The William Colby Collection consists of material collected by Mr. Colby during his tenure in Vietnam as a member of the US embassy and of CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support) and after his duty as Director of the CIA. This is a period from approximately 1960 to 1972 that resumes again in the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The material generally reflects Mr. Colby's responsibilities in Vietnam, American policy and the pacification programs. Therefore, the collection is divided into 7 sections; American Foreign Policy consists of various papers and publications by individuals and companies. The Communists includes FBIS (Foreign Broadcasting Information Service) reports and bound materials concerned with the North Vietnamese and their guerilla allies in South Vietnam. Covert Operations primarily contains articles and papers on the CIA. Insurgency, Counter-Insurgency and the Phoenix program discusses the US suppression of guerilla forces through papers and documents published by government ‘think tanks’. Pacification, a program with which Mr. Colby was highly involved, consists mainly of government documents and pamphlets as well as drafts of articles written by Mr. Colby. “Vietnamization” is a small section composed of articles, papers and a few government documents. The General files may also prove informative as it includes a wide range of topics from Vietnamese culture to relief programs.
In July 1999, the Honorable Sally A. Shelton-Colby donated an additional two boxes of material to the Archive and have been added as Box 6 and 7 to the collection.