Foreign Affairs

The Power of Free Inquiry and Cold War International History Conference Program



September 25-26, 1998
Auditorium
National Archives at College Park, Maryland

Sponsored by the Archival Research Coordinating Committee of the National Archives and Records Administration and the University of Maryland, College Park.

Over the past few years, scholars working with records of the United States Government have exercised their rights under the Freedom of Information Act and various Federal declassification orders to expand research opportunities, particularly in the field of diplomatic history. With a specific focus on the role of free inquiry, this conference provided a forum in which both archivists and historians could share concerns and ideas that would promote innovative approaches to Cold War research not only in the United States but around the world.

Program

Friday, September 25, 1998

9:45-10:00 a.m. Opening Plenary Session

Chair: Ann Prentice, Dean, College of Library and Information Services, University of Maryland, College Park Welcome Address: Lewis J. Bellardo, Deputy Archivist of the United States

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Session I: Cold War Documentation, National Security, and the Fullest Possible Accounting: Restriction vs. Access

Participants representing different perspectives weighed the importance of maintaining national security against the value of basing historical interpretation on the most complete information with regard to access to Cold War documentation.

Chair: James G. Hershberg, Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs, George Washington University
Paper: Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist for Records Services-Washington, DC, National Archives and Records Administration, "NARA and Cold War Documentation: Access vs. Restriction--The Impact of Executive Order 12958"
Paper: Edmund Cohen, Director of Information Management, Central Intelligence Agency
Paper: Tom Blanton, Director, The National Security Archive
Paper: Robert D. Schulzinger, Professor of History and International Affairs, University of Colorado, Boulder, "Transparency: The State Department's Historical Advisory Committee in the Post-Cold War Era"
Discussant: Keith Olson, Professor of American History, University of Maryland, College Park

1:30-3:15 p.m. Session II: The Cold War and the Former Soviet Bloc

Participants discussed the nature, extent, availability and interpretation of documentation of Cold War policies and actions associated with the Soviet Union and its satellites in Eastern Europe. Particular reference was made to the status of documentation in the custody of components of the former Soviet Bloc.

Chair: William Taubman, Professor of Political Science, Amherst College
Paper: Stephanie Fawcett, Senior Foreign Policy Archivist, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, "Kennedy Library Holdings Relating to the Cold War and the Former Soviet Bloc"
Paper: Hope Harrison, Assistant Professor of Government and Law, Lafayette College; Research Fellow, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, "Research in Former Soviet and East German Archives on the Cold War and the Berlin Wall"
Paper: Trudy Huskamp Peterson, Director, Open Society Archives, Budapest, Hungary, "Access Matters: Four Documents"
Discussant: Richard J. Crampton, Professor of East European History, and Fellow of St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford; Research Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

3:30-5:15 p.m. Session III: Bytes, Images, and Central Files: Interpreting New Formats and Filing Practices

Recordkeeping in the Cold War era was characterized by the virtual disappearance of traditional centralized paper recordkeeping systems and the emergence of decentralized paper files and the beginning of electronic filing systems. At the same time visual images took on particular importance as defenses against and evidence of Cold War activities. Participants in this session (all members of the staff of the National Archives and Records Administration) explored the impact of these significant changes in the documentary resources available for the study of the Cold War.

Chair: Ann Prentice, Dean of the Library and Information Services, University of Maryland, College Park
Paper: Michael Miller, Director, Modern Records Program, National Archives and Records Administration, "Some Thoughts on Central Files, Electronic Records, and Appraisal"
Paper: Mark Conrad, Archivist, Modern Records Program, Life Cycle Management Division, National Archives and Records Administration
Paper: Nicholas Natanson, Archivist, Special Media Archives Services Division, National Archives and Records Administration, "Old Frontiers, New Frontiers: Reaaessing USIA and State Department Photography of the Cold War Era"
Discussant: James Hastings, Director, Textual Archives Services Division, National Archives and Records Administration, "Session Three Comments"

Saturday, September 26, 1998

8:45-10:30 a.m. Session IV: The Cold War and East Asia

Participants discussed the nature, extent, availability and interpretation of documentation and historiogrphy of Cold War policies and actions associated with East Asian nations. Particular reference was made to the status of Cold War documentation in the custody of China and to evolving interpretations of the Korean War.

Chair: Shu Guang Zhang, Professor of Diplomatic History, University of Maryland, College Park
Paper: William Stueck, Professor of Diplomatic History, University of Georgia, "The Korean Was as History: David Rees' Korea: The Limited War in Retrospect"
Paper: Jian Chen, Associate Professor of Chinese History, Southern Illinois University, "Not Yet a Revolution: Reviewing China's New Cold War Documentation'"
Paper: Regina B. Greenwell, Archivist, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, "Historical Materials at the Johnson Library on East Asia"
Discussant: Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, Professor of Diplomatic History, Georgetown University, "Session IV Comments"

10:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session V: The Nuclear Threat in the Cold War

Participants in this session explored the challenges of conducting research in a particularly sensitive area and compared academic and government perspectives.

Chair: George Quester, Professor of International Relations, University of Maryland, College Park
Paper: David Alan Rosenberg, Admiral Harry W. Hill Professor of Maritime Strategy, Temple University/National War College, Washington, DC
Paper: David S. Patterson, Deputy Historian and General Editor of the Foreign Relations Series, U.S. Department of State, "U.S. Cold War Records on National Security Policy and Arms Control: Some Personal Reflections"
Paper: Terry Fehner, Historian, Department of Energy, "The U.S. Department of Energy and the Cold War"
Discussant: Marc Trachtenberg, Professor of U.S. Diplomatic History, University of Pennsylvania

2:00-3:30 p.m. Session VI: Nontraditional Resources and Research Opportunities

Participants in this session introduced newly discovered or underutilized resources applicable to Cold War studies. These include the JFK Collection, a variety of electronic records collections that include results of international public opinion polling in records of such agencies as the U.S. Information Agency and the Agency for International Development, and American public opinion polls.

Chair: Milton O. Gustafson, Senior Specialist for Diplomatic Records, National Archives and Records Administration
Paper: Martha Murphy, Archivist, Special Access Life Cycle Control Unit, National Archives and Records Administration, "The Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, National Archives, Special Access Life Cycle Control Unit"
Paper: Margaret O. Adams, Reference Program Manager, Center for Electronic Records, National Archives and Records Administration, "Historical Electronic Records Related to the Cold War Preserved in the National Archives and Records Administration"
Paper: John White, Professor of Politics, Catholic University of America, "Seeing Red: The Cold War and American Public Opinion"

3:30-4:00 p.m. Concluding Reflections

Ernest R. May, Charles Warren Professor of History, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

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