Spotlight on Digital National Security Archive (DNSA)

This is the first in an occasional series highlighting some of the online resources available at the Library that will be of interest to students and staff in History, Classics and Archaeology.

The Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) from ProQuest gives you access to a vast collection of important declassified U.S. government documents. This provides valuable primary source material central to U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945 and helps advance research in history, politics and international relations.

IFWithin DNSA are collections that cover U.S. policy towards critical world events, including their military, intelligence, diplomatic and human rights dimensions. Each collection is overseen by a subject expert and they allow researchers to directly access the original documents that shaped responses to these critical world events.

With the recent purchase of the collections U.S. Policy in the Vietnam War, Part I and II the Library now has access to 7 collections via DNSA.

 

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. It took the National Security Archive 15 years to obtain the documents indexed.

The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
The Cuban Missile Crisis: 50th Anniversary Update

This collection presents an integrated, comprehensive record of U.S. decision making during the most dangerous U.S.-Soviet confrontation in the nuclear era. Much of the documentation focuses on U.S. decision making during the so-called “Thirteen Days” of the missile crisis. The numerous intelligence reports, diplomatic cables, political analyses, military situation reports, and meeting minutes included in the collection portray both the deliberative process and the execution of critical decisions made by the Kennedy administration during the crisis.

Screenshot of search results for Kennedy AND Khrushchev

Screenshot of search results for Kennedy AND Khrushchev

The 50th Anniversary Update consists of the latest declassified documentation on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, supplementing the DNSA’s collections, with never-before-published records from U.S. and Soviet archives. Also in this update are 4 volumes of the CIA’s internal history of the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.

The Kissinger Telephone Conversations: a verbatim record of U.S. diplomacy, 1969-1977
The Kissinger Transcripts: a verbatim record of U.S. diplomacy, 1969-1977

Telephone Conversations documents Kissinger’s conversations with top officials in the Nixon and Ford administrations, senior officials as well as noted journalists, ambassadors, and business leaders close to the White House. Topics include the Vietnam War, the Jordanian crisis (1970), U.S-Japan relations and the unfolding Watergate crisis.

The Transcripts collection covers Kissinger’s time in office as National Security Adviser and then Secretary of State. Some three quarters of the collection were produced by Kissinger and his assistants on the National Security Council Staff.

U.S. Policy in the Vietnam War, Part I: 1954-1968
U.S. Policy in the Vietnam War, Part II: 1969-1975

These collections document the deadliest conflict in modern U.S. history prior to the current war against terrorism. The goal was to assemble both classic and relatively well-known documentary sources as well as the most recent declassified materials, making a single comprehensive resource for primary substantive research on the Vietnam conflict.

Screenshot showing Captured Document Gives Attack Order from the Presidium of the Central Committee, National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFLSVN) United States Embassy. Vietnam (South). Non-Classified, Press Release. February 10, 1968: 2 pp.

Screenshot showing Captured Document Gives Attack Order from the Presidium of the Central Committee, National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFLSVN)
United States Embassy. Vietnam (South). Non-Classified, Press Release. February 10, 1968: 2 pp.

ProQuest produced DNSA in partnership with The National Security Archive, a non-profit research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington D.C. It provides unprecedented access to declassified government documents obtained through extensive use of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

All of these collections can be accessed via the Databases A-Z list or on the History, Politics and International Relations database pages.

Access to DNSA is only available to current students and members of staff at the University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for History, Classics and Archaeology

2 thoughts on “Spotlight on Digital National Security Archive (DNSA)

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