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Cold War Resources in the Manuscript Division

This guide introduces primary documents in the Manuscript Division related to the Cold War (1947-1991) and describes related resources.


The Cold War was an international contest between capitalist and communist countries that lasted from roughly 1947 to 1991. The holdings of the Manuscript Division document many aspects of the struggle. They include the private papers of political, military, scientific, and cultural figures, and the records of influential organizations. This resource guide lists relevant collections, divided by appropriate subject areas to aid research. Links to selected external websites are included.

Attention: All researchers are advised to contact the Manuscript Reading Room prior to visiting. Many collections are stored off-site, or may have access restrictions, and advance notice is needed to retrieve these items for research use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the division's collections are strongly encouraged to write the Manuscript Reading Room via the Ask a Librarian form or email at [email protected] to inquire about the status of collections of interest.