About the Cold War and Internal Security Collection


(Senator Joseph McCarthy during the famous Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954. Attorney Joseph Welch, who famously asked McCarthy “Have you no sense of decency, sir”, looks chagrined in the left foreground. Image via Senate historical website: http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/graphic/large/Welch_McCarthy.jpg )


Joyner Library’s Federal Documents Collection is pleased to announce the creation of the Cold War and Internal Security (CWIS) Collection. The CWIS Collection includes approximately 1,000 volumes of congressional hearings, committee prints and committee reports from the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), its successor the House Committee on Internal Security (HCIS), the Senate Government Operations Committee’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (SPSI), and the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Internal Security (SISS), covering the years 1934-1977. The contents of the collection cover congressional investigations of organizations deemed “subversive” or “un-American”, primarily the Communist Party USA and its allies. Other subjects of investigation include the New Left, the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers, 1930s and 40s pro-Nazi organizations and even the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans. These items serve as valuable primary sources on topics such as American political culture during the Depression, World War II and the Cold War, the history of American Communism and the other investigated movements, the fate of civil liberties during a period of perceived external threat, and the evolution of attitudes toward political movements deemed extreme or “un-American”.

The CWIS Collection is housed in the basement of Joyner Library and is intended as an archival resource. The collection, however, is open stack and can be used in the building by any interested patrons. Documents from the CWIS Collection cannot be checked out, but secondary copies of many of these volumes are available in the regular Documents Stacks and can be checked out. When complete, the CWIS Collection will contain at least one copy of every document published by each of the four committees within its scope, as well as select relevant documents from other congressional bodies.

Please contact David Durant, Federal Documents & Social Sciences Collection, for any questions about the CWIS Collection and how to use it: durantd@ecu.edu

The CWIS Collection is part of the Association of Southeast Regional Libraries’ Collaborative Federal Depository Program.

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