U.S. Information Agent’s Papers Shed Light on U.S. Propaganda Strategy in S.E. Asia

Lloyd Burlingham was a United States Foreign Service information officer. He was born in Manila, Philippines, around 1911. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1952 and then studied at Columbia University’s Russian Institute. From 1955 to 1956, he was a research assistant for American University, contributing to books on Cambodia, Laos, and Iran. He joined the United States Information Service (later the United States Information Agency) in 1957 where he worked until 1970. During his government service, he was stationed in Thailand and worked in Buenos Aires and Saigon as well. He served as director of public information for the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, 1961-1965. He died in Perry, New York.

The Lloyd Burlingham collection contains documents created by the United States Information Agency to advance its mission of presenting the United States in a positive way to foreign countries during the Cold War. Also included are research materials about Southeast Asia, SEATO (the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization), China, Russia, Argentina, and elsewhere. Materials include correspondence, newspapers and clippings, periodicals relating to foreign relations, internal memos, press releases, informal field notebooks, and government reports. There are materials that provide insight into the political and military situation in Southeast Asia during the 1960s and a small series of propaganda materials used against the United States in countries like Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam in the 1960s. There is some material in Thai and Russian languages. There are also reports and papers dealing with Soviet influence in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

The AHC is home to a number of Cold War-era collections; for a preview of collections in this subject area, you might be interested in our subject guide, available here.

–Pechet Men, AHC Processing Intern

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