Declassifying CIA's Internal Histories

CIA's internal histories tell the story of the Agency, based on classified documents and interviews with the people involved. They're some of the best resources on the history of the Agency, yet most of them remain unavailable to the public. This project will request copies of every CIA history that can be identified.

The Agency has already done an excellent job in compiling its internal histories, consulting resources that wouldn’t be available to public journalists or historians for decades (if at all), even with FOIA and declassification reviews. By making these records available, even the most seemingly banal ones, the public’s understanding of CIA is strengthened and future FOIA requesters are empowered with new details, referenced documents and official disclosures.

A list of identified CIA histories can be found below, along with links to pending requests and released copies. If you know of any other CIA histories that should be requested, let us know! Thanks to Mark Stout, Jeffrey Scudder, Mark Zaid, Government Attic, Paul Galante, Trevor Griffey, the National Security Archive and everyone else who has helped locate and release copies of some histories.

CIA Prehistories

  • Office of Strategic Services Headquarters and Organization – released

  • Office of Strategic Services Operations in the Field – released

  • Donovan and the CIA: A History of the Establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency – released

  • Historical Background of the Central Intelligence Agency – released

General CIA Histories

  • A Curator’s Pocket History of the CIA – released

  • CIA Chronology 1940-1953 – released

  • Legislative History of [Creation of] the Central Intelligence Agency – released

  • CIA Historical Staff Chronology Volume 1 1946-1955 – released

  • CIA Family Jewels 1947-1973 – released

  • CIA Organization and Functions 1949 – released

  • CIA Organizational History 1950-1953 – released

  • CIA Junior Officer Training Program 1950-1966 – released

  • Office of the Inspector General: January 1952 - December 1971 – released

  • Organization, Functions and Activities of the Office of Security April 1959 – released

  • 50 Years in Langley - Recollections of the Construction of CIA’s Original Headquarters Building 1961-2011 – released

  • The Long Range Plan of the Central Intelligence Agency, circa 1965 – released

  • CIA Watergate History – released

  • State of the Directorate 1974 – released

  • Eagle And Swastika: CIA and Nazi War Criminals and Collaborators – released

  • History of the Office of Communication – released

  • A History of the Central Intelligence Bulletin 1951-1967 – released

  • CIA Historical Staff Chronology 1956-1965, Volume I – released

  • CIA Historical Staff Chronology 1956-1965, Volume II – released

Clandestine Services Historical Series

  • CSHP 1: [CLASSIFIED], 1961-1964

  • CSHP 2: CIA-Meo Activities, 1960-1964

  • CSHP 3 [CLASSIFIED] Counterintelligence Staff Jan 69 – requested

  • CSHP 5: Impressions of Operations [CLASSIFIED] Laos, May 1962-March 1964

  • CSHP 6: The Hungarian Revolution [CLASSIFIED], 23 October - 4 November 1956 – released

  • CSHP 9: History of the Vietnamese Generals’ Coup of 1-2 November 1963: Saigon Station Log and Analysis. October-November 1963. – requested

  • CSHP 11: [CLASSIFIED], Covert Action Staff Nov 66 – requested

  • CSHP 12: Covert Action Project Funds FY 64 and FY 65 Dec 47-Jan 64 Covert Action Staff Nov 66

  • CSHP 15: Funding Covert Operations, 1960-1964 – requested

  • CSHP 16: Book Projects Survey for DDP, Covert Action Staff Nov 66

  • CSHP 17: [CLASSIFIED], Covert Action Staff Nov 66 – requested

  • CSHP 18: [CLASSIFIED], Covert Action Staff Nov 66 – requested

  • CSHP 19: [CLASSIFIED], Covert Action Staff Nov 66 – requested

  • CSHP 24: Report on Berlin Operations Base, January 1946-March 1948 – requested

  • CSHP 26: Vietnam and the Office of National Estimates, 1951-1946 – requested

  • CSHP 31: The Establishment and Early Development of the Office of Policy Coordination, 1948- October 1949 – requested

