Online Teaching Resources

This page will be continually updated with freely available teaching resources designed to be used in online instruction in Diplomatic History and International Relations. This is part of H-Diplo's commitment to serving its community amid COVID-19 and any future disruptions that necessitate short- or long-term shifts to online instruction. The sources include items submitted by H-Diplo subscribers in addition to some curated by the H-Diplo editorial team. Where submissions included a description of the resource, those have been only lightly edited. Please see our call for teaching resources if you would like to contribute: https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/discussions/6100812/call-teaching-resources.

Non-Governmental Archives and Libraries

  • The Gilder Lehrman Institute 
  • The National Security Archive
    • One of our core missions is to expand public awareness and study of U.S. foreign and national security policy by using the Freedom of Information Act to break loose historically significant records and make them widely available.  
    • At the beginning of April 2020 we published our 700th "Electronic Briefing Book" of declassified materials, all of which are accessible on our website without charge or membership.  They are made-to-order for classroom use.  Each one consists of anywhere from a dozen to 100+ documents identified and compiled by one of our staff subject experts (e.g., William Burr on nuclear history, John Prados on intelligence, and Svetlana Savranskaya on Soviet/Russia topics).  Editors introduce the materials with a footnoted essay and accompany each document with a "headnote" for historical context.  Links to related postings and sources point users to further readings.
    • Recent postings have documented the first stationing of U.S. nukes on the Korean Peninsula (which Foster Dulles warned would be "disastrous" for U.S. policy); the 40-year conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran; Chernobyl through the eyes of the Soviet Politburo; the CIA's use of Crypto A.G. devices to spy on foreign governments; and extraordinary new intelligence releases on Operation Condor and Argentina's Dirty War. Regular topics include superpower summitry and the end of the Cold War, America's convoluted relationship with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, the U.S. and Soviet occupations of Afghanistan, approaches to global terrorism, U.S. policy toward Cuba over the decades, and the structure and mission of U.S. cyber operations. Our 700th e-book spotlighted JFK's lesser-known campaign to oust the Communist leader of British Guiana, Cheddi Jagan.  There's especially strong coverage of nuclear history, intelligence and covert operations, U.S.-Soviet relations, the Cuban missile crisis and Bay of Pigs, and U.S. policy toward Latin America and human rights.
    • Many of the postings have sources from other countries, with especially rich materials from former Soviet archives (there's a whole separate Russian-language section on the website) as well as Latin American records. Students can use the search function to follow policies over time or trace the roles of presidents and other key figures—from Truman to Trump, Robert McNamara to Henry Kissinger to Zbig Brezinski, or Mikhail Gorbachev to Fidel Castro.  
    • You can find the latest postings on the Archive's home page: https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/. For full listings, click on the Postings tab, or search the Virtual Reading Room for individual documents.
  • New-York Historical Society Museum & Library
    • The New-York Historical Society has an ongoing program of digital teaching resources and new online initiatives in response to COVID-19. They include:
      • Women & the American Story (WAMS) (https://wams.nyhistory.org/) - A free curriculum website made up of primary and secondary sources that illuminate women's diverse roles across U.S. history. Organized into 10 chronological and thematic units that cover the full survey, four of which are live. 
      • Women Have Always Worked (https://history.columbia.edu/2017/05/23/mooc-women-have-always-worked/) - The first full-length Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the history of women in America introduces students to historians' work to uncover the place of women and gender in America's past. Produced in collaboration with Columbia University.
      • Playing the President: FDR's First Hundred Days (https://playingthepresident.nyhistory.org) - Players take on the role of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he confronts some of the biggest challenges facing the nation in the Great Depression. Take expert advice, consider public opinion, and balance political priorities through primary source documents as you play to find out if you would have made the same choices as FDR.
      • New-York Historical Society Curriculum Library (https://nyhistory.org/curriculum-library) - Downloadable PDF curriculum guides based on past New-York Historical Society exhibitions as well as permanent collections. Topics range from Dutch New Netherland through the Vietnam War. Each guide contains primary and secondary resources. 
      • History @ Home (https://nyhistory.org/history-home) - Weekly live online learning offerings from the New-York Historical Society Education Division, including K-12 sessions, professional development workshops, History Happy Hours, and daily lesson plans covering a wide range of topics 
  • Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC)
    • Their digital collections are available on their website (https://dimes.rockarch.org/xtf/search). Of these, the Rockefeller Foundation's officers' diaries are a particularly rich resource, as are their collections relating to Latin America and Europe. They also have a series of lesson plans with primary documents and the Ford Foundation records, though the latter are mostly only available on-site.
    • Additional resources include RE:Source, the RAC's story-telling platform, which has a page on Archival Education as well as links to lesson plans. Additional sources of interest may include the Rockefeller Foundation's Digital History website, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's 75th anniversary timeline, the Institute of International Education's annual reports, the Ford Foundation's annual reports, the Rockefeller Foundation's annual reports, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund annual reviews, and the essays available on the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Our History page. Finally, as for secondary sources, the RAC has a Bibliography of Scholarship available as well as research reports available on IssueLab.
  • Wilson Center Digital Archive
    • The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program’s Digital Archive (https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/) is a resource where students, researchers, and educators can access historically significant primary documents from governments, organizations, and individuals all over the world. The Digital Archive serves to deepen and enrich international scholarship, history education, and public policy debate on important global issues and challenges. The Digital Archives contains more than 18,000 individual documents. These documents are organized into 150 collections that provide a deep-dive into topics like the Korean War, the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, and US-China Relations, as well as collections of personal papers (Emir Farid Chehab, Nikita Khrushchev, etc.) The majority of the documents have translations, which are available alongside the original documents. 

