Davis Family Library: 9am - 5pm
Armstrong Science Library: 9am - 5pm

| by Arabella Holzapfel


Montage of images, including flags of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, American soldier on the Mekong river, Vietnamese newspaper, announcement of the Supreme Court's Pentagon Papers decision, and the header of a document indicating it has been unclassified.

Middlebury (Vermont) users now have access to over a dozen new resources that document historical events in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia in general.

Western books on Southeast Asia : This is a collection of 318 rare Western-language publications selected from Cornell University’s John M. Echols collection on Southeast Asia, published between 1606 through 1899.

Foreign Office Files - Southeast Asia, 1963-1980 : This collection follows the establishment of an independent Malaysia in 1963, following the release of the Cobbold Commission Report. Under President Sukarno, Indonesia strongly opposed this decision and hostilities between the two countries escalated. Alongside tensions with Malaysia, Indonesia would experience growing civil unrest in this period, with anti-Communist sentiments on the rise. Documents featured in this collection cover these fundamental events alongside a number of key themes, including trade, economic development and authoritarian rule in this period.

U.S. Relations and Policies in Southeast Asia, 1944-1958: Records of the Office of South East Asian Affairs : This collection identifies the key issues, individuals, and events in the history of U.S.-Southeast Asia relations between 1944 and 1958, and places them in the context of the complex and dynamic regional strategic, political, and economic processes that have fashioned the American role in Southeast Asia.

Cambodia: Records of the US Department of State, 1960-1963 : This collection provides a window into the political, social, and economic development of Cambodia, the rapidly maturing “modern” state in the heart of Southeast Asia. Traced here is the critical legacy of Prince Norodom Sihanouk (1922-2012), the nation’s controversial and paradoxical leader.

Laos: Records of the US Department of State, 1963-1966 : This archive treats the political affairs of Laos in the 1960s, when the United States supported the government of Souvanna Phouma in the face of North Vietnamese aggression. The collection is an essential resource for the study of Southeast Asian history and the U.S. role in the war in Vietnam.

Thailand: Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs, 1945-1954 and 1955-1963 : This collection of U.S. State Department files relating to the internal and foreign affairs of Thailand contains a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats.

Indochina, France, and the Viet Minh War, 1945-1949: Records of the U.S. State Department : Comprising records of the State Department’s Central Classified Files, this collection contains records relating to the internal affairs of Indochina, during the period 1945-49. The records include instructions sent to and correspondence received by the State Department; the State Department’s internal documentation, as well as correspondence between the Department and other federal departments and agencies, Congress, and private individuals and organizations; telegrams, airgrams, instructions, inquiries, studies, memoranda, situation reports, translations, special reports, plans, and official and unofficial correspondence.


  • United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: Study Prepared by the Department of Defense (The Pentagon Papers) : This collection reproduces a 12-volume set prepared by the Department of Defense for the House Committee on the Armed Services and printed by the Government Printing Office in 1971 (also known as the Hebert edition). This seminal publication relates how the U.S. was drawn into the war and gives accounts of crucial policy meetings and why decisions were made. When leaked to the press by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, these papers caused an uproar, since they exposed U.S. involvement in Indochina much earlier than the public previously had assumed.
  • US Civilian Advisory Effort in Vietnam: US Operations Mission, 1950-1954 and 1954-1957 : This collection consists of unique records of the U.S. agencies established to intervene in Vietnam-the country U.S. foreign policy deemed a lynchpin in the free world’s fight against communism. The Classified & Subject Files of the Executive Office and Subject Files of the Office of the Director, U.S. Operations Missions, document the myriad concerns and rationales that went into the control and direction of U.S. economic and technical assistance programs, as well as the coordination of mutual security activities, with respect to Vietnam.
  • U.S. Military Advisory Effort in Vietnam: Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam, 1950-1964 : President Harry Truman had approved National Security Council (NSC) Memorandum 64 in March 1950, proclaiming that French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) was a key area that could not be allowed to fall to the communists and that the U.S. would provide support against communist aggression in the area. However, NSC 64 did not identify who would receive the aid, the French or the South Vietnamese. The French did not want the aid to go directly to the South Vietnamese and opposed the presence of any American advisory group. Ultimately, the French were defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu and withdrew from Vietnam, passing the torch to the U.S. In 1964, MAAG Vietnam would be disbanded and its advisory mission and functions integrated into the U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), which had been established in February 1962.
  • Observer: News For The American Soldier In Vietnam, 1962-1973 : The Observer was a weekly newspaper published by the Command Information Division of the U.S. Military Assistance Command’s Office of Information. It was the official organ of the Military Assistance Command, and it carried official news about and for American troops in Vietnam.
  • Ambassador Graham Martin and the Saigon Embassy’s Back Channel Communication Files, 1963-1975 : This collection consists of State Department telegrams and White House backchannel messages between U.S. ambassadors in Saigon and White House national security advisers, talking points for meetings with South Vietnamese officials, intelligence reports, drafts of peace agreements, and military status reports. Subjects include the Diem coup, the Paris peace negotiations, the fall of South Vietnam, and other U.S./South Vietnam relations topics, 1963 to 1975. From the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.
  • Intelligence Reports From The NSCs Vietnam Information Group, 1967-1975 : This collection consists primarily of Department of State cables and CIA intelligence information cables concerning South and North Vietnam. Topics include the Vietnam War, U.S.-South Vietnam relations, South Vietnam’s political climate, opposition groups, religious sects, ethnic groups, labor unions, corruption, press censorship, the North Vietnam’s military and economy, peace negotiations, and events in Cambodia and Laos.
  • South Vietnam: Records of the Office of the Defense Attaché, 1973-1975 : The Defense Attaché Office (DAO) Saigon was organized and was activated on 28 January 1973. DAO Saigon was a unique organization. It performed the traditional functions of a defense attaché, managed American military affairs in Vietnam after the cease-fire, including the programs for the support of the Republic of Vietnam’s Armed Forces (RVNAF), and furnished housekeeping support to Americans remaining in Vietnam after the ceasefire. Aside from the support of the RVNAF, it reported on operational matters and produced intelligence information on which subsequent decisions concerning the Military Assistance Program and American interests in Southeast Asia could be based. The DAO was evacuated from South Vietnam during the fall of Saigon on April 29, 1975.
  • FBI File: American POWs and MIAs in Southeast Asia : This FBI file, which covers the period 1970 to 1993, began as an investigation into the Committee of Liaison with Families of Servicemen Detained in North Vietnam (COLIFAM). Included here are interviews with hundreds of Vietnamese refugees as well as information on how the North Vietnamese hoarded personal items of American servicemen to exchange for money. Information on the Women’s Liberation Movement, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and the Women’s Peace Party is also contained here.

Media Contact

Arabella is the Electronic Resources Manager and Library Systems Specialist.