Miller Center

Primary Resources: The Cold War

  • Digital National Security Archive
    This archive, available from ProQuest, holds "the most comprehensive collection available of significant primary documents central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945. Over 58,000 of the most important, declassified documents—totaling more than 450,000 pages."
  • Avalon Project - Cold War Document Collection
    This project at Yale Law School contains a wide variety of document collections. This Cold War collection offers users groups of official US government documents through the 1960s. Also, check out the Cold War Diplomacy - Defense Treaties of the U.S., 1941-1954.
  • Documents Relating to the Cold War
    Begin your document search here. This site, maintained by the International Relations Program at Mount Holyoke College, contains a plethora of Cold War diplomatic documents.
  • HistoryWiz: The Cold War
    This collection ranges from primary resources online to links to various online exhibits and museums. Categories include: General Resources, Cuban Missile Crisis, Arms & Space Race, Vietnam War, Korean War, and Berlin Wall.
  • The Cold War Files
    This website, maintained by the Wilson Center, contains a wealth of resources, especially primary resources, from political leaders throughout the Cold War era. The most useful tools to researchers will probably be the Entire Document Collection and the Resources section, which has links to further reading.
  • Parallel History Project
    The primary resources collection covers NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Since 1999, the PHP has initiated large-scale declassification of military materials from the Communist era in Central and East European archives. It has collected thousands of documents on the security aspects of the Cold War.
  • Cold War International History Project
    Maintained by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, this site contains numerous official government documents on Cold War foreign policy.
  • The Great Debate
    Learn more about the first televised presidential debate, held between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. This webiste holds video footage and commentary.
  • Truman Cold War Documents
    These critical documents, made available through the Truman Library, show the pivotal moments in the early Cold War. The online archive includes presidential memos, letters, official government documents, and photographs.
  • Eisenhower Cold War Documents
    This site holds select documents and photographs from the Cold War and earlier periods, digitized by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.
  • Kennedy Administration National Security Documents
    The John F. Kennedy Library maintains an online collection of 272 memoranda relating to Kennedy's life and administration. View personal correspondence as well as official government documents relating to national security.
  • PBS: Reagan Documentary
    This PBS website was created for the Reagan documentary and holds seventeen primary source documents, two RealAudio clips, and the Alzhiemer's letter.
  • NSC-68
    View the once-top-secret National Security Council document of April 1950 that set in motion the massive military buildup of the Cold War.
  • Student Voices from World War II and the McCarthy Era
    This oral history website offers a case study of the impact of World War II and the domestic Cold War on student life at an urban public college campus. It is based on the narratives of Brooklyn College students that participated in Brooklyn College's World War II Farm Labor Project and the experiences of students who were involved in the student newspaper during the McCarthy Era. The site is maintained by The Center for Media and Learning/American Social History Project at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
  • The Campus Files: Reagan, Hoover, and the UC Red Scare
    This website, maintained by the San Fransisco Gate, holds many FBI documents to show the Bureau's "covert campaign to disrupt free speech." You'll find FBI documents, newspaper articles, photographs, and lots of commentary.
  • C-SPAN: The Army-McCarthy Hearings
    The transcripts and films from a C-SPAN special on the Army-McCarthy Hearings, including both historical commentary and audio from the hearings.
  • Newspaper Ads from 1911 to 1955
    This site presents consumer culture from 1911 to 1955 through a wide variety of newspaper ads for products ranging from dental supplies to radio tubes.
  • DOE: Human Radiation Experiments
    This website, created in 1994 under the Office of Human Radiation Experiments, tells the agency's Cold War story of radiation research using human subjects with various multi-media souces from declassified government documents, films, soundclips, and photographs.
  • Atomic Archive
    Learn about the development of the atomic bomb in American history. This site provides an archive of historical documents, films, and photographs.
  • Sputnik and the Space Race
    This NASA website provides US and Russian documents chronicling the early policy decisions and reactions to the space race.
  • Silicon Valley Archive
    This archive, from Stanford University and the Silicon Valley Archives Project, describes the birth of Silicon Valley scientific research and development. Unfortunately, the site appears to hold few full-text primary resources.
  • Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,”Atlantic Monthly (July, 1945)
    A seminal essay by an architect of the Cold War science complex, Bush proposes a computerized information management system later realized by the Internet.