These records are digitized and available online through the National Archives catalog and Access to Archival Databases (AAD). This is not a comprehensive list of every Vietnam War resource available online, but hopefully these links will be a helpful stepping off point for historical research about individuals and events connected to this period. The National Archives also has a new Vietnam War research portal, which you can learn more about here.
Black and White Photographs of Marine Corps Activities in Vietnam, 1962 – 1975- Photos of a wide range of subjects including: marines in combat, military dogs, ceremonies and entertainers, aircraft, visits by VIPs, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, Viet Cong, Vietnamese civilians, Operation Homecoming, and Operation Frequent Wind.
General Photograph File of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1927 – 1981- This series covers multiple wars, including Vietnam.
General Black-and-White Photographic File of the Department of Navy, 1958 – 1981- Includes photos of POW releases, naval combat and ships, and medical staff with wounded soldiers.
Vietnam, Vietnam- This film reviews the history of Vietnam and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The war footage includes combat scenes, civilian massacres and mistreatment of Prisoners of War. The film concludes with a quick succession of comments by well-known and average citizens, some favoring U.S. involvement and some opposing it. The movie was executive produced and directed by John Ford, with a narration by actor Charlton Heston.
Films from this series include Action Vietnam, The Army and Vietnam, The Big Red One in Vietnam, The Fight for Vietnam, The Hidden War in Vietnam, U.S. Army Advisor in Vietnam , Vietnam Crucible, and Why Vietnam?. The first two minutes of each film is currently available in the National Archives catalog, but many of these films have been uploaded to YouTube by third parties.
Records Relating to Combat
Links to unit- and ship-level operational records can be found here.
Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force, 6/1967 - 1/1969- Also known as the Pentagon Papers. This series covers US involvement in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from WWII to 1967. An index to the materials is available in the catalog here.
Vietnam Special Studies Group (VSSG) Files, July 1, 1969 - January 31, 1974 (Downloadable data file)- Summarized data about the security of hamlets in South Vietnam as derived from the Hamlet Evaluation System 1971 (HES71) files. The categories describing the security of the hamlet indicate the degree to which the GNV or Viet Cong has presence or influence in the hamlet.
General Records, 1965 – 1972- "This series consists of a wide variety of records that were maintained by the Command Historian. The records include Command Historian administrative files, as well as other unit histories, counterinsurgency studies, weapons effectiveness reports, personnel reports, interviews, handbooks, photographs, and operational reports - lessons learned (ORLL)."
Records Relating to Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA)
(Digitized records relating to POWs and MIA, especially photos, are located in several series across multiple record groups and creators. Many are located in presidential records, military records, state department records, and senate records. They can be located using a keyword search of the National Archives catalog.)
Cluster Analysis Map of Vietnam, 1991 – 1992- Cluster map of intelligence reports of US POWs in Vietnam from the records of the U.S. Senate.
CBS REPORTS: POWS PAWNS OF WAR, 6/1971, Part 1 and Part 2- CBS documentary on treatment of US prisoners in North Vietnam and Viet Cong prisoners in South Vietnam, and includes interviews with wives and families of American POWS.
Divider/Subject - 280 - Operation Homecoming (Repatriation of U.S. Marine POWs) and Divider/Subject - 293 - Prisoners (SEE ALSO "Operation Homecoming") - Photos from the series Black and White Photographs of Marine Corps Activities in Vietnam, 1962 – 1975
Records Relating to Veterans
Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study Files, 1986 – 1987- Study commissioned by the VA on the causes, evolution, and extent of readjustment problems experienced by veterans of the Vietnam War.
Records Relating to Anti-War Demonstrations
Survey on Campus Unrest Data File (Downloadable data file)-Study done by Nixon President's Commission on Campus Unrest with information collected from 1967-1970. This series consists of a social survey of college and university administrators, faculty members and student leaders. It includes information about the institutions and the students, and about incidents on respondents' campuses that involved the National Guard, off-campus police, outsiders, court injunctions, property destruction, injuries or death. The survey also includes information about respondents' attitudes toward causes of unrest, the institutional and governmental responses, and respondents' proposals to limit future incidents.
Johnson White House Photographs, 11/22/1963 - 1/20/1969- This series includes several photos of anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. during the Johnson Administration.
Records of the Kent State University Investigative Team, 1970 – 1970- Materials collected to investigate the death of Kent State student demonstrators, as part of President Nixon’s Commission on Campus Unrest.
Coffin, Spock, et al. Protest- Digitized items from an investigation of anti-war activities conducted by the U.S. Attorney for the Judicial District of Massachusetts.
Records Relating to Special Events
After Action Reports and Other Records Relating to the Bob Hope Christmas Tours, 1968 – 1972- "This series consists of after action reports relating to the several Bob Hope Christmas shows staged within Vietnam ("Operation Holly", 1966-1970; "Operation Jingle Bells", 1971)."