NameBase is a web-based cross-indexed database of names that focuses on individuals involved in the international intelligence community, U.S. foreign policy, crime, and business. The focus is on the post-World War II era and on left of center, conspiracy theory, and espionage activities.[1]

Founder Daniel Brandt collected clippings and citations pertaining to influential people and intelligence from 500 investigative books published since 1962 and thousands of periodicals since 1973.[1]

In the 1980s, through his company Micro Associates, he sold subscriptions to this computerized database, under its original name, Public Information Research, Inc (PIR). At PIR's onset, Brandt was President of the newly formed non-profit corporation and investigative researcher, Peggy Adler, served as its Vice President. The material was described as "information on all sorts of spooks, military officials, political operators and other cloak-and-dagger types."[2] He told The New York Times at the time that "many of these sources are fairly obscure so it's a very effective way to retrieve information on U.S. intelligence that no one else indexes."[3] One research librarian calls it "a unique part of the 'Deep Web'", equally useful to investigative journalists and students.[4]

By 1992, private citizens, news organizations, and universities all were using NameBase.[5] In 1995, these efforts became the basis of the NameBase website.[6] As of 2003, the database contained "over 100,000 names with over 260,000 citations drawn from books and serials with a few documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."[7] The website is structured so that users can follow hyperlinked information "and thus uncover potential relationships or connections between individuals and groups".[4]


  1. ^ a b "NameBase tracks lesser-known political players". Online magazine 20 (5): pp74. Sept-Oct 1996. 
  2. ^ Morley, Jefferson, and David Corn. "Beltway Bandits: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spywatcher." The Nation 247.13 (November 7, 1988): 448
  3. ^ Gerth, Jeff. "Washington Talk: The Study of Intelligence; Only Spies Can Find These Sources". New York Times (October 6, 1987): A32. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  4. ^ a b O'Hanlon, Nancy (May 23, 2005). The Right Stuff: Research Strategies for the Internet Age. Ohio State University Libraries. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Deadly Data". The Progressive (Madison, Wisconsin: Progressive, Inc) 56 (1): 14. January 1992. ISSN 0033-0736. 
  6. ^ Hand, Mark. "Searching for Daniel Brandt". CounterPunch (January 3, 2003). Retrieved 15 June 2007.
  7. ^ Perrault, Anna H.; Ron Blazek (2003). United States History: A Multicultural, Interdisciplinary Guide to Information Sources. Westport, Connecticut; London: Libraries Unlimited. pp. 35. ISBN 1563088746. 

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