Approximately 7 million pages of records and other artifacts from Saddam Hussein's regime as Iraq's president are going to find a new home at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University according to an article in today's Chronicle of Higher Ed. The items have been sitting in 2 large shipping containers at a US Naval facility for almost 2 years. The Hoover Institute is getting the items through a deal it has made with the Iraq Memory Foundation—a private, nonprofit group that has had custody of the documents since just after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. According to the terms of the agreement, the records will be held at the Hoover Institute for 5 years, and at the end of that period, the two parties will examine the possibility of repatriating the documents to Iraq.
The deal came despite recent impassioned calls from Iraq's national archivist for the collections' immediate repatriation back to Baghdad. Saad Eskander, the director general of the Iraq National Library and Archive, argues that the records of the Baath Party—which ruled Iraq from 1968 to 2003—are inalienable public property and belong in the national archive without delay