2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2019 12:21 AM by Aditya Rawat

    Iran Hostage Crisis


      How did the Iran Hostage Crisis affect Jimmy Carter's presidency?

        • Re: Iran Hostage Crisis
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Rawat,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub! 


          The question you ask is a complex one with many possible answers that continue to be debated to this day.  A search of your local libraries and of online sources will come up with many books and articles written by historians, journalists, political commentators and others that offer many different takes on the events and their ramifications. If this is a topic which is new to you, you might want to start by working with your local librarian to locate relevant secondary sources. 

          The National Archives acts primarily as a custodian of records and is not in a position to offer a single, definitive interpretation of the significance of historical events.  However we do have many records that can be used to research the topic. The National Archives has a topic page dedicated to the Iran Hostage Crisis that provides sample records, information about additional records related to the topic, and links to other resources related to the Iran Hostage Crisis. 

          As you are specifically interested in the effect on the Carter presidency, you should also look at this page on the website of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

          In addition to the resources described on these topic pages, you can also search the National Archives Catalog for records relating to the topic.

          Some of the results that come up include Research Files Relating to the Iran Hostage Crisis Negotiations, 1980 - 1981 and Records of Sheldon J. Krys Relating to Iran Hostages, 10/12/1977 - 5/14/1985.  However you should be aware that there are access restrictions on these two series and that you would need to request them under the Freedom of Information Act.

          If you have any additional questions about records in the National Archives relating to these topics, we recommend you contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov and the Jimmy Presidential Carter Library and Museum via their contact form

          The Library of Congress has a number of primary and secondary sources that relate to the Iran Hostage Crisis linked under the Iran Hostage Crisis 1979 - 1981 subject heading. You can contact them through their “Ask a Librarian” Inquiry Form

          This Department of State has a brief article on the topic which offers some interpretations of the impacts of the crisis on the Carter presidency, particularly as they relate to foreign affairs.

          Another source you might use is newspapers articles and editorials that were written during the crisis.  This can give insight in how the Carter administration’s handling of the crisis was portrayed by the media.  There are a number of website the provide access to back issues of newspapers, however many of those require paid subscriptions.  We recommend that you first check with your local library as many libraries have newspaper collections of their own as well as institutional subscriptions to online databases.

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

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