The National Security Archive

October 18, 2009

According to its web site, The National Security Archive is “an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University [that] collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.”  This site is incredible. You can find a wealth of information that was kept secret for years by the U.S. government.  There is a September 11 Sourcebooks section, which contains an enormous amount of primary source material surrounding the terror attacks,  including the recently posted complete air to ground transcripts of the hijacked airliners.

There are extensive archives on the Pentagon Papers, the Cold War, Iran Contra, and the CIA “Family Jewels” report, which documents CIA wiretapping of journalists and dissidents.  There is a video archive that includes a film called “Torturing Democracy”, a documentary about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.  There are many audio archives, including old Nixon tapes from the Vietnam era.  I even found a diary written by Anatoly Chernyaev, a soviet advisor to Gorbachev and glasnost supporter. Materials are constantly being added to the collection.

The archive also litigates FOIA claims for release of documents. One document lists the oldest unanswered FOIL requests. There is a subscription accessed Digital National Security Archive, for serious scholarly research. The archive maintains a reading room in Washington D.C. which can be visited by appointment.
Set aside a few hours online and rummage through the files. You won’t be disappointed.

{ 1 comment }

Bebe October 19, 2009 at 10:39 am

The National Security Archive also has a licensed database called the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA)which is produced by ProQuest LLC and sold to libraries across the world. To access the 31+ collections, check to see if your university or public library subscribes. If so, you can use your library card to access the entire resource.

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