Cold War research guide

The Cold War was largely a stand-off between the Capitalist West and Communist East.

Both sides developed nuclear weapons in the 1940s and, over subsequent decades, amassed stockpiles of ever more powerful and accurate weapons.

Local authorities were required to construct emergency bunkers, and affix warning sirens to public buildings. By the 1980s, Emergency Planning Officers had to be appointed and plans for civil defence in time of nuclear war had to be drawn up.

Outside of their civil defence obligations, some local authorities, including ourselves and South Yorkshire County Council, developed anti-nuclear policies. Both became ‘nuclear free zones’.

Peace Officers were employed to promote peace and improve international relations rather than engage in what some saw as futile civil defence plans.

The document below lists the main sources available at Sheffield Archives & Local Studies, which can be used to investigate Sheffield's role in the Cold War between 1945 to 1991.

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Contact the Archives and Local Studies Library

First Floor, Central Library
Surrey Street
S1 1XZ
0114 203 9395 (Sat, Mon, Tues)
0114 273 4753 (Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat)