The History and Public Policy program coordinates advanced research on diplomatic history (through the work of the Cold War International History Project); regional security issues (through its North Korea International Documentation Project); and nuclear history (through its Nuclear Proliferation International History Project).

In support of this research, HAPP maintains the Digital Archive and actively collects archival documents which meet the following criteria:

  • Cold War era documents (1946-1991)
  • Government records produced by state agencies, especially those focusing on high-level decision-making, foreign relations, and state policy
  • Primarily non-US documents, especially from archives in the former communist nations of Eastern Europe, and other nations where archival transparency has not been the norm.
  • Archival documents collected by HAPP partners and/or by current or former Wilson Center scholars
  • Declassified and newly available documents (“new evidence”)


The project does not collect United States documents unless they are directly related to Cold War foreign relations and the project’s special topic areas of interest.

Based upon the program’s current research priorities, special topic areas include:

  • North Korea
  • Nuclear Proliferation
  • Chinese Foreign Policy
  • Intelligence and Espionage