood for cooking at the nurtrition centre in Umuoso, 1968. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / H.D Finck

The ICRC archives, a vast array of images, videos, documents, audio and more from 1966-1975, are now open to the public.

This period covers a number of important historical events, including the Vietnam War, the Nigeria-Biafra War, the military junta in Greece, and the coup against President Allende in Chile.

These materials will provide academics, students and others with a new perspective on important international events. Visit the archives

Daniel Palmieri, historian at the ICRC, talks about the wealth of previously classified materials from 1966-1975 and why it's so important that these archives are made available to the public.

Viet Nam War: 1964 - 1980

The ICRC was able to assist refugee populations after 1980. During the conflict, its activities on behalf of prisoners were rejected outright by the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and severely hampered in the Republic of Viet Nam. Watch video on Viet Nam

Viet Nam War: Soldier injured during a military operation, 1974. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / S.N

Nigeria-Biafra War: 1968 - 1970

As a result of the civil war in Nigeria, the ICRC became involved in one of its biggest humanitarian operations since the end of the Second World War.

ICRC historian Daniel Palmieri describes the humanitarian situation between 1966-1975, focusing on the Nigeria-Biafra War.

New ICRC archives available

The ICRC maintains a closure period of 40 years for general files, and of 60 years for the other files.

The vast majority of documents for this period, about 16,000 documents, or 97% of the total, are being made available after the 40 years. The remaining documents will be opened after 60 years. The archive inventory will indicate clearly which files exist but are not available under this opening of the archives.

Nigeria-Biafra War: People trying to receive food at a Swedish Red Cross distribution centre in Udo. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Max Vaterlaus

Visit the ICRC archives

The ICRC archives are open from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. To visit the archives, please make an appointment – either by email, telephone or post.

When you arrive at the ICRC headquarters, please report to the reception desk who will contact archives personnel.

You can use digital cameras and laptops in the ICRC archives reading room, as long as you don't disturb other readers. Scanners are forbidden.

Please note: the majority of the ICRC archive documents are in French.