Window into the Soviet Union, 1951/Introduction to CREST

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Recently, I located the following 1951 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report analyzing Soviet nylon stockings: When I first saw this, I was amused that the CIA would spend time on what appears to be … Continue reading Window into the Soviet Union, 1951/Introduction to CREST

What’s in a name? The story behind the series title “Ciano Papers: Rose Garden”

Today's post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. The National Archives of the United Kingdom has many interesting record series titles.  One of my favorites is “Mussolini's personal files (the ‘Handbag’ files).”  This series consists of the papers that Mussolini was carrying in two handbags when he was captured in April 1945.  Likewise, the National … Continue reading What’s in a name? The story behind the series title “Ciano Papers: Rose Garden”

Allen Dulles and No. 23 Herrengasse, Bern, Switzerland, 1942-1945

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. Seventy-years ago, on November 9, 1942, forty-nine year old Allen W. Dulles arrived in Bern, Switzerland to head up the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) operations in Switzerland.  Dulles was lucky to be in Switzerland.  His train passed from Vichy France into Switzerland only minutes before the Germans … Continue reading Allen Dulles and No. 23 Herrengasse, Bern, Switzerland, 1942-1945

The CIA in Guatemala

In June 1954, Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was overthrown in a coup that was orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and carried out by the Guatemalan exile Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas. Arbenz was targeted in large part because of his land reform policies that affected U.S. companies, namely the United Fruit Company. There … Continue reading The CIA in Guatemala

After 200 years, a glimpse into The Art of Secret Writing

Today's post is written by James Rush, a supervisory archivist in the textual processing unit at Archives II. On June 8, 2011, the National Security Agency announced that it had declassified and released to the National Archives and Records Administration over 50,000 pages of historic records relating to cryptology and the history of intelligence gathering. … Continue reading After 200 years, a glimpse into The Art of Secret Writing