The Afghanistan Special Collection
The Afghanistan Special Collection consists of the archives of Pierre Centlivres and Micheline Centlivres-Demont.
Pierre Centlivres, anthropologist, honorary professor and former director of the Anthropology Institute of the Université de Neuchâtel has served as an adviser to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kaboul between 1964 and 1966. Micheline Centlivres-Demont, ethnologist, has been the editor of Afghanistan Info since 1980.
These eminent Afghanistan specialists, after long research trips between 1966 and 2005, have become careful observers of that country’s tormented history. They have brought back an impressive amount of documents, part of which constitute the special collection they have given to the Centre for Asian Studies.
The collection includes journals, press cuttings, reports, maps and a great quantity of sundry documents. The main topics are: political events, refugees and the Afghan diaspora. The period covered consists mainly of the 1980s until today, with some documents going back to the 1950s.
Two other collections are in project execution : one at the Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire (Lausanne) which will comprise over 5000 works, journals, maps and in particular a collection of pious and political images from the Near and Middle East; the other at the Musée de l’Elysée, made up of thousands of photographs.
The Indochina Special Collection
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The Indochina Special Collection consists of the archives of Alexandre Casella.
From 1972 until 1975, A. Casella was the Director of the Asia Centre. During this period, he gathered an important collection of documents on Indochina, by personal as well as professional interest. In effect, A. Casella was a war correspondent during the Vietnam War in the years 1965-1975. He opened in Hanoi the first United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Vietnam.
The collection is composed of documents and periodicals concerning the Vietnam War, on its territory and in the region, as well as its repercussions. It also includes publications and magazines from Laos and Cambodia covering essentially the 1970-1975 period.
Let us cite, for information, the daily newspaper Giai Phong, published in 1975 in Ho Chi Minh City and forbidden from export, which A. Casella managed to bring back to Switzerland. We may also note Michel Barde’s study entitled « La Croix-Rouge et la révolution indochinoise. Histoire du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge dans la guerre du Vietnam ».