Selected Websites with Primary Sources on the First and Second Indochina Wars

Websites with Primary Sources


For an extensive Webography on the Cold War and Wars of Decolonization with several websites that offer primary document collections, go here.


Institution: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries

Established at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project aims to document women's service in the military and related services—including the Red Cross and other civilian organizations—beginning with World War I. The digital collections include a wide range of primary source material, including photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and oral histories, as well as physical artifacts from all of the period's wars—including World War I. Continuing to undertake acquisition and educational outreach, the project is working to study ongoing changes in the American military as gender integration becomes increasingly common in the armed forces. Site materials are searchable and browsable by war, branch, type of source, and by date.



Institution: Office of the Historian, United States Department of State

The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. Increasingly, the volumes are available as downloadable ebooks. Foreign Relations volumes are ordered chronologically and thematically, and are full text searchable. They contain documents from presidential libraries, Departments of State and Defense, National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, Agency for International Development, and other foreign affairs agencies as well as the private papers of individuals involved in formulating US foreign policy. In general, the editors choose documentation that illuminates policy formulation and major aspects and repercussions of its execution.

John F. Kennedy Administration (1961–1963)

Lyndon B. Johnson Administration (1964–1968)


Institution: The National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD

The National Archives has a wealth of records and information documenting the U.S. experience in the Vietnam conflict. These include photographs, textual and electronic records, audiovisual recordings, exhibits, educational resources, articles, blog posts, lectures, and events. Users can explore records, information, articles and resources organized by four subject area: “Diplomacy,” “In Country,” “The War at Home,” and “Post-Conflict Events.” The sub-site “The Vietnam War: Primary Sources and Teaching Activities” offers a plethora of documents for the classroom in high schools and colleges.



Institution: Christopher Newport University, Trible Library, Newport News, VA

This site by the Library of the Christopher Newport University provides users a plethora of websites, primary and secondary sources on the Vietnam War organized by types of primary source material (countries involved, newspapers, arts & culture, anti-war etc.).



Institution: Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford CA

Documenting the wartime viewpoints and diverse political sentiments of the twentieth century, the Poster Collection has more than one hundred thousand posters from around the world and continues to grow. Some 33 thousand are available online. Posters from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia/Soviet Union, and France predominate, though items from more than eighty countries are included. Additional posters can be found in various individual archival collections. Posters are searchable by keyword, artist, agency, transcription, description, as well as by country of origin.



Institution: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Ken Burns

This PBS website complements the ten-part 2017 documentary series by Ken Burns, which tells the story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides of the conflict, and includes rarely seen video footage, photographs taken by prominent photojournalists, iconic musical recordings, and audio recordings from inside three Presidential administrations. The complementary website, The Vietnam War in the Classroom, offers 65 thematically organized mini videos and 32 lesson plans for grades 9 to13+. The five major topics are: “Origins of the Vietnam War,” “Early War Strategy,” “Later War Strategy,” “Experience of War,” and “Politics, Culture & Public Opinion.