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Welcome to the website of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR). Following the dissolution of CAVR in December 2005, the website is now maintained by the Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat

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CAVR archives and library

In the course of its work, CAVR assembled a unique collection of documentation covering the period 1974-1999. This material is an important part of East Timor's national patrimony and history. Much of the collection is primary material entrusted directly to CAVR during its truth-seeking inquiry by thousands of Timorese. The collection is multi-media and includes written documents, books, photos, video and audio records. The library includes books on Indonesia and peace studies donated to CAVR by the family of the late Dr Herb Feith.

The material is housed in four rooms in the Post-CAVR Secretariat Documentation Centre. The Centre comprises a documentation archive, audio-visual archive, library, and bookshop and storeroom (of CAVR publications). The collection consists of:

  • 2000 books
  • 8000 victim statements
  • Interviews with many prominent resistance and pro-autonomy leaders
  • Records of eight public hearings
  • Records of 1500 community reconciliations
  • Indonesian court files of 52 trials
  • Submissions
  • Press clippings
  • Photos and exhibition items
  • Other miscellaneous material.

Currently access is governed by the CAVR access policy and granted on a case-by-case basis. However, plans are being made to allow wider public access.
CAVR Archives Access Policy

Following a break-in to the premises in 2006 and the theft of motorbikes, extra measures have been taken to safeguard the security of the collection.

Further information: Jose Caetano, Post-CAVR Secretariat Email:

For the record: the case for a national archival centre in East Timor, Pat Walsh. 16 July 1999,

Preserving East Timor's endangered archives

This project involves copying a section of the CAVR archives to the British Library in London as part of the latter's Endangered Archives Programme. The project is supported by President Xanana Gusmao and was conceived and designed by UCLA historian, Geoffrey Robinson, to ensure that the archives were backed up securely off-shore and are accessible to researchers.

"There can be no doubt about the urgent need for their preservation. The current turmoil in East Timor serves as an important reminder of the continued, perhaps increasing, vulnerability of these materials", writes Dr Robinson. "There is also no doubt about the signficance of these materials for research. They represent the most complete available collection of documents about a vital period of East Timor's history. and form an invaluable body of knowledge for the study, and legal prosecution, of crimes against humanity".

Material being copied is the multi-media content of eight public hearings conducted by CAVR as part of its truth-seeking mandate. The copying is being done by the archives team of the Post-CAVR Technical Secretariat led by Jose Caetano and is due to finish in August 2007. It is hoped that the project can then be extended so that more of this unique collection can be copied to the British Library.

The British Library

Photos of Pos-CAVR documentation centre



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