About RwandaFile

The motivation to build this site stemmed from research I, myself, was doing into the Rwandan Genocide. I wanted to go a bit deeper than just reading about it; I wanted to read the radio transcripts and magazine articles that were being disseminated at the time, and I was disappointed at the paltry results that were returned by web searches like “R.T.L.M. Transcripts” and “ Kangura Articles.”

I found a place where these things were available: the online reference library of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. However, this site is poorly organized, labyrinthine and practically unusable. Much of the time, it is offline, and when it is up it is painfully slow. On top of all this, the documents it has are, for the most part, poorly scanned PDF files which are completely unsearchable and often illegible.

My mission, then, became to change this. With the help of a text recognition program, a do-it-yourself HTML and CSS book, and a lot of time and effort, this goal has been largely accomplished. To oversimplify a very long process, I downloaded all the files I was particularly interested in from the I.C.T.R. site, converted them to text and then to HTML, and built a website to house them. The result: the site you see now.

Note: Some people may have seen some of the material housed here on another site, www.surplusknowledge.com. SurplusKnowledge is also my creation; the original goal of that site was to publish a compendium of information on a variety of subjects I was interested in. A year and a half later, only one had been really developed (guess which). So, because of that (in addition to my overall dissatisfaction with the way SurplusKnowledge looked and worked), I decided to make a new site which would solve all my problems. I personally think it worked. All of the Rwanda material which was on SurplusKnowledge is now on this site, plus a whole lot more. Here, I also think it is easier to navigate and more attractively formatted.

If you would like to contact me with any questions or feedback, my address is jake@rwandafile.com.