General Physical Description note:
2,394,561 pages 72 ppi black and white TIFF
Scope and Contents note
These documents were created by security, intelligence, military, Ba'th Party, and
other government agency offices in northern Iraq, primarily in the three northern
governates (provinces) of Sulaymānīyah, Dahūk, and Irbīl. Focusing on these
governorates, this series covers the period of the consolidation of power of the Saddam
Hussein regime, the Iran-Iraq war, the Kurdish insurgency, the Anfal operations of
1987-1988, and the prelude to the second Gulf War. The NIDS provides documentation of
the bureaucratic apparatus of the Iraqi State.
In the database, keyword searches on extensive English language descriptive data,
including corporate names, personal names, place names, and subjects, cover all of the
2.4 million pages in this dataset. All fields are in English except the title, which is
in both Arabic and English.
Browsing by names of individuals, localities, entities, or topics (all in English) is
also available for all of the 2.4 million pages. Browsing by serial-sheet number is also
possible for the entire dataset.
Another browse option, by annotation, covers a 369,309-page subset (about 15 percent)
of the 2.4 million pages in this dataset. This browse option provides two tiers. The
first is a list of 9 major topics; selecting one of them opens a second list of
The 9 major topics are:
Issuing agencies (4,044 subtopics)
Concerned localities (1,664 subtopics)
Communal affiliations (8 subtopics:
Assyrians, Christians, etc.)
Political affiliations (7 subtopics: Communist Party,
Da'wa Party, etc.)
Individuals (10 subtopics)
Dates (496 subtopics)
Topics (20 subtopics: Anfal, arrest, CBN weapons, etc.)
Categories (2 subtopics:
Glossary (25,492 subtopics: A'stebl, A'athis,
A'deserter', A'na, etc.)
When accessing the digitized documents through the search and browse options that cover
the entire 2.4 million pages in the dataset, clicking on a listing leads to a
computer-generated form showing the descriptive data for a batch documents. The batch of
documents may not be logically related--the documents in a batch might be about several
disparate topics. You must look through all of the documents in a batch to find the ones
related to your interest. On average, one form describes 60 pages of documents; the
maximum is 100 pages of documents.
This descriptive data was created by U.S. government reviewers from 1992 to 1994. They
used a "screening sheet" to describe the contents of a batch of documents. The dataset
uses 40,826 screening sheets. These pre-printed forms listed numerous categories of data
that were checked off when applicable to the batch of documents being reviewed. For
example, "Revolutionary Command Council" and "Presidential Cabinet" are two of the data
categories on the form, and a reviewer would place a check next to "Presidential
Cabinet" when at least one page in a batch related to the presidential cabinet. After
checking all the relevant data categories, the reviewers wrote comments that provided
details. All data was recorded in English.
The original screening sheets, with the handwritten notations made by reviewers, were
scanned and appear as the first pages in the batch of digitized documents. The
categories used on the screening sheets changed somewhat over time.
Up to 100 pages of documents were grouped into a batch, and the documents did not
necessarily all relate to each other or a single subject. Reviewers receiving a batch of
documents could choose to break the batch into smaller groups, each with a separate
screening sheet, or keep them as one group with one screening sheet.
When accessing the subset of 369,309 digitized pages covered by the "browse by
annotations" option, clicking on a topic and then a subtopic leads to the serial number
and sheet number for the actual page; from there you click once more to view the actual
page. Annotations were made at the page level, so that each page of a multi-page
document was annotated separately. A subtopic can contain just one page or thousands of
pages of actual documents. (The subtopics used in these annotations are not all
searchable via the database's search function.)
The annotations were created by the Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP), a
predecessor of the Iraq Memory Foundation (IMF), from 1999 to 2002. IRDP staff reviewed
the screening sheets created by U.S. government reviewers and assigned priority levels
based on the screening sheet data. Those pages deemed highest priority were "annotated"
by IRDP staff. Annotating involved assigning terms represented in the "browse by
annotations" list. The annotations were refined since 2002 by the IMF.