Archive Resources on Agent Orange

About Agent Orange

Agent Orange received its name from its distinctive packaging, an orange striped 55 gallon drum. It works as a defoliant killing broad leafed plants and weeds by inducing rapid and uncontrolled growth, causing the plants to loose all of their leaves.

The United States government used Agent Orange in Vietnam to reduce the amount of vegetation in heavy combat zones and around military bases in an effort to reduce the effectiveness of the North Vietnamese guerilla forces. During Operation Ranch Hand the U. S. Air Force sprayed 19 million gallons of Agent Orange in Vietnam from 1961 - 1971.

In later years, researchers found that the Dioxin in Agent Orange and most of the other Rainbow Herbicides used in Vietnam can cause numerous health problems including cancer, birth defects and other diseases; making Agent Orange one of the most prominent issues for Vietnam Veterans today.

About This Subject Guide

This subject guide is meant to give the user a broad overview of the collections most relevant to Agent Orange research, more collections may be available inside the Virtual Vietnam Archive. Click on the links to the moving images, photographs or oral histories to view the material through the subject guide. Clicking on a finding aid will send you to a document describing an entire collection with either a box or folder level listing of the collection's contents. The finding aid will give you a general idea of what is contained in the collection.

Many of our documents are scanned and available online. You can find the individual documents by searching the virtual archive. Below is a list of keyword combinations that you can use in the Advanced Search module to find individual documents.

Keywords (use Agent Orange and one of the following keywords)

  • Diabetes
  • Chloracne
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda
  • Prostate cancer
  • Soft-tissue sarcoma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Schwannomas
  • Spina Bifida
  • Operation Ranch Hand
  • Rainbow Herbicides
  • Agent White
  • Agent Blue
  • Dioxin

Useful Websites

Agent Orange Resources by Media Type