Extensive Collection of Declassified Materials Now Accessible, Searchable in New Digital Archive

Mar 28, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Wilson Center today launched a new Digital Archive of declassified official documents from nearly 100 different archives in dozens of different countries that provide fresh, unprecedented insights into the history of international relations and diplomacy.

The new website – www.digitalarchive.org features uniquely powerful new search tools, an intuitive user-interface, and new educational resources such as timelines, analysis from leading experts, and biographies of significant historical figures. The Digital Archive will continually expand with new documents, translations, and analysis as they become available.

Start Searching Declassified Materials Here

Newly released documents from the Digital Archive are featured today in a lead article on Foreign Policy.com “‘Face’ and ‘Something Delicious,’” about what Mao and Stalin’s first meeting reveals about Xi Jinping’s visit to see Vladimir Putin. The article was also posted in translation on major Russian and Chinese websites.

Other documents in the Digital Archive include:

Records from Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko’s journal, showing North Korea was eager to start a nuclear program as early as 1958, and that their request for Soviet scientific aid would “undoubtedly be considered in a favorable spirit.”

Israeli-South African military letters from South African archives quoting Israel’s “iron determination” not to allow Arab nations to possess nuclear weapons, and demonstrating the surprising closeness that existed between some members of the Israeli and South African militaries during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Sino-Indian communications following the 1969 Sino-Indian border clashes. The Digital Archive is the only online source for Indian government archival documents.

Records from a high level Soviet-East German intelligence meeting in which KGB chief Yuri Andropov candidly reflects on the challenges and economic burdens posed by the new Reagan administration on the Soviet Union, and bluntly describes Soviet attempts to derail the 1981 Polish Solidarity movement.

Lengthy Chinese records of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara’s first meeting in November 1960.

The new Digital Archive has been designed from the ground-up to make these historical document collections available to the broadest possible audience, from high school students through world-renowned scholars. Thousands of official documents from dozens of governments are now accessible through intuitive searching with filters such as location, date, subject, or language. Users can also browse topics by exploring themes or collections like the Database on Inter-Korea Relations and popular subjects such as the Warsaw Pact or the Cuban Missile Crisis.

By making new sources available and easily accessible, the Digital Archive serves to deepen and enrich international scholarship, history education, and public policy debate on important global issues and challenges.

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