This is a guide for people--mainly beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates--who are interested in doing serious historical work on the Cold War period. It was originally written for a graduate course I taught at Yale a number of years ago; since then, I used a modified version in a number of undergraduate research seminars I taught at Penn. The original version has been updated to take advantage of a lot of new computer-related material, especially information available on CD-ROM and through the internet. My assumption here is that you're one of these people--that is, that for one reason or another you want to know how to go about doing Cold War history.

This guide was originally written as one continuous text, but to avoid excessive length, I broke it down into four parts, each with its separate webpage:

1. Defining Your Project

2. The Literature Search

3. Primary Source Research

4. From Gathering Documents to Beginning to Write

These parts are meant to build on each other, and perhaps the best approach is to start with the first and read through to the fourth. But you can also use them as a reference tools. In order to make it easy to find things, I've given the two biggest parts, the sections on the literature search and on primary source research, tables of contents of their own. The subjects listed there are linked to anchors in the text that follows.