The Vietnam Reading Room

What is in the Vietnam Reading Room

The Virtual Vietnam Archive currently contains over 10 million pages of scanned materials including documents, photographs, slides, negatives, oral histories, artifacts, moving images, sound recordings, maps, and collection finding aids. These materials can be freely accessed online through the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

The Vietnam Reading Room portal gives researchers access to the same material that is inside the Virtual Vietnam Archive, plus it grants patrons access to view copyrighted material that has been digitized and added to the database. The VRR is exactly the same as the Virtual Vietnam Archive: search forms, filters, and search results are exactly the same, and access remains free and open to the public. The difference is that Virtual Reading Room requires users to register, exactly as you would for onsite research, to gain access to view and download the digitized copyright-blocked materials for research use.

Please note that some items have records in our database but cannot be viewed in the Virtual Vietnam Archive, or in the Vietnam Reading Room. These records indicate that the VNCA has the item, but it has not been digitized. They are often copyrighted items like popular movies, magazines, newspapers, etc. that the VNCA has not digitized. If you would like to access these items, please contact us.

Don't Want to Register to Access Copyrighted Materials?

Continue using the Virtual Vietnam Archive portal and contact us with details for the copyrighted item(s) you would like to have mailed as a physical copy (see Duplications Policies and Procedures for more information and prices).

What is not in the Virtual Archive

The Vietnam Archive is a donation-driven archive - we only have those items that people donate to us. So, the bulk of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive tend to be more personal in nature - personal photographs, letters home, etc. While there are some official records, these are generally copies kept and donated to us by veterans or researchers of the war. We collect and present all sides and viewpoints of the era. While a large portion of our collections are from military veterans, we are striving to increase our holdings in all other aspects. Our online research database is continuously growing, with new items added every day. What you are looking for may not be there one day but could be the next.

Try searching for your topic (be sure to use variations of your search terms), and if you don't find what you are looking for, try again in the future, or contact one of the Military Reference Offices. The official records of the war are housed in the National Archives, with copies in some of the military branches' history museums. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

For basic facts and information about the war, you may have better luck using encyclopedias, or one of the many books or other websites concerning the war.


The Virtual Vietnam Archive includes images and text that may be of a graphic or disturbing nature that may not be suitable for some users.

Rear view of AH-1G Cobra probably LZ Jane near Quang Tri: Barry Brown Collection [VA009621]
Rear view of AH-1G Cobra probably LZ Jane near Quang Tri
(Barry Brown Collection [VA009621])

Other Ways to Access Digitized Materials

In addition to the search page, there are a variety of other ways to view digital materials on our website. See our Researching Online page for more information.

New Additions RSS Feed

A RSS Feed of records added to or updated in the Virtual Vietnam Archive has been created. This feed is updated Tuesday-Saturday at 5:00am (-0600 GMT) with the previous day's records. Use the links above for more information.

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