Scanned Documents


When I was doing research for the Constructed Peace book in the 1980s and 1990s, I had to photocopy a great mass of archival material.  That material—about 11,000 pages of documents from American, British, and French archives—I’ve now scanned, and the scanned pdf’s are available here.  They deal mostly with the issues I was concerned with in that book—namely, the German question and the nuclear question (especially the question of the nuclear defense of Europe) in the 1945-63 period.

The scanned pdf’s, moreover, have been OCR’d and are therefore keyword searchable.  But the originals were sometimes scarcely legible (4th carbon copies, etc.) and sometimes the OCR software misses many keywords.

The photocopies I collected were originally organized in a very simple way.  The collection was broken down into three parts:  U.S. documents (80%), British documents (14%), and French documents (6%).  For ease of filing, the U.S. material was in addition divided into two parts:  regular-size documents and oversize documents.  Within each of those divisions the documents were filed in simple chronological order.  (The date of the document, which I used as the document identifer, is generally in the upper right-hand corner of the first page.)  In the pdf’s I’m posting here, the documents are organized in exactly that same way.  The documents appear in chronological order.  Occasionally a document might be slightly out of place, but generally not by much—that is, not by more than a day or two.  Partly this is due to the fact that the notes of a meeting might have been prepared a day or two after the meeting itself took place, and I was not perfectly consistent about which of the two dates—the date of the meeting or the date at which the notes were prepared—the document was filed under.

Sometimes more than one copy of a document may appear in the pdf’d files.  This is generally because these are variant versions of the same document—that is, versions that were declassified differently at various times or by various repositories—and I was particularly interested in seeing which passages had been viewed as too sensitive to declassify at one point or another. 

The documents, moreover, were frequently marked up by me.  Some of the scanned documents are incomplete—I copied, say, a two- or three-page extract from a much longer document (partly because the cost of xeroxing used to be quite substantial).  The fact that the copy is just an extract from a longer document is generally noted on the source note I wrote on the document.

That note about where the original document came from was generally, but not always, put at the bottom of the first page of the document.  In giving the source I used abbreviations extensively.  For a discussion of the system I used, indicating which abbreviations were used for this purpose, see the “Sources and Bibliography” section at the end of the book.  You do not have to use the hard copy for this purpose.  It can also be found on pp. 939-952 in the original, unedited version of the book which is now available online (  References to documents from the old Declassified Documents Reference System microfiche collection are given by date of DDRS release plus DDRS document number for that year (e.g., 1986/2237);  those documents, however, can generally be found today without too much trouble on the DDRS website (UCLA link:, by, for example, doing a full text search for some phrase from the document.

When there is no note about the source for the document at the bottom of the first page, the source can generally be found elsewhere on that page.  In the case of British documents, the class and piece number were automatically included at the top of the page when those documents were photocopied, and most of them are still there.  Documents from the U.S. State Department Central (or Decimal) Files have the file number stamped on them, generally on the right-hand side of the page.  Some documents I got from friends of mine like Bob Wampler;  sometimes they are followed by a note or letter to me telling what the source is.  The sources for the French documents are evidently no longer accurate, since the filing system for the French Foreign Ministry archives was changed after I did my archival research in Paris in 1990-91, but a concordance table should be available at that archive.

The collection posted here is pretty thin for the early years of the Cold War, when I was able to rely heavily on the published diplomatic documents.  Many of the documents I used for the later chapters of the book were only available in the archives at the time I was doing my research, although they often were published subsequently. 

The following is a linked list of the pdf’d files comprising the collection:


U.S. Documents:

1945 to 1952

1945 to 1952 (oversize)




1954 (oversize)


1955 (oversize)


1956 to 1958 (oversize)

1957 (January through June)

1957 (July through December)

1958 (January through June)

1958 (July through December)

1959 (January through June)

1959 (July through December)

1959 (oversize)

1960 (January through June)

1960 (July through December)

1960 to 1963 (oversize)

1961 (January through June)

1961 (July through December)

1962 (January through June)

1962 (July through December)

1963 (January through June)

1963 (July through December)

Post-1963 and Miscellaneous


British Documents:

1946 to 1958

1959 to 1960





French Documents:

1946 to 1948

1949 to 1950

1951 to 1952

1953 to 1961