KU News Release

March 28, 2011
Contact: Morgan Davis, Dole Institute of Politics, 785-864-1405

Director of Conflict Records Research Center to visit KU

More Information

LAWRENCE — David Palkki, deputy director of the Conflict Records Research Center at National Defense University, has been chosen as the second Dole Institute Archive Visiting Fellow.

The center makes English translations of captured documents from Iraq and Afghanistan available for scholarly research. Palkki has utilized these documents in his research into the regime of Saddam Hussein. During his two-day visit to the University of Kansas, Palkki will meet with Dole Institute archivists and tour archival facilities.

Dole Institute senior archivist Morgan Davis will interview Palkki at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at the Dole Institute for a program titled “The Conflict Records Research Center and New Research on Saddam’s Iraq.” A public reception will follow from 4 to 5 p.m., and sample documents from the center will be on display.

“We are beginning to understand how collections of primary source documents can be instrumental in understanding political regimes and institutions,” said Davis. “David’s program will provide an inside look at how the documents from Iraq and al-Qaida were obtained, what the archive includes and the new findings that have already been made using these documents.”

Before coming to the Conflict Records Research Center, Palkki spent several years studying Iraq at the Institute for Defense Analyses. He authored and co-authored several studies on Iraq, including a major study for the Department of Defense based on captured audio files. He also has worked as a military analyst for the U.S. government and is a doctoral student in political science at the University of California-Los Angeles.

The Conflict Records Research Center was created at the behest of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a mission to make available captured Iraqi and terrorist records for academic research. Collections at the center include audio-recordings of high-level meetings, speeches by Saddam Hussein and records related to national security, defense policy and diplomacy in Iraq. The collections also include material gathered from al-Qaida and associated movements dating back to the Afghan War in the 1980s. The records include theological and ideological documents, strategic plans, operational guidebooks and histories of individual operations.

The fellowship is awarded each year in recognition of special contributions to history and historical preservation. The inaugural Dole Institute Archive Visiting Fellow was senate historian emeritus Richard Baker. The Dole Archive, part of the Dole Institute of Politics, contains the records of Sen. Bob Dole’s political career and is one of the largest collections of political materials outside of the presidential library system. The archive is open to the public for research use from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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