  • CSHP 34: Southeast Asia Communications Activity (SEACA) and its Antecedents, 1951-64 – released

  • CSHP 36: Operational Program Against North Vietnam, 1960-1964 – requested

  • CSHP 40: History of FI/D – requested

  • CSHP 41: The Defector Reception Center Germany, 1951-1967 (1972) – requested

  • CSHP 44: The Inspection and Review Staff, DD/P, October 1952- April 1959

  • CSHP 52: The Secret War in Korea, June 1950 to June 1952 – released

  • CSHP 53: Covert Support to Indonesian Revolutionary Government, 1957-1958 – requested

  • CSHP 56: [CLASSIFIED], 1950-1956

  • CSHP 57: The Vietnam Coup d’ Etat of November 1963 and its Aftermath. – requested

  • CSHP 60: The Unknown Political Prisoner, A Psychological Warfare Case Study, 1951- 1953 – requested

  • CSHP 62: The Defeat of the Binh Xuyen Sect by the Diem Government, 10 March-3 April 1955

  • CSHP 71: History of Maritime Activities Korea (1950-1956) – requested

  • CSHP 75: The Saigon Liaison Mission, 1952-1954, August 1967 – requested

  • CSHP 86: The Cuban Invasion: Air Aspects, 1961 – [requested]

  • CSHP 87: Civil Air Transport (CAT) A Proprietary Airline, 1946-1955 – released

  • CSHP 98: Illegal Border Crossing Program, 1946-1959 – requested

  • CSHP 105: Record of Paramilitary Action Against the Castro Government of Cuba, 17 March 1960 - May 1961 – released

  • CSHP 108: FI Staff Coordination Under NSCID No. 5 – released

  • CHSP 111: The Correspondence (CE) Branch, RID, 1949-66

  • CSHP 113: The Saigon Military Mission, June 1954 - 1956 – requested

  • CHSP 124: [CLASSIFIED] Foreign Intelligence Staff Division D – requested

  • CHSP 132: [CLASSIFIED] Foreign Intelligence Staff Division D – requested

  • CSHP 145: History of TSD, Headquarters - requested

  • CSHP 149: History of FI Staff – requested

  • CSHP 150: The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956 – released

  • CSHP 159: History of the RID, the Development of the Registry Concept, 45-65

  • CHSP 161: The Foreign Intelligence Operations Group, 1945-1965 – requested

  • CSHP 163: The Evolution of Ground Paramilitary Activities at the Staff Level, October 1949 September 1955 – released

  • CSHP 183: Paramilitary Activities at the Staff Level, 15 Sep 55 - 31 Dec 61 – requested

  • CSHP 194: Major Policy Authorization for the Conduct of Covert Paramilitary Activities by CIA, 1948-1966 – released

  • CSHP 195: The Origins of CIA’s Clandestine Organization in the Far East, 1945-1952 – released, appeal filed for additional pages

  • CSHP 196: The 1967 Crisis in Covert Action Operations: The Ramparts Exposure – requested

  • CSHP 198: A Chronology of Events in the Records Integration Division & Its Predecessors 45-65

  • CSHP 199: The Development of a Clandestine Services Records Division in the CIA, 45-65 – requested

  • CSHP 200: The Automation of RID, 55-65

  • CSHP 208: Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran, November 1952-August 1953 – released

  • CSHP 210: The Chinese Third Force Project, 1950-1953 – requested

  • CSHP 211: The North Asia Command, 1952-1956 – requested

  • CSHP 213: FI Staff Handling of Relations with Department of State and with Ambassadors, 1957- 1967 – requested

  • CSHP 215: POW Intelligence – requested

  • CSHP 216: Coordination and Planning Commission (SHAPE)

