Trial until 20 May: Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War

Oxford readers are invited to trial Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War.

Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War - logo

This resource provides access to British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files from 1873 to 1953. Sourced from The National Archives, the range of documents –from signals intelligence reports to government-directed policy and strategy– is relevant from the period of Appeasement right through to the early Cold War.

The content of the material is international in its breadth and scope. At the heart of this resource are the files of the Permanent Undersecretary’s Department (PUSD) which was the point of liaison between the Foreign Office and the British intelligence establishment.

Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War - screenshot

The sources include:

  • Correspondence
  • Directives
  • Financial Records
  • Maps
  • Meeting Minutes
  • Memoranda
  • Reports
  • Signals Intelligence Reports

The content of the material is international in its breadth and scope, and includes coverage of the following regions:

  • Africa
  • Atlantic
  • East Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Mediterranean
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Pacific
  • South Asia

You can browse, filter, and search the documents by the following themes:

  • British Domestic Security
  • Foreign Policy and International Relations
  • Intelligence Funding and Finances
  • Intelligence Gathering and Surveillance
  • Intelligence Operations
  • Intelligence Organisation and Administration
  • Military Intelligence and Operations
  • Propaganda, Censorship, and Psychological Warfare
  • Signals Intelligence and Code-breaking
  • Weapons Technology and Nuclear Warfare

The resource is supplemented by:

  • five in-depth subject essays
  • a list of Key individuals: JIC Chairmen & Secretaries; Politicians, Statesmen and Royalty; Military Personnel; Intelligence Personnel; Intelligence Services Personnel, Agents and Defectors: Rest of World; and Diplomats and Civil Servants
  • a list of key organisations (UK and of other countries)

Please note that document download is not possible on the free trial product, so  users will need to use the Image Viewer to view the documents. If this resource was purchased, documents could then be downloaded in PDF format.

The trial ends on 20 May 2016. Feedback should be sent to

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