Out of the Cold: Mainstreaming Intelligence Sourcing

How intelligence archives can challenge settled views

When I was a graduate student at Columbia University in the 1970s, there was an epistemological “joke” that we students sometimes referenced when choosing research topics. It went like this:

The Future of History

Is the history you know complete or is it subject to change? Is there such a thing as the final word when it comes to chronicling historic events? With the release of previously unavailable documents (the kind available through the Wilson Center Digital Archive: our understanding of well-known events can change significantly. And now that we are moving from a document-based world to a digital world, how will future historians piece together the stories of our times?

San Diego State University Library Special Collections Network Television News Video Research Archive

The archive contains MP4 videos of more than 350 local and network television news reports cover-ing a variety of research topic areas, including African-American history, Cold War confrontations, the post-World War II search for Nazi fugitives, Middle East war and peace efforts, science and technolo-gy, urban unrest, fine arts, music, journalism, advertising, and public relations. The stories, reported by San Diego State journalism graduate John Martin, appeared between 1966 and 2002 on ABC News, NBC News, and KCRA News, (Sacramento).

Archiving Network Television: The John Martin Collection

Klaus Barbie’s stories are among more than 300 available for screening by scholars in a network television news archive.

Silencing the Archive

How oral history interviews can reveal gaps and distortions in written records 

This post is an excerpt from an article by Anca Șincan, "Silencing the Archive – A Methodological Insight into the Research for the Study 'A Day in the Life of an Inspector for Religious Denomination,'" Anuarul Institutului de Cercetări Socio-Umane "Gheorghe Şincai," Tîrgu-Mureş, XV/2012, pp. 144-155.

What Defines An Archive? Ask a Jewel Thief

Klaus Barbie, World War II Gestapo Chief in Lyon, France, admitted wartime atrocities in audio tapes uncovered by ABC News after his arrest in 1983.

Thirty-four years ago this month, on August 16, 1983, the United States Government issued a formal apology to the government and people of France. It came with a shocking admission.

Iranian Azerbaijan in the Former Soviet Archives

Throughout the 1940s, Iranian Azerbaijan occupied an important place in the Soviet Union’s foreign policy. The region was the site of perhaps the Cold War’s first crisis, sparked by the Soviet Union's refusal to return control of Iranian territory at the end of World War II and the creation of the shortlived People's Republic of Azerbaijan. Stalin eventually bowed to Western pressure and withdrew Soviet troops in late 1946.

Inside the Closed Cuban Archives

Piero Gleijeses describes his experience in the closed, post-1959 Cuban archives

Tracking Down Oral History Sources

Seven ways to find and contact your interviewee

In a recent post on running oral history projects, Elisabeth Roehrlich shares recommendations for conducting effective interviews. Yet the interview is only half the battle—simply contacting interviewees from elite political and government backgrounds can be a serious challenge.

Looted Stasi Files Reappear in Denmark After Over 60 Years

Above: A footprint is visible on the back of one of the documents taken during the 1953 uprising.