  • CSHP 218: History of the Reference Branch, RID, 45-65

  • CSHP 220: History of the FI Staff – requested

  • CSHP 220: CS Special Group Functions

  • CSHP 227: The Processing Branch, RID, 45-65

  • CSHP 228: History of Office of Policy Coordination, 1948-1952 (5 volumes) – requested

  • CSHP 229: History of the Office of Special Operations – Origins and Establishment 1941-1947

  • CSHP 230: History of the DDP – Dulles/Wisner Period Jan 1951 – Jan 1959 - requested

  • CSHP 231: History of the DDP – Bissell Period Jan 1959 – Feb 1962 - requested

  • CHSP 232: History of the DDP – Helms Period - requested

  • CSHP 242: Covert Action In The Cold War – An Historical Perspective of The IO Division, 1951- 1962 – requested

  • CSHP 246: Labor Program

  • CSHP 251: The Central Cover Staff, 1946-65

  • CSHP 254: History of CIA Defector Coordinator (CDC)

  • CSHP 255: CI Staff and Its Predecessor Organizations, 1945-1965 – requested

  • CSHP 256: Chronology of Division, Formation, Organization, Development and Significant Events (of Domestic Operations Division)

  • CSHP 258: Covert Book Publishing – requested

  • CSHP 266: History of EUR Division

  • CSHP 279: The Third Force Effort, 1949-1953

  • CSHP 283: CIA in Korea, 1946-1965 – requested

  • CSHP 289: FI Special Ops Group

  • CSHP 290: History of the FI Scientific Intelligence Group (1959-1965) – requested

  • CSHP 291: History of FI Intelligence Group (Oct 45 - Aug 68) – requested

  • CHSP 297: CIA Influence on Relationships Between Third Parties

  • CSHP 304: CS Budgetary Functions

  • CSHP 318: History of NE Division

  • CSHP 319: Operational Services and Its Predecessor Organizations

  • CSHP 320: History of RID Training Office

  • CSHP 323: Hungary Volume I- The Hungarian Revolution and Planning for the Future, 23 October – 4 November 1956. January 1958, Volume II External Operations 1946-1965, May 1972

  • CSHP 324: History of Western Hemisphere Division, 1946-1965 – requested

  • CSHP 334: Soviet Russia Division Counterintelligence 1946-56 – requested

  • CSHP 335: Covert Action Operations: Soviet Russia Division, 1950-1968 – released

  • CSHP 336: Development of Paramilitary Contingency Cadres, 1948-1971 – requested

  • CSHP 339: Infiltration and Resupply of Agents in North Korea, 1952-1953 – requested

  • CSHP 348: Low-Level Technical Reconnaissance over Mainland China (1955-66), 1972

  • CSHP 349: Air Support of Cuban Operations, 1960-1962

  • CSHP 353: History of TSD – Far East (Volumes I-X) – requested

  • CSHP 363: History of TSD – Europe – requested

  • CSHP 364: History of TSD – Near East/Africa – requested

  • CSHP 365: History of TSD – Western Hemisphere – requested

  • CHSP 384: The 1967 Reappraisal and Readjustment in Covert Action Operations; the Katzenbach Committee Report – requested

  • CSHP 389: Fifty-Four Days To Victory In The Congo: CIA’s Operation Against Lumumba In 1960 – requested

Overview Histories

  • The Central Intelligence Agency - An Instrument of Government, to 1950 – released

  • Organizational History of the CIA, 1950-1953 – released

  • CIA Support Functions Organization and Accomplishments of the DDA-DDS Group, 1953-1956 – released

  • Offices of the Directorate for Intelligence, 1953-60 – partially released

Directors of Central Intelligence

  • Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter as Director of Central Intelligence 1947–1950 – requested

  • General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence October 1950 - February 1953 – released

  • Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence, 26 February 1953-29 November 1961 – released

  • John McCone as Director of Central Intelligence, 1961-1965 (Elder version) – portions released

  • John McCone As Director of Central Intelligence, 1961-1965 (Robarge version) – released

