Notes from our Attic: A Curator's Pocket History of the CIA
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
Pagination or Media Count:
History can be studied in more than one way. You can learn about facts and ideas from books. You can search for the documents that the books are based on. You can take the material approach go to the places where history was made, perhaps join a group of re-enactors, and absorb the atmosphere. Or you can go to a museum. Museums are where you discover history by studying things, that is, artifacts, in context. What we do here is tell the story of the Central Intelligence Agency through a selection of the artifacts collected by the CIA Museum, often called The Best Museum Youve Never Seen because we display our artifacts in their true CIA context but only staff and official visitors to the CIA Headquarters compound can see them. This is part of an initiative to share our treasures with a wider audience. Because we are interpreting history through artifacts, our catalog is a little different from other forms of history that start with a narrative and may or may not use photographs and maps to illustrate a story. We start with what we have in the collection and use artifacts to reconstruct the history of the Agency. The result is more impressionistic and less linear than other histories, but we hope it will be just as memorable and informative.
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations