The Cold War was a multifaceted, global struggle with its origins in earlier conflicts. The nearly fifty year struggle centered around the two ideologically opposed superpowers that emerged from World War II: the Soviet Union and the United States. Although the Soviets and Americans teetered on the edge of nuclear warfare during these uncertain years, the threat of mutual destruction served as an effective deterrent from direct aggression.
The exhibit highlights works of non-fiction and spy novels from the William F. Causey Collection. The biographies, histories, and memoirs on display offer some insight into the diplomatic and military mindset of the United States and its allies during the Cold War with emphasis on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Several of the featured authors, including John Le Carré and Graham Greene, drew from their own experiences working as spies while writing their novels. The exhibit will be on display on the second floor of American University library through the end of 2014.
AU Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of the guide to the Anna K. Nelson Papers.
Nelson (1933-2012) was an expert on access to and declassification of government records, the John F. Kennedy assassination, and the origins and evolution of the national security state in the United States. She was an adjunct professor 1986-1988, 1992-1995 and a Distinguished Historian-in-Residence 1996-2012 at American University.
Her papers in both analog and digital format consist of audiovisual materials; research files; speeches and writings; and teaching materials. Nelson’s research files consist of materials she collected on the National Security Council and women in the foreign policy establishment. The strengths of this part of the collection include the Aswan Dam, the Bay of Pigs, the Berlin blockade and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
As a member of the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board, Nelson’s papers provide insights into the declassification process. Of note are oral history interviews with JFK assassination witnesses still living in the late 1990s.
Jack Child was an alumnus and former faculty member at American University. His stamp collection contains albums, first day covers, and individual postage stamps covering over one hundred and fifty years with an emphasis on Latin America, the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands, and Antarctica. Child’s fascination with postage stamps began when he was a boy growing up in Argentina and began collecting stamps from the Peron era. The first installment of this collection, the first day and stamp covers, went online earlier this month. The subjects of the covers are diverse and include Antarctic research and tourism, historic figures and events, native flora and fauna, planes and ships, and polar exploration.
This spring students in AU’s Public History Program updated and expanded our online exhibit, Eagelore. The students added new sections on American University’s Chancellors and Presidents, the AU Arboretum, the Kennedy Political Union, and campus fraternities and sororities.