During the early years of the Cold War, the United States government charged Michigan State University with helping to stabilize and develop the new nation of South Vietnam, a key American non-communist ally in Asia. From 1955 until the early 1960s, the Michigan State University Group (MSUG) carried out a wide range of projects in administrative reorganization, rural economic development, and police training in the new country. The programs did not bring stability to South Vietnam, soon to be torn apart by the Vietnam War. However, the records generated by the MSUG remain an unparalleled resource for understanding South Vietnamese society, as well as the nature of American intervention in the so-called “Third World.”
The Michigan State University Vietnam Group Archive project will digitize the most important of these materials, and to make them available to scholars and students across the world in a user-friendly, innovative digital archive.