    Professional Associations

    University Presses and Institutes

    • African Studies Centre Leiden
      • The Centre publishes web dossiers on various topics related to African history and politics, and these dossiers typically include brief summaries of the topic, bibliographies, and lists of freely available online videos.
    • The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD) at Georgetown University
    • Oxford University Press Online Resource Centres (https://global.oup.com/uk/orc/politics/)
      • Includes pages focused on: Comparative Politics; Conflict, Security, and Strategy; Countries and Regions; European Union Politics; Foreign Policy; International Relations Theory; Introduction to Politics and International Relations; Political Economy; Political Theory; Political and Legal Movements and Debates; Research Methods. The content varies by topic, and some pages require registration. Resources include, e.g., copies of government documents, maps, PowerPoint slides, and digital libraries with videos and other secondary sources.
    • Marine Corps University Press
      • All journals and monographs are open access and publicly available at www.usmcu.edu/mcupress. Print copies are also available upon request. MCUP focuses on scholarly books and academic journals that provide a forum for interdisciplinary discussion of national security and international relations issues and how they impact the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps directly and indirectly. Our special issue of the journal on climate change has been used by conference groups and boards to inform their discussions on the topic, and our geopolitical and military science titles have further advanced the conversation in the DMV.
    • The Qualitative Data Repository (QDR)
      • The QDR curates, stores, preserves, publishes, and enables the download of digital data generated through qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences. All data available through QDR are available free of charge and most data are accessible immediately after registration. QDR also provides guidance on topics ranging from data management to teaching with qualitative data. QDR accepts data from researchers worldwide and across social science disciplines and approaches. It is located at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and directed by Colin Elman.
      • The QDR has recently published a list of data projects that are particularly suitable for teaching: https://qdr.syr.edu/guidance/teaching/data-for-teaching. In addition to those, of perhaps particular interest to IR scholars might be these three additional projects:
        • Leonard, Don. 2019. "Data for: Exposure to trade and postcolonial divergence on the island of Hispaniola". Qualitative Data Repository. https://doi.org/10.5064/F6MFN8D4
        • Fazal, Tanisha; Fortna, Page. 2015. "Interstate War Initiation and Termination (I-WIT) data set". Qualitative Data Repository. https://doi.org/10.5064/F6JW8BSD.
        • St. John, Taylor. 2018. "Data for 'The Rise of Investor-State Arbitration: Politics, Law, and Unintended Consequences'". Qualitative Data Repository. https://doi.org/10.5064/F6UMRNAC.

    Government Resources

    • Foreign Relations of the United States
    • U.S. Library of Congress
      • All available digitized holdings at the Library of Congress are available online. Collections of particular interest to the H-Diplo community might include “American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789,” the Abraham Lincoln Papers, “Japanese-American Internment Camp Newspapers, 1942-1946,” and “Iraq War 2003 Web Archive”. (See here: https://www.loc.gov/collections/.)
    • U.S. National Archives & Records Administration

    Other Resources

    Last updated May 4, 2020.