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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA MF 422-426; MF 548-552; MF 438-440
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Minutes of Meetings: First Supplement
1947-1956, 1988
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
11 reels


Name of creator(s)

US National Security Council

Administrative / Biographical history

The National Security Act of 1947 and the Reorganization Plan of 1949 defined the composition and function of the National Security Council (NSC). Chaired by the President of the United States, the NSC consists of statutory members (the Vice President and the Secretaries of State and Defense), statutory advisers (the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and professional staff members who are on temporary assignment from the armed forces, the Central Intelligence Agency, elsewhere in the government, or who have been recruited from universities and think tanks. The statutory function of the NSC is to advise the President with respect to the integration of domestic, foreign, and military policies relating to national security. Since 1947 the NSC has evolved as a key foreign policy making arm of the president. Minutes of the Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement contains three separate types of materials: minutes of meetings, document associated with such meetings, and summaries and discussions held during the meetings. This collection relates to a period during the administrations of Presidents Harry S Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower (1947-1956), during which the National Security Council (NSC) met on a regular weekly basis. The NSC met more frequently during times of foreign crisis, less frequently when the president was travelling or pre- occupied with domestic issues. During the administrations of Harry S Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower, the NSC produced a series of formal policy papers whose purpose it was to analyse current and potential national security issues and make policy recommendations to deal with those issues. These policy papers were prepared by the NSC staff and occasionally by members of the NSC in response to requests by the NSC to study specific issues. When completed, these policy papers (NSCPP) were distributed to the NSC for study and comment. If the NSC decided to alter a policy paper, a revised draft would be produced. Once approved, the paper became the official (and usually secret) policy of the United States government. In contrast to Truman and Eisenhower, Presidents John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson held few NSC meetings, relying less on the formally structured NSC and more on ad hoc committees to discuss national security policy.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

University Publications of America, Inc., Bethesda, MD, with published fully indexed guides edited by Paul Kesaris

Content & structure

Scope and content

Minutes of the Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement are microfilmed copies of minutes of meetings, official meeting files and supporting documentation, and detailed records relating to meeting of the National Security Council, 1947-1956. Document material relates to policies and procedures governing the National Security Council, 1947; initial directives to the Central Intelligence Agency, 1947; the US political position concerning Italy, Greece, China, and Palestine, 1947; US policy with respect to the Republic of Korea, 1948-53; conversations with the British in regard to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, 1948; US position with respect to perceptions of Soviet-directed world communism, 1948-55; the dispatch of US B-29 bombers to Great Britain, 1948; US policy on atomic and nuclear warfare, 1948-55; possible Soviet interruptions to the Berlin air-lift, 1948; organisation under the Atlantic Pact and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), 1949; the re- armament of the Federal Republic of West Germany, 1950; the position of the US with respect to Indochina, 1951-55; the death of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, President of the Soviet Council of Ministers and General Secretary, Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1953; the Mutual Security Program, 1953; US objectives with respect to Indonesia, 1953; US objectives in the event of a general war with the Soviet bloc, 1954; overseas reaction to the Atomic Energy Commission, 1955; US policy towards the People's Republic of China, Formosa and the government of the Republic of China, 1955

System of arrangement

Material in the collection is arranged into the following sections: 'Minutes of Meetings' contains the official records used for referencing NSC meetings; 'Documents' are the official meeting files of the NSC and consists of minutes of meetings and associated documentation, the latter of which includes agenda, memoranda, and briefing reports; 'Summaries of Discussions' are detailed records of NSC meetings under the Eisenhower administration, written by the Deputy Secretary of the NSC, S Everett Gleason. The summaries were for Eisenhower's personal use and are not part of the official documentation kept by the NSC. Each section is arranged chronologically therein

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America, Inc., 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD, 20814-3389, USA

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

This Summary Guide, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room, Paul Kesaris (ed.), Minutes of the Meetings of the National Security Council: First Supplement (University Publications of America,Inc, Bethesda, MD, 1988).

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

The National Security Council Files, Record Group 273, deposited at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, USA; and Papers of Dwight D Eisenhower: Papers as President of the United States (Ann Whitman File), 1953-1961, NSC Series, deposited at the Dwight D Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas, USA



Compiled Jul 1999

Description control

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.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

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  • Alliances
  • Arms control
  • Central government
  • Collectivism
  • Communism
  • Disarmament
  • East West relations
  • Foreign relations
  • Government
  • Government departments
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Korean War (1950-1953)
  • Military engineering
  • Military equipment
  • Nuclear warfare
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Peace
  • Political doctrines
  • Public administration
  • Vietnam War (1945-1975)
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • Wars (events)
  • Weapons

Personal names

  • Eisenhower, Dwight David, 1890-1969, US President and General
  • Johnson, Lyndon Baines, 1908-1973, US President
  • Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 1917-1963, US President
  • Stalin, Joseph Vissarionovich, 1879-1953, Prime Minister of the USSR
  • Truman, Harry S, 1884-1972, US President

Corporate names

  • NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • National Security Council
  • US Central Intelligence Agency
  • US Government departments
  • US National Security Council


  • Americas
  • Caribbean
  • China, East Asia
  • Dutch East Indies
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Indonesia, South East Asia
  • Italy
  • London, England
  • Palestine, Middle East
  • Taiwan, East Asia
  • USA, North America
  • USSR, Eastern Europe

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