U.S. Declassified Documents Online

Government documents constitute a significant resource for researchers in almost every discipline. Limitations on the access to this information severely restricts our understanding of the development of U.S. domestic and foreign policies. Now, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning makes it possible for researchers to easily and quickly access and review selected previously classified government documents online through the fully-searchable U.S. Declassified Documents Online.  

This digital collection fills an important gap in post-World War II domestic and foreign policy studies and provides unique opportunities for undergraduate and graduate comprehensive research in a rich primary source. In addition, U.S. Declassified Documents Online provides basic research for journalism, public policy studies, international law and security, and other disciplines.

Read more about the tools and features in this collection.

As a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive source, U.S. Declassified Documents Online's greatest value lies in the wealth of facts and insights that it provides in connection with the political, economic, and social conditions of the domestic U.S. and foreign countries. From many perspectives, this collection illuminates such events and developments as the recognition of the economic and strategic importance of the Middle East, the development of the Cold War and Soviet expansionism, the problem of refugees and displaced persons, the various faces and responses to the end of colonialism in Africa, the economic and social stratification of Latin America, the “miracle” of Western Europe following the devastation and economic collapse of the immediate postwar period, and the application of the “domino theory” in Asia.


Material in U.S. Declassified Documents Online originated in a wealth of official bodies and agencies, including:

Agency for International DevelopmentCentral Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Defense DepartmentJustice Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)National Security Council
State DepartmentDepartment of Commerce
White HouseUnited Nations
Department of EnergyAtomic Energy Commission
Presidential libraries


Materials available for review include:

Cabinet meeting minutesCIA intelligence studies and reports
CorrespondenceDiary entries
FBI surveillance and intelligence correspondence and memorandaFull texts of letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel
Joint Chiefs papersNational Security Council policy statements
Presidential conferencesState Department political analyses
Technical studiesTrade treaties, studies and analyses
U.S. briefing materials for meetings with foreign heads of state and government officialsWhite House Confidential File materials


Related Resources from Gale include:

Chatham House Online Archive
Making of Modern Law
Associated Press Collections Online
Archives Unbound

This collection is available on Gale Primary Sources

Gale Primary Sources provides a seamless research experience that enables scholars to search across millions of pages of primary and secondary sources in the humanities from the 15th to the 20th centuries.

Please note:

“Our databases and digital archives are only available for institutions to trial and purchase. They are not available at this stage for individual subscriptions. For individuals seeking specific content within one of our resources, Gale, part of Cengage Learning does not have the rights to provide this service. If you wish to obtain a specific article, issue or book, please contact your library and enquire about online access to our products. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”