Ph.D. students from any discipline working on dissertations involving archival research on Cold War topics (broadly defined) are invited to apply to participate in a five-day Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Summer Institute will focus on training graduate students to get the most out of their time conducting research in archives and offer the following sessions:

  • how to prepare to go to an archive
  • how to structure your time in the archives
  • understanding how archival documents come to be written and deposited in archives
  • understanding the challenges of interpreting archival documents, issues of culture and language in working in non-American archives
  • how to search for information not in the archives, such as consulting private papers
  • making Freedom of Information Act requests for still-classified documents
    conducting oral history interviews

Summer Institute participants will be actively involved in reading archival documents (in English translation) provided to them during the sessions and discussing their interpretation. There will be an optional session on Friday, June 16 for those students wishing to visit the staff at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, MD.

The Summer Institute is directed by the faculty of the GW Cold War Group (including Hope M. Harrison, James G. Hershberg, James M. Goldgeier, and Gregg Brazinsky). Speakers include researchers from the National Security Archive and the Cold War International History Project as well as staff from the National Archives, the Presidential Libraries, the State Department Historian's Office, and the Library of Congress.

The Summer Institute will be limited to 25 participants. Applicants must submit the application form (to be downloaded from ), a two-page proposal indicating how they would benefit from participation in the Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research, a curriculum vitae, and one letter of recommendation from a faculty member in their department. The deadline for applications HAS BEEN EXTENDED to February 21, 2006 and decisions will be announced by March 1, 2006. APPLICANTS: Please send applications via e-mail to (letters of recommendation can be sent via regular mail to: The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies; ATTN: SICAR ; 1957 E Street, N.W., Suite 412, Washington, D.C. 20052)

Applicants are expected to obtain travel costs from their home department. GWU will cover the costs of housing and meals during the Institute.

To see the program from the 2005 Summer Institute please visit