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Digital National Security Archive

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The Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) is the most comprehensive collection available of significant primary documents central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945. Over 94,000 of the most important declassified documents -- totaling more than 650,000 pages -- are included in the database. Many are published here for the first time.

The National Security Archive is a non-profit research institute and library in Washington, D.C., which provides unprecedented public access to declassified government documents obtained through extensive use of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The DNSA comprises around forty separate sub-collections each devoted to a single topic.
Examples include:

  • Iran: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977–1980 *New addition
  • Afghanistan: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1973-1990
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
  • Iraqgate: Saddam Hussein, U.S. Policy and the Prelude to the Persian Gulf War, 1980-1994
  • Terrorism and US Policy 1968-2002
  • Colombia and the United States: Political Violence, Narcotics, and Human Rights, 1948-2010
  • The United States and the Two Koreas 1969-2000
  • U. S. Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction: From World War II to Iraq

  • Each collection contains a diverse range of policy documents including presidential directives, memos, diplomatic dispatches, meeting notes, independent reports, briefing papers, White House communications, email, confidential letters and other secret material. Additionally, contextual and reference supplements are provided for each collection, including general introductory material, a chronology, glossary and bibliography. Documents have been selected and identified by leading scholars in each of the topic areas covered and have been indexed to permit item and page-level searching across more than 20 combinable fields. In its totality, DNSA offers the most powerful research and teaching tool available in the area of U.S. foreign policy, intelligence and security issues during this pivotal period of twentieth-century history.

    DNSA also contains the CIA Family Jewels Indexed. Among the most controversial documents ever compiled by the Central Intelligence Agency, the "Family Jewels" represents the CIA's own view, in 1973, of those domestic activities it had engaged in up to that time that were outside its charter, hence illegal.


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    History; Political Science

    Date Coverage



    Government Publications, Primary Sources