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Cold War television documentary archive

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Cold War
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: Cold War television documentary archive
Date(s): 1995-1998
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 32 boxes (0.32 cubic metres)
Name of creator(s): Jeremy Isaacs Productions
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Cold War, a 24 part television documentary series conceived by Robert Edward (Ted) Turner, and produced by Jeremy Isaacs Productions for CNN (Cable News Network), broadcast on BBC2, 1998-1999.


Scope and content/abstract:

The Cold War television documentary archive consists of transcripts of 531 interviews concerning events of the Cold War - the political, ideological tension between the United States and the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), 1946-1989, following the end of World War Two, which while falling short of actual war between these two nations, was evident in their foreign and defence policies, and those of their allies.

Interviews were conducted with eyewitnesses from the US, USSR, Germany, Poland, Britain, Czechoslovakia, Italy, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Spain, Vietnam, Korea, China, Israel Egypt, South Africa, Angola, Cuba, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and including politicians, policy makers and advisors, diplomats, journalists, academics, members of armed forces, dissidents, peasants, factory workers and civilians.

Events described include the Berlin blockade, 1948-1949, the Berlin Crisis, 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Oct 1962, the Vietnam War, 1965-1975, the Korean War, 1950-1953, the Hungarian uprising, 1956, the Prague Spring, 1968, the nuclear arms race, 1945-1991, and Chinese communism, 1949-1972.

The collections also contains transcripts of a series of seminars on the Cold War, Oct 1995, as well as an incomplete series of files relating to individual episodes of the documentary series including annotated extracts of interview transcripts and other production information. (Transcripts in this section of the collection are mainly duplicates, however there are a small number which are not found in the main transcript series).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged in sections as described in scope and content. The interview transcripts, originally kept in chronological order of filming, have been arranged by country and then in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue available on-line and in hard copy in the College Archives reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Transcripts of interviews with Richard Norman Perle (Mar 1997), and Roger Morris (Mar 1997) were missing from the main transcript series when archive was transferred.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to the Centre by Richard Melman, of Jeremy Isaacs Productions, London, 8 Jun 1999.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Alison Field and Iain Mutch as part of the RSLP DOMIC project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2002

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