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International Conference “Need to Know VIII: Access to Secrets: New Sources and New Interpretation of Intelligence” – Bodø (Norway), 29–30 November 2018

The Need to Know-conferences wish to stimulate research and discussions on the history of intelligence, with a special focus on the Cold War. To explore new information and new interpretations following the opening of archives in East and West. 

We hereby invite You to deliver papers for this years Need to Know conference, which will take place at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø, North Norway. Of Cold War intelligence fame since the U2 Incident of 1960.

Suggested papers can deal with intelligence research and access, as well as to new trends in research and public education. 

The conference would like to address  questions like:

  • What is the status of access to intelligence archives?
  • Can democracies handle the opening up of secret files? 
  • How does empirical research bust myths and conspiracies?
  • How do we talk about intelligence? How do museums and other institutions of public education address and present intelligence?
  • The heritage of intelligence: How may the material and immaterial heritage of Cold War intelligence be preserved?
  • Sources from East and West: Challenges and significance of using sources from several sides. 
  • Real and perceived spies: How did the fear of enemy intelligence affect history?

The papers should be based on firm historical documentation. Papers that touch upon Aerial intelligence is welcomed. As is papers on PolishScandinavian intelligence history. Papers based on or including time witnesses is also of interest.

Conference-language is English.

The conference is organized by the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation and the Center for Cold War Studies of the University of Southern Denmark, together with Norwegian Aviation Museum.

Accommodations and meals will be covered for presenters. The conference will also contribute to travel expenses upon application.

The deadline for paper proposals is May 30, 2018. The submission should include: An abstract of 500–700 words in English and a biographical note listing major professional accomplishments (250 words, in English). The Conference Program Committee will notify selected speakers by midJune 2018.

The Conference is supported by Langelands Museum, The Fritt Ord Foundation and the Municipality of Bodø.

Submissions and additional questions  should be sent to:

By definition secret, intelligence is still a normal part of political life. Throughout history, governments, political parties and private interest groups have collected intelligence to gain an advantage. It is perceived as important for the survival of a state, but also a problematic  field with opportunities for misuse and abuse.

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