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James H. Critchfield Papers

Identifier: MS 00209
Documentation and drafts for James Critchfield's book, "Partners at the Creation the Men behind Postwar Germany's Defense and Intelligence Establishments." Includes oral history transcripts and documents relating to the Berlin Crises (1958-1961), founding of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents (1945-1949), a German-English intelligence glossary, biographical files and correspondence.

Acc. 2009.367 consists of  photocopies of "Foreign Intelligence and Partnership:CIA and the origins of the BND, 1945-49"; as well as one bound and one loose-leaf set of copies of correspondence relating to Critchfield's post-war Intelligence tasks.


  • 1941-2003

Language of Materials

English German

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


11.50 Linear Feet

Biographical Information:

James H. Critchfield was a United States Army officer during World War II who remained in Germany and Austria as an army intelligence officer and joined the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency where he was the principal CIA officer working with the Gehlen Organization until its emergence as the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).He was born January 30, 1917 and graduated from North Dakota State University. He retired from the CIA in 1974 and died April 23, 2003. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2004.09 was a gift of Lois Critchfield in 2004. Acc. 2009.367 a gift of Lois Critchfield in August 2009.

Related Materials:

The James H. Critchfield Papers relating to Oman are housed at the Georgetown University Library. All audiovisual material from this collection has been moved and described in the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Separated Materials:

All audiovisual material from this collection has been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.  A framed autographed photo of Richard Helms has been transferred to the Manuscript Audiovisual Collection.


Other Information:

A PDF document of the inventory for Acc. 2004.09 is available online.

All audiovisual material from this collection has been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Additional information may be found at

Processing Information:

Processed by Matthew Hopper, SCRC Staff, during 2003-2004. Addition accessioned by Ute Schechter, in August 2009 and described and rehoused by Terry Noziglia, SCRC Staff, in October 2009.
Guide to the James H. Critchfield Papers
Finding Aid Authors: Matthew Hopper, SCRC Staff, Terry Noziglia, SCRC Staff.
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository