Amnesty International Archives

A Global Movement for Human Rights

Explore the rise of the global human rights movement during the second half of the twentieth century through the International Secretariat records of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Amnesty International.

The material within this collection is vital for studying the history of key political events, global social change, human rights violations and campaigns with themes including abolition of torture, state violence, political prisoners, minority rights, and more. 

Outside of the organisational records, external releases, and posters of Amnesty International, the resource includes more than 50 hours of oral history content. Within these recordings individuals discuss their own experiences working for the organisation in its early years and onwards.

  • A range of Urgent Actions, a document type specific to Amnesty International used to mobilise their network to act in relation to specific human rights violations around the world
  • The Eric Baker Papers including material relating to Peter Benenson's resignation from Amnesty International and his allegations that the organisation had been infiltrated by the British Secret Service
  • Oral histories including recollections from Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International, and Louis Blom-Cooper discussing his personal experience attending the trial of Nelson Mandela on behalf of Amnesty
  • Selection of posters from various Amnesty International sections
  • Minutes, reports and correspondence relating to the organisation's International Council meetings and the workings of the International Executive committee

Key data

Period covered


Source archive

  • International Institute of Social History
  • Activism, lobbying and policy
  • Campaigns for the abolition of torture
  • Involvement of NGOs in the expansion of the human rights movement
  • Media and publicity campaigns
  • Minority rights
  • Political imprisonment and disappearances
  • State violence
  • Structure and administration of Amnesty International
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Legal documents
  • Memoranda and circulars
  • Minutes and agendas
  • Oral histories
  • Press releases
  • Posters
  • Reports and papers
  • Statutes and resolutions
  • Transcripts
  • Urgent Actions
  • Nada Ali, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Fiona Bolt, Amnesty International, International Secretariat
  • Marco Duranti, University of Sydney
  • Rick Halperin, Southern Methodist
  • Bonny Ibhawoh, McMaster University
  • Damien Short, University of London, School of Advanced Study
  • Patricia Palacios Zuloaga, University of Essex
  • Ethnic and Indigenous Studies
  • International Relations
  • Political History and Science
  • War and Conflict