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James H. Critchfield Papers

Identifier: MS 00209

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Primary source documents, research materials and drafts for James Critchfield's book, "Partners at the Creation the Men behind Postwar Germany's Defense and Intelligence Establishments." Includes information on Germans imprisoned by the Allies, and on De-Nazification, for which Critchfield conducted interviews; also included are two copies of a booklet about a camps for detainees (“Camp 71”). The illustrated booklet is written in German and one English translation insert is provided. Further included are oral history transcripts and documents relating to the Berlin Crises (1958-1961), the founding of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents (1945-1949), a German-English intelligence glossary, biographical files and correspondence. Includes some Holocaust materials and photographs of concentration camp victims.

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.


  • Creation: 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.

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: .


11.50 Linear Feet

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some cassette tapes have been digitized. Tapes that have not been digitized will need to be digitized before accessing. Please contact Special Collections staff for more information. At least 72 hours advanced notice required to access cassette tape recordings.

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.

Separated Materials:

A framed autographed photo of Richard Helms has been transferred to the Manuscript Audiovisual Collection.

Processing Information:

Processed by Matthew Hopper, SCRC Staff, during 2003-2004. Addition accessioned in August 2009 ,and described and rehoused by Terry Noziglia, SCRC Staff, in October 2009.

Guide to the James H. Critchfield Papers
SCRC Staff
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository