The Hoover Institution Library & Archives collects both geographically and thematically. With more than 1 million library volumes and 6,000 archival collections, originating from 171 countries and in 69 languages, we rely on our curators as subject matter experts to oversee and actively acquire these collections in alignment with the mission of the institution.
Propaganda & Psychological Warfare
Collections are from US secretaries of state, individual activists and propagandists, and many émigré groups involved in the ideological struggle. Important subsets are collections relating to “citizen diplomacy,” in which individuals and organizations acted to defuse international tensions, particularly the danger of nuclear conflict; records of organizations on the front lines, such as the Free Europe Committee (later RFE/RL), involved in broadcasting and other activities aiming to penetrate the Iron Curtain; and papers relating to the role of the Third World in the confrontation.
The collections contain extensive resources on communist states and communist parties, as well as materials compiled by anticommunist organizations and individuals. Among the most significant are microfilm copies of Soviet Communist Party records and a number of collections relating to Trotskyist organizations in the United States and other countries.
Conservative politics, institutions, and thought form a major collecting area, intersecting with materials concerning anticommunism, free market economic policies, and government. Collections concerning the Libertarian Party and its leaders, student organizations, radical groups, and women of the political right are present, alongside sound recordings of Ronald Reagan and broadcasts of William F. Buckley's Firing Line television program.
Major collections in this area include the papers and organizational records of prominent advocates of laissez-faire economic principles, particularly from the United States, Austria, and Great Britain. Other materials relate to domestic and international economic conditions, foreign aid and development, and war reconstruction, as well as a small but important set of documents concerning Soviet agrarian policy.
Between 1919, when he founded the Hoover Institution, and his death in 1964, Herbert Hoover routinely deposited his papers in the Library & Archives. Those papers mainly concern his relief activities during and after World Wars I and II, his political and personal philosophy, his public service activities, his speeches and writings, and his postpresidential career. Scholars interested in Hoover's papers from his tenure as secretary of commerce (1921–28) and United States president (1929–33) will find them at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa.
The collections cover peace movements in the United States and Europe during World War I and the interwar period. Among them are the papers of pacifist Alice Park and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Alfred Fried. The library holds many rare pamphlets issued by peace organizations. Other archival collections concern disarmament and peace movements in the Vietnam War era.
Propaganda & Psychological Warfare
The Hoover Institution’s propaganda collections are unrivalled in the world, beginning with its extensive poster collection and large holdings of Communist Party literature (Soviet, Chinese and other), through sound recordings and film footage (the Alexander and Ethel Pronin collection holds hundreds of reels of Soviet propaganda film), these collections allow researchers to study the techniques and perfection of propaganda from early and crude images through contemporary professional multimedia presentations. Similarly, Hoover’s holdings on psychological warfare (the Bonner Fellers papers, World War II Psychological warfare reports typescript and Psychological Warfare Branch issuances) are excellent resources for studying the development of psychological operations during the Second World War, as are the RFE/RL Broadcast and Corporate records for the Cold War era.
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Our collections contain rare and unique library materials and archives that include posters, photographs, texts, sound recordings, moving images, and art and memorabilia.
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