  • William Raborn as Director of Central Intelligence 1965–1966 – requested

  • Richard Helms As Director of Central Intelligence, 1966-1973 – released

  • James R. Schlesinger as Director of Central Intelligence 1973 – requested

  • William E. Colby As Director of Central Intelligence, 1973-1976 – released

  • George H. W. Bush as Director of Central Intelligence 1976–1977 – requested

  • Stansfield Turner as Director of Central Intelligence, 1977–1981 – requested

  • William J. Casey as Director of Central Intelligence, 1981–1987 – requested

  • William H. Webster as Director of Central Intelligence, 1987-1991 – requested

  • Robert M. Gates as Director of Central Intelligence, 1991–1993 – requested

  • R. James Woolsey as Director of Central Intelligence, 1993–1995 – requested

  • John M. Deutch as Director of Central Intelligence, 1995–1996 – requested

Office of the Director

  • Office of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting: The Comptroller Function

  • The Cable Secretariat 1952-1966 – released

  • The President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board – requested

  • United States Intelligence Board – requested

  • The History of SIGINT in the Central Intelligence Agency, 1947-70 – released

  • Organizational Genealogy of ODCI 1953-1956 – requested

  • Deputy to the DCI for National Intelligence Programs Evaluations (draft completed by 1972)

  • Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs (planned as of 1972)

“The DCI Area”

  • Office of the General Counsel – requested

  • Office of the Legislative Counsel, 1946-1956 – requested

  • Office of the Legislative Counsel, 1957-1967 – requested

  • Internal Audit of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1947-1967 – released

Office of the Deputy Director for Intelligence

  • The Office of the DDI (draft completed as of January 1972) – requested

  • Intelligence Support Services (published October 1968)

  • Committee on Documentation (CODIB) [planned, possibly not written]

Directorate of Science and Technology Historical Series

  • History of the Office of Special Activities From Inception to 1969 – released

  • Directorate for Science and Technology 1962-1970 – released

  • Office of Scientific Intelligence 1949-1968 – released

  • National Photographic Interpretation Center: Antecedents and Early Years – released

  • National Photographic Interpretation Center: HTAUTOMAT, 1956-1958 – released

  • NPIC Field Operations – requested

  • NPIC Relations with Foreign Governments (in review as of 01/1972) – requested

  • Cuban Crisis (Studies in Intelligence)

  • Response to Intelligence Crises

  • The Office of ELINT – requested

  • The Office of Special Projects – requested, portions released

  • The Foreign Missile & Space Analysis Center

  • The Office of Computer Services – requested

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

  • Background on Development of Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service – released

  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service History, 1941-1947 – released

  • Foreign Documents Division 1946-1967 – released

  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service History 1957-1967 – released

  • Propaganda Analysis (planned)

  • Hungarian-Suez Crisis (planned)

  • Cuban Crisis

  • Vietnam

Support Services Histories

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 1: An Overview – released

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 2: Personnel Security – released

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 3: Physical Security – requested

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 4: Operational Support – requested

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 6: Technical Security – requested

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 8: Compartmented Information Security Practices – requested

  • Security Program of the CIA 1941-1968 Volume 9: Polygraph Program – requested

  • Printing for Intelligence 1942-1968 – released

  • Personnel Placement In CIA 1946-1971 – released

  • Personnel Records and Reports Control Division, Office Of Personnel 1947-1971 – released

  • Insurance Branch

  • Agency Training August 1949-July 1951 – released

  • Office of Training July 1951-January 1966 Volume 1: Definition and Consolidation – released

  • Office of Training July 1951-January 1966 Volume 2: Growth and Development – released

  • Office of Training July 1951-January 1966 Volume 3: Management and Support – released

  • Office of Training July 1951-January 1966 Volume 4: The Intelligence School – released

  • Office of Training July 1951-January 1966 Volume 5: Language and Area School and the School of International Communism – released

