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Notes From Our Attic: A Curator's Pocket History of the CIA

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By: The CIA Museum Staff with exceptional contributions by CIA Museum Staff Historian Samuel J. Cooper-Wall and Museum Contract Historian Nicholas E. Reynolds.

History can be studied in more than one way. You can learn about facts and ideas from books. You can search for the documents that the books are based on. You can take the material approach: go to the places where history was made, perhaps join a group of re-enactors, and absorb the atmosphere. Or you can go to a museum. Museums are where you discover history by studying things, that is, artifacts, in context. What we do here is tell the story of the Central Intelligence Agency through a selection of the artifacts collected by the CIA Museum, often called “The Best Museum You’ve Never Seen” because we display our artifacts in their true CIA context—but only staff and official visitors to the CIA Headquarters compound can see them.

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