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Douglas Pike Collection: Unit 02 - Military Operations (213) Finding Aid
Item Number: 2130000000   (Click For More Item Information)

The contents of this unit are reportorial in nature covering the day to day events of the war from the perspective of combat operations. The tone of these materials is to relate what happened on the battlefields of Vietnam with little analysis as to why certain policies were followed or how successfully they were pursued.. Since combat operations are conducted in an arena influenced by political and diplomatic factors, a certain amount of attention has been devoted to these subjects as well. Here again, however, the goal is more to report such events and their relationship to field operations rather than to analyze them. Primarily, the items in this unit consist of US, North and South Vietnamese journalistic, government, and academic reports and studies which offer narratives of battlefield operations. This unit consists of 35 boxes and is broken down in into two parts. The first, Boxes 1-28, contains contemporary accounts of battlefield events. These materials span the years 1945-1975, with the bulk during the 1961-75 time period. They are indexed at the folder level in this finding aid. Boxes 29-35 house retrospective materials covering the same events, published between 1975 and 1994. These retrospective materials are not indexed in this finding aid. According to the system which Douglas Pike set up in the original collection, each year's files are broken into two catagories. The first is General Files and the second is a group of chronological files. The General Files are found at the beginning of the arrangement for the files of each individual year and are labelled as such. Pike's original idea was to put overview documentation's or grand studies of the year's major events in these files. However, these events may well be covered in the chronological files that follow for the time period in question. The difference is that in these later files the material tends to be more, reportorial, fragmented, and journalistic in nature. If one is studying some major event or turning point in the war it behooves the researcher to begin with the general files and work to the chronological. If working on a more minor event or topic, it makes more sense to begin with the chronological files and then turn to the general files for material giving perspective to these events to help the researcher set them within the larger picture of the major events of the war. In describing the Pike Collection, every effort was made to list all significant subjects or materials contained in a file. This was primarily done by thumbing through the folders and making notes as we went. Thus, it may appear to the researcher that subjects have been listed in this finding aid in the order which they appear in the folders. This is not strictly the case. The only accurate statement that can be made about the folder descriptions is that it they reflect the time period listed and subjects given to be contained in the folder. However, just because material on a topic is encountered early in searching the folder, does not mean that there is not similar material at the end. This may be so because the internal arrangement in the folder is chronological, not topical. To help the researcher, there is also a glossary that precedes the section of this guide containing the folder inventories/indexes.

Added: 07 Jan 2002[Updated: 11 Mar 2013]