  • Housekeeping Plus CIA’s Logistics Services Division 1961-1971 – released

Office of Personnel

  • History of the Retirement Counseling and Placement Staff (with Attachments) June 19 1967-March 14 1969 – released

  • Reluctant Retirees - Outplacement, Second-Career Counseling and Retiree Placement 1957-1967 – released

  • The Development of Retirement Policy in CIA 1947-1968 – released

  • Special Activities Staff, 1957-1970 – released

  • Mobilization and Military Personnel Division, 1947-1970 – released

  • Administration of Contract Personnel in the Central Intelligence Agency, 1947-1967

  • Fitness Reporting in CIA 1947-1969 – released

  • CIA Recruitment, 1947-1971 – requested

  • Office of Personnel: The Position Management and Compensation Division, 1946-1967 – released, more requested

  • Position Management, Classification, Compensation, Salary and Wage Administration, 1949-1974 – released

Office of Medical Services

  • Overview of the Office of Medical Services, 1947-1972 – released

  • The Field Support Staff of the Office of Medical Services, 1947-65 – requested

  • CIA Clinical Medicine Program, 1947-1965 – requested

  • Psychiatric Program – requested

  • Medicine in Operations – requested

  • Psychological Services – requested

  • Transition, 1945-57

Office of Logistics

  • Office of Logistics: An Overview 1945-1970 – released

  • Personnel and Training in Logistics November 1950-December 1969 – released

  • CIA Supply Division 1951-1970 – released

  • Logistics Services

  • Agency Real Estate Activity 1947-1966 – requested

  • Planning and Construction of CIA Headquarters (January 1946-July 1963) – released

  • Evaluation of the Procurement Function in CIA, 1945-1970 – requested

  • Agency Engineering Support

  • Logistics Support for Operations in Vietnam, July 1962-December 1966 – requested

  • Logistics Support for Operations in Laos, March 1961-1968 – requested

Office of Current Intelligence

  • Narrative History of OCI (ETC 31 July 1970)

  • OCI’s Task Forces [planned, possibly not written]

  • CIA Watch Office and Operations Center [ETC 30 June 1970]

  • Briefing of President-elect Richard M. Nixon/1968-69 – requested

  • History of OCI Support for the White House – partially released , requested in full

  • The Liaison Relationship [planned, possibly not written]

  • OCI and the NIS Program [planned, possibly not written]

  • The White House Relationship

  • Monitoring the 1970 Middle East Cease-Fire

Office of Economic Research

  • History of ORR

  • History of the Office of Economic Research (OER)

  • Development of Economic Intelligence on the Free World [ETC 1 July 1970]

  • Economic Intelligence Committee

  • Strategic Weapons Intelligence (Soviet Heavy Bombers) – requested

  • Strategic Weapons Intelligence (Soviet Nuclear/Missile Submarine Program) – requested

  • Strategic Weapons Intelligence (The U.S.-Soviet Strategic Missile Gap) – requested

  • Soviet Military Expenditures

Office of Strategic Research

  • Factory Markings

  • Development of Military/Economic Research – requested

Office of Communications

  • Communications Intelligence (draft less than half completed as of 01/1972)

  • History of Staff and Covert Communications – requested

Office of Basic and Geographic Intelligence

  • Summary History of OBGI (Office of Basic and Geographic Intelligence)

  • Procurement of Maps for the Intelligence Community, 1946/7-1970

  • Automation in Cartography/Automated Cartography

  • Cartography Division, OBGI; Overview, 1941-1952 – requested

  • Cartography Division, OBGI; Overview, 1952-1972 – requested

  • Summary History of Geography Division (half written as of 01/1972)

  • Role of Geographic Research in Policy Planning

  • Work on the Special Research Branch of Geodesy and Gravimetry in Intelligence Research and on Polar Areas (half written as of 01/1972)

  • Basic Concepts of the National Intelligence Survey: An Historical Essay (1947-1970)

  • The Intelligence Map Program on Communist Areas (1960-1969)

