Project Charter

Project Charter _ Theary Heang

Project Name: Cambodian refugees in the 1980s: “a story of struggle, early experience and resettlement in the US”

Project Owner: Sokuntheary Heang

Project Summary:

This project aims at exploring the Cambodian Refugees’ resettlement experience in the US during the period of 15 years from 1975 to 1990.

After the Cambodian civil war from 1970 to 1975, followed by the genocide which was led by communist government from 1975 until 1979, Cambodia suffered greatly, and hundreds of thousands of people flee the country to Thailand border, finally settling in different countries in Europe and the United States. Approximately more than 150,000 people arrived in the US from 1975 to 1994, and little was known about their experience in this new country, their life transformation, and their resettlement here in the US.

With that in mind, this project is going to explore the Cambodian Refugee’s resettlement experience through an interactive website which consist of different digital story-telling tools. First of all, with many events goings on, this project is going to look at the history through the lens of Newspaper article, using Timeline digital tools to display the events in chronological order with summaries of the news itself and a short analysis on the events. Secondly, this project also aims at collecting and studying various refugee camps in the US existed during the time and visualize them on a digital map. Thirdly, diving into the experience of refugees, this project will illustrate the refugee’s resettlement experience through feature storytelling, interview, and archive photos, should they give their permission to publish.

The first target audience for this project are Cambodian-American students, teenagers, daughters and sons of the former Cambodian refugees, who want to understand and learn about the Cambodian history, and the experience their people or family went through during the civil war and resettlement times. Other target audiences are university professors, student who interested in the topic, researchers or archivists who want a brief overview of this topic.


  • Scholarly Content: History content about Cambodian civil war and Cambodian refugees in the US, and Content from a book called “Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in New York City Hyperghetto”
  • Primary Source: Newspaper Archives (in form of image) from the Musselman Library, Information about the Refugee Camps from a US government website (Ex: Library of Congress), Interview information (in form of audio, video and text transcription) with my protagonists, Some archive photos or others from my protagonists.
  • Secondary Source: Some archive photos from the online website and the Cambodian Community
  • Digital Tools: Timeline JS, ArcGIS Story Map, WordPress/Scalar


Week 1 (6/7 – 6/11)   

– Finalized the Research Questions  
– Meet and discuss the project with Library Partners  
– First reflective essay  
– Located and get the book “Unsettled …” and other resource on Cambodian History
Week 2 (6/14 – 6/18)   

– Located all the digital items I can use  
– Collect information about my primary protagonist and reach out to them
-Draft of the project charter  
– Finalized Scope of the project  
– Final Version of Project charter  
Week 3 (6/21 – 6/25)   

– Should really done reaching out to the protagonists
– Maybe do the interview with them
– Determine the important date and events happened to prepare to look at Microfilms
– Ask Library partner to help with the Microfilms
– Draft the wireframe  
Wireframes Due 
Week 4 (6/28 – 7/1)     

– Compile the microfilm and do the metadata and summary
– Determine the Refugees camps in the US in 1980s
– Should do or be done with the Interview with the protagonist
– Research and write the Historical Context of the Cambodian Immigrants (for the website)
– Collect archive and compile them (if protagonist allow)
Week 5 (7/6 – 7/9)   

– Do the Metadata for the Refugees camps across the US in the 1980s
– Summary and information about the camps
– Start writing the Feature stories of my protagonist.
– Compile and collect all the data and metadata for my project
– Visualization Draft  
Visualization due   
Week 6 (7/12 – 7/16)   

– Finalize the Feature story telling
– Ready to build the website and start adding things online since I have the visualization already finalized 
First project draft due  
Week 7 (7/19 – 7/23)   

-Edit and revise my project draft
– Make sure the Credit and Bibliography page is good to go
– Final Project due
Week 8 (7/26-7/30)   

– Prepare for the presentation
– Presentation of the final project

End of Life plans:

Once the summer is over, the project is not. It is an on-going project, and I will work on it to tell more stories of the Cambodian refugees and their early experience in the United State. Ultimately, I want this project to be a place of memories, where the Cambodian-American can go to and add their stories in the website directly, increasing the availability and accessibility to the public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *