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Cold War History: Resources   Tags: research  

A brief guide to local resources on the Cold War, with emphasis on primary source collections available through Western Libraries' Heritage Resources programs.
Last Updated: Aug 15, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Useful Search Terms

You may find it useful to search library and/or archival catalogs using some of the following subject search terms (you can also narrow results by adding a geographic location, e.g. Antinuclear movement--Washington (State)  OR Antinuclear movement--Washington (State)--Bellingham):

  • Antinuclear movement
  • Cold War
  • Communism
  • Nuclear warfare
  • Peace movements
  • United States--Foreign Relations
  • United States--Relations--Soviet Union
  • Soviet Union--Relations--United States
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1974
  • Washington (State).--Legislature.--Joint Legislative Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities.

For resources about social protest and/or civil rights movements during the Cold War period, the following search terms may be useful:

  • Black power
  • Civil rights movements
  • College students
  • College students--Political activity
  • Conscientious Objectors
  • Feminism
  • Gay college students
  • New Left
  • Protest Movements
  • Race relations
  • Radicalism
  • Student movements
  • Student protesters
  • Women's rights

Ask a reference librarian or archivist if you need assistance.



This guide suggests useful resources for studying the history and impact of the Cold War, with an emphasis on primary and secondary sources available through Western Libraries and the Libraries' Heritage Resources collections. Please contact Western Libraries Reference Desk or Heritage Resources' staff if you have questions and/or need assistance finding more information.


Searching Western Libraries' Catalog

Consult with your instructors about recommended readings and ask us if you need help finding a specific title or type of resource.

The following may be useful:

Northwest passage
Alternative newspaper published in Bellingham and later, Seattle, Washington, circa 1969-1986. Additional copies available at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.

Western Student Newspapers [Online Digital Collection]
Student newspaper and a rich source of information re: campus history.


Western Libraries provides access to a wide variety of article and research databases (a WWU log-in is required). Follow this link to the Libraries' online guide to Databases A-Z and/or ask staff at the Libraries' Reference Desk for assistance.  


    Heritage Resources

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    Heritage Resources
    Contact Info
    Special Collections, 6th Floor Wilson Library, 360-650-3193

    University Archives and Records Center, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-3124

    Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Goltz-Murray Building, 360-650-774
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    Heritage Resources


    The Heritage Resources unit provides for responsible stewardship of and access to unique and archival resources in support of teaching, learning and research at Western Washington University and beyond. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Special Collections, and WWU Archives and Records Center work together to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest region, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.


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