Turn yesterday's U.S. government secrets into today's new research
U.S. Declassified Documents Online's greatest value lies in the wealth of facts and insights that it provides in connection with the political, economic, and social conditions of the United States and other countries. Materials as diverse as State Department political analyses, White House confidential file materials, National Security Council policy statements, CIA intelligence memoranda, and much more offer unique insights into the inner workings of the US government and world events in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
A significant resource for researchers in almost every discipline, this collection makes it possible for researchers to easily and quickly access and review selected previously classified government documents online.
Documents contained in U.S. Declassified Documents Online come from collection editors who actively monitor the release of formerly classified documents from presidential libraries as well as numerous major releases of declassified documents from the Atomic Energy Commission, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Council, White House, and other executive agencies. Because the majority of the documents are presidential records and all of them were formerly classified, these records provide a unique, behind-the-scenes view of the highest level of American policy-making on the most sensitive issues of national security and foreign policy.
From many perspectives, this collection illuminates such events and developments as the recognition of the economic and strategic importance of the Middle East, the development of the Cold War and Soviet expansionism, the problem of refugees and displaced persons, the various faces and responses to the end of colonialism in Africa, the economic and social stratification of Latin America, the "miracle" of Western Europe following the devastation and economic collapse of the immediate postwar period, and the application of the "domino theory" in Asia.
The search-and-discovery interface for the collection allows researchers to locate the full text of documents and quickly filter their search results by document type, issue date, source institution, classification level, and date declassified as well as other document characteristics.
Materials available for review include:
- Cabinet meeting minutes
- CIA intelligence studies and reports
- Diary entries
- FBI surveillance and intelligence correspondence and memoranda
- Full texts of letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel
- Joint Chiefs papers
- National Security Council policy statements
- Presidential conferences
- State Department political analyses
- Technical studies
- Trade treaties, studies and analyses
- U.S. briefing materials for meetings with foreign heads of state and government officials
- White House Confidential File materials
- And much more
"The collection—appropriate for all levels of study—will appeal to scholars in many fields of study, including political science, history, law, regional studies, environmental studies, business, social science, and journalism."
- Asian Studies
- Business & Economics
- European Studies
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Law & Legal Studies
- Middle Eastern Studies
- U.S. History
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Platform Features & Tools
Researchers can see the frequency of search terms within sets of content to begin identifying central themes and assessing how individuals, places, events, and ideas interact and develop over time.
By grouping commonly occurring themes, this tool reveals hidden connections within search terms—helping to shape research by integrating diverse content with relevant information.
Search across the content of complementary primary source products, including books, in one united, intuitive environment, enabling innovative new research connections.
Reviews & Testimonials
"U.S. Declassified Documents Online makes accessing formerly classified material fairly simple and will appeal to researchers of those aspects of U.S. policy, security, and history that have kept secret by every administration over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries."
"The declassification of government documents can be slow and unpredictable, but U.S. Declassified Documents provides access to available materials in a quick and organized manner. As the most comprehensive compilation of declassified documents of the U.S. executive branch, it is an important resource for researchers of American security and policy. The numerous search options, quality organization, and enhanced features add to its value."