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Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London

Cold War television documentary archive


Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Cold War

Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London

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


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).


Language/scripts of material: English

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.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

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

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling 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.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:



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

Arms control | Disarmament | Peace
Arms race | Defence | State security
Berlin Blockade, 1948 | Economic sanctions | International conflicts
Communism | Collectivism | Political doctrines
Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) | International tensions | International conflicts
East West relations | International relations
Glasnost | Government policy | Government
International security | State security
Korean War (1950-1953) | Wars (events)
Political conflicts | Political crises | Internal politics
Politicians | Political leadership | Internal politics
Politics | Political science
War | International conflicts

Personal names

Corporate names

Afghanistan | Middle East
Angola | Southern Africa
Bay of Pigs | Cuba | Caribbean
Chile | South America
China | East Asia
Czechoslovakia | Eastern Europe
El Salvador | Central America
France | Western Europe | Europe
German DR | Eastern Europe
Germany | Western Europe | Europe
Germany FR | Western Europe | Europe
Guatemala | Central America
Hungary | Eastern Europe
Israel | Middle East
Italy | Western Europe | Europe
Korea | East Asia
Korea DPR | East Asia
Korea R | East Asia
Latvia | Eastern Europe
Lithuania | Eastern Europe
London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Nicaragua | Central America
Pakistan | South Asia
Poland | Eastern Europe
South Africa | Southern Africa
Spain | Western Europe | Europe
USA | North America
USSR | Eastern Europe
Viet Nam | South East Asia