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Databases for Primary Sources
Afghanistan: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1973-1990
Containing over 2,000 documents which total more than 14,000 pages, Afghanistan offers a comprehensive record of the bloodiest and costliest superpower proxy war of the 1980s. Documents include State Department cables from Kabul, Washington, D.C., and Islamabad.
Associated Press: Middle Eastern Bureaus Collection
With stories stemming from Jerusalem, Ankara, Beirut, and their surrounding areas, these records include news stories in the form of typescript carbons or wire copy – the versions that AP sent on to its member newspapers, which members were then free to alter. Among the most covered topics are military operations, civil and global wars, diplomacy, refugees, cultural clashes, and terrorism.
Digital National Security Archive
The Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) contains a large collection of recently declassified national security information, including material on U.S. relations with Cuba, El Salvador, Iran, Japan, Berlin, South Africa, etc.
Includes Congressional Record 1789-2001, Congressional Hearings 1824-2003, Congressional Serial Set, Committee Prints 1830-present, CRS Reports 1916-present, Executive Branch Documents 1789-1932, and U.S. Bills and Resolutions.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Includes full text of several major U.S. newspapers from the mid-19th to 21st century.
ProQuest History Vault. Black Freedom Struggles in the 20th Century, Organizational Records and Personal Papers, Pt. 2
Use this especially for the following:
COLLECTION: The Claude A. Barnett Papers, 1918-1967, Series 2: Africa and Other Foreign Interests, 1925-1966
SERIES: Subseries 3. U.S. Government Foreign Relations (Box 208-209)
FOLDER TITLE: U.S. Govt. foreign relations: Cook, Mercer ( Congress for Cultural Freedom ) corres., 1941-1966
ProQuest History Vault. Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975
Features the records of the Associated Press’s Saigon Bureau. Key collections in this module include records of the Military Assistance and Advisory Command, Vietnam (MACV); General William Westmoreland Papers, and National Security Files from the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford administrations.
U.S. Nuclear History: Nuclear Arms and Politics in the Missile Age, 1955-1968
This collection comprehensively documents major developments in U.S. nuclear weapons policies and programs from the mid-1950s through 1968. The period that set the nuclear stage for the decades of the Cold War that followed.
Wilson Center Digital Archive
The Digital Archive is a resource where students, researchers and specialists can access once-secret documents from governments and organizations all over the world.
What is a Primary Source?
Primary sources provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, person, or object. These sources are contemporary to the events and people described, meaning that they were often created during the time being studied or by those who witnessed an event firsthand.
Examples of primary sources include: newspapers, diaries, letters, memoirs and autobiographies, speeches, photographs, and government documents.