337 Cohen Hall
Kathy Peiss, University of Pennsylvania, Dept of History
"Open-Source Intelligence and the World War II-Era 'Information Age"
During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services spearheaded an extensive American effort to acquire enemy publications for the Allied cause. This collecting mission, undertaken by librarians and scholars in Lisbon and other neutral cities around the world, was an early foray by the United States into open-source intelligence. My talk examines this effort, with several questions in mind: How did information termed "intelligence" gain value? What made it believable and usable? What role did open-source intelligence play in the evolving field of information science? To answer these questions, I describe an alchemy whereby printed texts became intelligence and librarians turned into intelligence agents.