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James H. Critchfield Papers

Identifier: GTM-101108

Scope and Contents Note

The James H. Critchfield Papers contain a wide array of documents concerning the work of James H. Critchfield (1917-2003) in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman. The collection includes correspondence to and from Critchfield dated 1974 to 1991. It also contains technical reports and files from Critchfield's consulting firm Tetra Tech International regarding its work developing the oil, natural gas, water, and mineral industries in Oman. The reports trace the relationship between Tetra Tech and the Omani government. Documents relating to various development projects throughout Oman are also present. A fine series of color photographs from the 1970s and 1980s provide a visual record of life in Oman. A number of audio cassettes are also preserved in the collection. In addition, some maps are also present among these papers.

The James H. Critchfield Papers supplement the Middle East holdings of the Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, which also houses the William E. Mulligan Papers, a manuscript collection documenting the modern history of Saudi Arabia.

The James H. Critchfield Papers are housed in more than 100 archival boxes, and they amount to approximately 84 linear feet.


  • 1960 - 2002
  • Majority of material found within 1974 - 1991

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical Sketch

James H. Critchfield (1917-2003) was a noted World War II army officer, Central Intelligence Agency official, and economic consultant to the nation of Oman. Born in 1917, Critchfield graduated from North Dakota State University in 1939. Seeing action in World War II, James H. Critchfield served for a total of nine years in the U.S. Army. At the close of World War II, he was a colonel. Immediately after the war, Critchfield was a staff intelligence officer in the American Occupation Army in Heidelberg and Vienna.

Critchfield joined the fledgling CIA and was posted to Germany to help establish the German National Intelligence service. From 1950 to 1955, Critchfield served as the CIA's liaison with German General Reinhard Gehlen. In 1956, Critchfield became head of the East European Division of the CIA Clandestine Service, a position he held until 1961. Between 1961 and 1971, Critchfield was director of the Near East Division of the CIA. Subsequently, he worked as chief intelligence officer for energy policy. He retired from the CIA in June 1974.

In 1975, Critchfield became president of Tetra Tech International, a consulting firm assisting the government of Oman in the development of its oil, natural gas, water, and mineral resources. Tetra Tech was a subsidiary of Honeywell, Inc. Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos valued Critchfield as a trusted advisor.

James H. Critchfield authored the book "Partners at the Creation: The Men Behind Postwar Germany's Defense and Intelligence Establishments" (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003).

James H. Critchfield died on April 23, 2003.

-Sources: - "Encyclopedia of American Intelligence and Espionage" (New York: Facts on File, 1988), p. 138. - Critchfield, Lois M. "Oman Emerges: An American Company in an Ancient Kingdom" (Vista, CA: Selwa Press, 2010).


93.5 Linear Feet (121 boxes)

Language of Materials



Provenance: Gift of Lois Critchfield. Processed by Scott S. Taylor, April 2011.

James H. Critchfield Papers
Processed by Scott S. Taylor and Matthew MacLean, April 2011, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository