The Cold War on the Web

Margaret M. Manchester

Providence College/Department of History




Cold War International History Project


The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) web site was established at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., in 1991. The project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War, and seeks to disseminate new information and perspectives on Cold War history emerging from previously inaccessible sources on "the other side" -- the former Communist bloc. In addition to western sources, the Project has provided translations of documents from Eastern European archives that have been released since the collapse of communism in the late 1980s. Users may join discussion groups and download issues of the Bulletin issued by CWIHP.


The National Security Archive Home Page


The National Security Archive an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Archive boasts the world's largest non-governmental library of declassified documents, including thousands of documents relating to nuclear history, US-Japanese relations, the Cuban Missile Crisis and other crisis of the 1960s and 1970s.


Harvard Project on Cold War Studies (HPCWS)


This annotated set of links to sites relating to the study of the Cold War is prepared and maintained by the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University. The project intends to build on the achievements of the Cold War International History Project and the National Security Archive. The site also contains links to Harvard University’s new Journal of Cold War Studies.



CNN-Cold War


This website was created to accompany the 12-part series on the Cold War airing on CNN in the winter and spring of 1998/99. The website is a valuable resource because it provides an extraordinary diversity of materials, including multi-media and audio clips, interactive maps, primary documents, newspaper and journal coverage of the events, and transcripts of interviews which formed the basis for the series.


Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy: The Cold War


The International Relations Program at Mount Holyoke College maintains this website. Broken down on a yearly basis from pre-1945 to recent retrospectives on the meaning and significance of the Cold War, this site contains hundreds of links to both primary and secondary source materials, especially useful to students and researchers because of the variety of sources available.


The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy


Maintained by the Yale University Law School, this site contains basic documents relating to American Foreign Policy 1941-1949, the United States Atomic Energy Commission proceedings in the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Warsaw Security Pact: May 14, 1955, State Department Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the U. S. Vol. X Part 1 1958-1960, the U2 Incident; 1960, the RB-47 Airplane Incident: July-September 1960, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Cold War Hot Links: Web Resources relating to the Cold War


David Price, an anthropologist at St. Martin's College in Lacey, Washington, has compiled an impressive list of links to websites that contain both primary sources as well as essays and analyses examining the impact of the Cold War on American culture.


Soviet Archives Exhibit


The Library of Congress developed this on-line exhibit. Visitors to this site may browse images of documents from the Soviet archives. The two main sections of the exhibit are the Internal Workings of the Soviet System and The Soviet Union and the United States. The section on post-war estrangement includes commentary on Soviet perspectives on the Cold War and on the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Chronology of Russian History: The Soviet Period


The Bucknell University history department maintains this chronology of Soviet history from 1917 until 1991. The chronology contains numerous links to primary and secondary source materials that provide further information and background.



For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan


An excellent on-line exhibit prepared by the Library of Congress. The site contains primary and secondary source materials. The site also links to materials on the Marshall Plan that were developed by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the National Library of the Netherlands), and other European libraries.



Senator Joe McCarthy: A Multi-media Celebration

USA People Search - Mccarthy


Extensive information on Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare.


1948: The Alger Hiss Spy Case


This links to a June 1998 American History article by James Thomas Gay that examines the Alger Hiss Case and the issues that remain unresolved 50 years later


The Venona Project


VENONA was the codename used for the U.S. Signals Intelligence effort to collect and decrypt the text of Soviet KGB and GRU messages from the 1940's. These messages provided extraordinary insight into Soviet attempts to infiltrate the highest levels of the United States Government. The National Security Agency has declassified over 3,000 messages related to VENONA and made them available at their home page.


Secrets of War


This is the companion site to the History Channel 26-part documentary series entitled, Sworn to Secrecy: Secrets of War, which was aired in 1998. The site contains transcripts, links to maps, images, and other information relating to the history of espionage.


Famous American Trials: Rosenbergs Trial, 1951


Prof. Douglas Linder of the UMKC School of Law created this site. The website contains links to a wealth of first hand materials, including trial transcript excerpts, the judge’s sentencing statement, excerpts from appellate court decisions, images, the Rosenbergs’ final letter to their sons, and a link to the Perlin Papers, a collection of about 250,000 pages that relate to the investigation, trial, and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. The papers were declassified in the 1970's


The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962


The FAS, the intelligence resource program of the Federation of American Scientists, maintains this metasite. It contains links to on-line State Department documentation, analysis of Kennedy’s advisors, the photographic evidence, transcripts of ExComm deliberations, and photographic evidence of the Soviet presence in Cuba until the 1980s.


The Cuban Missile Crisis, October 18-29, 1962


This website contains audio files of a set of tape recordings released by the John F. Kennedy Library in October 1996. These recordings were made in the Oval Office. They include President Kennedy's personal recollections of discussions, conversations with his advisors, meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the president's executive committee. Transcripts of the audio files are included. A rich source of information on American perspective of the crisis.


The Cuban Missile Crisis


Located at the Historical Text Archive at Mississippi State University, this site contains excellent links to primary source materials, as well as a bibliography from the U.S. Army, essays evaluating the significance of the crisis, and the continuing "lessons of the past."


The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962


This website contains a brief historiographical essay, a timeline, and photographs (including aerial views) from the John F. Kennedy Library.


Documents Relating to American Foreign Policy: Cuban Missile Crisis


This collection of links allows researchers and students access to newspaper coverage of the crisis. The website also contains important links to information relating to Soviet and Cuban perspectives on the crisis. Links to essays and books by the most influential historians of this crisis are also provided.


The Hungarian Revolution, 1956


Links are provided to both English-language and Hungarian resources, both primary and secondary.


Fifty Years from Trinity


The Seattle Times compiled this list of net resources relating to the development of the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.


The Costs of the Manhattan Project


These estimates were prepared by the Brookings Institute and are part of the larger US Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project.


American Experience: Race for the Superbomb


PBS companion site explores a top secret US Cold War program to build a weapon more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Japan. This site includes audio clips, a timeline, primary documents, and other educational materials.


The U-2 Incident of 1960


This website was developed by the Avalon Project at Yale University. It is a useful starting place to find the basic diplomatic documents, including the exchange of notes between the US and Soviet governments, public statements by State Department officials, and the documentation maintained by the State Department in the Foreign Relations of the United States Series.


A Select Bibliography of the U-2 Incident


This brief bibliography is located at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library.


The American Experience/Spy in the Sky


This companion site to the American Experience episode dealing with the U-2 incident is a good introductory website for K-12 students seeking basic information about the U-2 spy cameras, including aerial photographs taken from the stratosphere and schematics of the U-2 planes. Brief biographical sketches of pilots Gary Powers and Kelly Johnson are also provided.







The Berlin Wall


This website is provided by the City of Berlin. It contains a brief background, information on the construction of the Wall and its fall. The site also contains links to images of the Berlin Wall Memorial, artistic responses to the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, and links to other sites containing further information.


The History of the Berlin Wall in Text and Pictures


This site was an entry in the Connecticut State competition for National History Day on May 10, 1997. It is a great resource for K-12 students to begin to explore the history of the wall.


The Berlin Airlift


This website is part of the larger on-line exhibit entitled, "US Air Force Museum, Post-WWII History Gallery 1946-1950s. The focus is primarily military. The site is a good source of information and images of the aircraft used to airlift provisions to the inhabitants of Berlin.