  • The Map Information Section of OSS and Department of State, 1941-45: Predecessor of the Map Library and Geography Divisions – requested

  • Development of Shaded Relief for Intelligence Mapping – requested

  • Developments in Map Reference Services, 1945-1970 – requested

  • Research and Development of Cartographic Techniques for Thematic Mapping – requested

  • Developments in Map Processing, 1947-1970 – requested

  • Geographic Research in Support of Operational Planning, 1950-1970

  • Geographic Support for Top Level Briefings (planned)

  • Cartographic Support of the Travel Folder Program (planned)

  • Cartographic Support to Current Intelligence, 1951-1970 – released

  • Geographic Research Support to Scientific, Military and Economic Intelligence, 1947-1970 – released

National Intelligence Survey

  • National Intelligence Survey Program 1948-1968 – released

  • Philosophy, Concepts and Objectives of the NIS, 1947 to the Present (planned)

Office of Finance

  • Overview of the Office of Finance – requested

  • Financial Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1945-1966 – requested

Domestic Contact Service

  • East-West Exchange Program (drafted completed and in revision as of January 1972)

  • Sovmat Program (to be rescheduled as of January 1972)

  • History of Office of Operations (partially written as of January 1972)

  • Operation Lincoln – requested

  • Defector Program

  • Hungarian Refugee Program

  • CAC-Opa-locka

  • History of Office of Operations

  • Narrative History

Vietnam Histories

  • CIA and the Generals: Covert Support to Military Government in South Vietnam – released

  • CIA and the House of Ngo: Covert Action in South Vietnam, 1954-1963 – released

  • CIA and Rural Pacification in South Vietnam – released

  • CIA’s Estimate of Arms Traffic Through Sihanoukville, Cambodia During the Vietnam War – released

  • The Way We Do Things: Black Entry Operations Into North Vietnam – released

  • Undercover Armies: CIA and Surrogate Warfare in Laos – released

Bay of Pigs

  • Bay of Pigs Volume I: Air Operations, March 1960-April 1961 – released

  • Bay of Pigs Volume II: Participation in the Conduct of Foreign Policy 92 – released

  • Bay of Pigs Volume III: Evolution of CIA’s Anti-Castro Policies, 1959-January 1961 – released

  • Bay of Pigs Volume IV: The Taylor Committee Investigation of the Bay of Pigs – released

  • Bay of Pigs Volume V (draft): CIA’s Internal Investigation of the Bay of Pigs – released

Miscellaneous Studies

  • Office of Scientific Research and Development, History of Division 19 – requested

  • Office of Reports and Estimates, 1946-51

  • The First Year of the Office of National Estimates: The Directorship of William L. Langer – requested, partially released

  • The Relationship Between the Director for National Estimates and Deputy Director for Intelligence – released

  • The Summit Conference of 1960: An Intelligence Officer’s View

  • Air America, 1946-1972

  • The Development of Strategic Research at CIA, 1947-1967

  • Francis Gary Powers: The Unmaking of a Hero, 1960-1965 – requested

  • The National Intelligence Programs Evaluation Staff from Its Establishment, September 9, 1963 - December 31, 1970 – requested

  • Vietnam: A Draft Chronology, 1940-1973, September 1974 – requested

  • History of Central Research/Reference Service (CRS)

  • Collection Guidance Staff (DDI Information Requirements Staff, half finished as of January 1972)

  • Honor and Merit Awards

  • Missing in Action (first draft nearly complete as of 01/1972)

  • History of Personal Affairs Branch – released

  • Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954-1974 – released

  • CIA and the Origins of the BND, 1945-1949 – released

  • CIA and the Origins of the BND, 1949-1956 – released

  • Chronology of NRO-CIA Relationships – released

  • Operation PBSUCCESS: The United States and Guatemala 1951-1954 – released

  • CORONA Program History – released

  • Operations History – requested

92 Requests

Awaiting Acknowledgement

Cartography division histories

Emma Best sent this request to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America

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