Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “Cold War”

A Finding Aid to National Archives Records Relating to the Cold War

A Finding Aid to National Archives Records Relating to the Cold War – http://www.archives.gov/publications/ref-info-papers/107/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How was the Soviet bloc portrayed during the 1950s, 60s and 70s?
  • How did the National Security Council react to Cold war events?
  • How did people dress in Cold War times?


The Cold War and scenarios inspired by it continue to become books and movies. This is a guide to primary resources from the American side of that conflict. The guide is broken down into the following areas:

  • Records in Presidential Libraries
  • Comprehensive Subject Matter Records
  • Records of the Military
  • Intelligence Records
  • Foreign Policy Records
  • Records of Congress
  • Appendix I: List of Record Groups (RG) Cited in Reference Information Paper 107
  • Appendix II: Sources of Additional Information About Records or Finding Aids Described in Reference Information Paper 107

The records include text, photographs and moving images. For the most part, accessing these records will require a trip to one of the offices of the National Archives. See http://www.archives.gov/locations/ for a list of locations.

Search Tips:

Some material is available online. To find it, go to the National Archives “Online Public Access” search at http://www.archives.gov/research/search/ and click on “advanced search.” Uncheck all boxes except “Archival Descriptions with Digital Objects.” Then type in words related to your search. For example, “universal newsreel” or “movietone” will pull up newsreel footage. It may be a full newsreel or a 1-2 minute sample with an opportunity to purchase a DVD. A search on usia attitude surveys should produce a number of “daily telegraph files”


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