Recent revelations of current information gathering tactics by the National Security Agency has Americans talking and thinking about government secrecy and classified information. Although we currently get new information on government activities through whistleblowers and WikiLeaks, there are additional ways to get information once considered government secrets.
Declassified Documents Reference Systems (DDRS) and Digital National Security Archive are two databases of declassified U.S. government documents. These databases are a great source for students researching important historical events and issues that shaped current U.S. domestic policy and national security.
In these two databases scanned copies of original memorandums, correspondence, and official reports are easily searchable, so it’s a perfect place for primary sources for your paper or project. You can find in-depth declassified data on many events and issues such as Vietnam, The Cold War, and even UFOs. You can search by keyword, within the text of the document, and browse through a chronology of historical events making it easy to sift through thousands of documents.
Compiled from thousands of Freedom of Information requests, these interesting databases add to the current discussion of government transparency and help us discover clearer pictures of the past.