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U.S. Declassified Documents Online: Home

The US Declassified Documents Online system provides online access to over 500,000 pages of previously classified government documents. Covering major international events from the Cold War to the Vietnam War and beyond, this single source is invaluable.


You must be a current OU Faculty, staff, or student to access this database


 · Both broad-based and highly targeted investigations of government documents possible

· Users can query every document in the database for any name, date, word, or phrase

· Searches can be focused by document type, issue date, source institution, classification level, date declassified, sanitization, completeness, number of pages, and document number

· Database ranges from the years immediately following World War II through the 1970s, which covers the Cold War, Vietnam, foreign policy shifts, the civil rights movement, and many other major events



U.S. Declassified Documents Online

Classified documents are items the United States Federal Government has deemed confidential because distribution of their contents might compromise national security. The three levels of classified documents are confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. However, the passage of the Freedom of Information Act in 1967 guarantees the public access to these federal government files. From use of the Act, the public is able to access such specific classified documents as: governmental correspondences, memoranda, cabinet minutes, national security policy statements, intelligence reports, and technical studies. Subject topics fall into the typically assumed classified genres: Castro and Cuba, the Kennedy assassinations, Krushchev, Roswell, and Vietnam, to name a few.

Since 1982, Primary Source Media (PSM) has published the Declassified Documents. This unique reference product involves indexing, abstracting, and capturing on microfiche a large selection of U.S. government documents from presidential libraries. These libraries receive declassified documents from various government agencies, including the White House, the CIA, the FBI, the State Department, and others. As researchers request documents, the libraries photocopy and provide them to PSM for filming. The result is a collection of over 75,000 documents that has been built by researchers for nearly two decades. In 1998, the systematic digitization and online publication of the Declassified Documents was initiated, and the text of every page of every document in the collection has been digitally scanned and captured, and is now available full-text online.



The University of Oklahoma Government Documents Collection initially subscribed to the paper and microfiche version of the Declassified Documents Index. This set runs from 1945-2004. In 2005, University Libraries acquired access to the internet version of the database. OU Government Documents is the only institution in the state to have the full indexing and microfiche collection, as well as internet access to the Declassified Documents set.


Subject Guide

Jeffrey Wilhite's picture
Jeffrey Wilhite
(405) 325-1831