Scholarship Versus Secrecy and Fake News: Primary Sources in an Age of Misinformation

Sponsored by ProQuest
Recorded on 10/03/2019

Posted in Primary Sources and Special Collections


Area 51, nuclear capabilities, shredded documents, WMDs, Trump’s meetings with Putin. You’ve heard about these events in the media…but what’s the real story behind them?

Join Tom Blanton, Director of the NSA, to hear fascinating stories about declassified U.S. government documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the independent non-governmental National Security Archive (NSA) at George Washington University.

Tom has been awarded for his work in “piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy” and for “demystifying and exposing the underworld of global diplomacy.” He will give examples from the NSA’s 60,000+ FOIA requests and discuss why this information is critical to our citizens and at all levels of academic research.


  • Image of Thomas S. Blanton

    Thomas S. Blanton

    DirectorNational Security Archive

    Tom Blanton is the director since 1992 of the independent non-governmental National Security Archive at George Washington University ( He won the 2004 Emmy Award for individual achievement in news and documentary research, and on behalf of the Archive received the George Polk Award in 2000 for “piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy.” His books have been awarded the 2011 Link-Kuehl Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, selection by Choice magazine as “Outstanding Academic Title 2017,” and the American Library Association’s James Madison Award Citation in 1996, among other honors. The National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame elected him a member in 2006, and Tufts University presented him the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award in 2011 for “decades of demystifying and exposing the underworld of global diplomacy.” His articles have appeared in Diplomatic HistoryForeign PolicyThe New York Times, and the Washington Post, among many other journals.

  • Image of Barbara Olson

    Barbara Olson

    Lead Product Marketing ManagerProQuest

    Barbara Olson is a Lead Product Marketing Manager for ProQuest, responsible for the 400+ Primary Sources and Historical Collections in the ProQuest portfolio. Barbara has over 30 years of marketing experience that includes digital marketing, database marketing and market research. At ProQuest since 2011, Barbara has held many roles including managing the North America Product Marketing team. Prior to her tenure at ProQuest, Barbara was the Marketing Director at the University of Michigan Business School – Executive Education.