This guest post is by Manuscript Division historian Meg McAleer based in part on catalog records created by Manuscript Division catalogers Bennett Heggestad and Joy Orillo-Dotson and finding aids compiled by various archivists.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we want to share our love of history and offer this first-ever (at least in a while) quarterly listing of recently processed new collections and additions to existing collections. They are fresh off the archivists’ worktables.
We kept the descriptions brief to whet your appetite to learn more. Each name is linked to a catalog record, which in turn, links to the collection’s finding aid. So please explore further.
Although you may not be receiving individually addressed Valentine’s Day cards from us, we share with you the Valentine below sent by cartoonist Dave Breger to his wife, Dorathy, during World War II. The cute guy playing cupid is the original G.I. Joe, a sweet character invented by Breger during the war, long before Hasbro launched its muscled action figure. Full disclosure – the Dave Breger Papers are not yet processed. Look for them in a future list.
Jeane Dixon (1904-1997), psychic and astrologer. The collection documents Dixon’s career as a psychic and astrologer, her charitable work, her social activities, and her interest in politics through correspondence, speeches and talks, notes, writings, photographs, slides, scrapbooks, sheet music, clippings, printed matter, and other material, 1915-1996; bulk 1953-1988.
Arthur J. Finkelstein (1945-2017), pollster and Republican political consultant. Finkelstein’s papers document his role in developing campaign strategies, messaging, and fundraising methods to support Republican candidates in the 1970s and 1980s, his international consulting work with campaigns in Canada and Israel, and the rise of the New Right in the United States. Included are correspondence, polls, clippings, memoranda, travel books, calendars, and other material, 1960-2019; bulk 1970-1989.
Elissa Blake Free (b. 1955), television news producer. The daughter of two journalists, Free was a news producer for CBS and later CNN during the early years of cable news. Documenting her career are correspondence, memoranda, diaries, notes and notebooks, production scripts, CNN manuals and alumni newsletters, photographs, and other papers, 1947-2021; bulk 1978-2005.
Warner W. Gardner (1909-2003), government official and lawyer. The collection documents Gardner’s career as an attorney and special assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States (1935-1941) and as solicitor for the Department of Labor (1941-1942), solicitor and assistant secretary for the Department of the Interior (1942-1943 and 1945-1947), and founder and partner for the District of Columbia law firm Shea & Gardner (1947-1999). Included are diaries, correspondence, memoranda, notes, speeches and statements, writings, reports, photographs, newspaper clippings, printed matter, and other material, 1930-2006; bulk 1941-1996.
Thomas Lowe Hughes (1925-2023), public official and diplomat. Correspondence, writings, notes, professional files, and other papers, 1918-2018; bulk 1961-1991, document Hughes’s career as a close aide to Chester Bowles and Hubert Humphrey, his service in the Department of State as the director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1963-1969), and his tenure as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1971-1991).
Robert H. McNeill Family, middle-class family living in the District of Columbia during the twentieth century. The collection documents the leadership and accomplishments of members of the McNeill family, including Robert H. McNeill (1917-2005), a freelance photographer whose work captured the daily lives and events of African Americans. Included are correspondence, journals, speeches, writings, notebooks and notes, military papers, medical records, financial papers, legal papers, genealogical papers, appointment books, calendars, address books, clippings, printed matter, and other material, 1839-2008; bulk 1906-2002.
John Dougall Metcalfe (1918-2000), U.S. Navy officer and radioman, and electronics engineer. Metcalfe’s papers document his career in the United States Navy from 1941 to 1963, particularly his service during World War II and his postwar activities relating to nuclear weapons testing and training. Included are family papers, correspondence, journals, notes, writings, photographs, maps, orders, memorabilia, employment applications and résumés, and other material, 1878-1996; 1941-1963.
Selden Rodman (1909-2002), writer, editor, and cultural critic. Correspondence, 1931-1972, documents Rodman’s work as coeditor of the political magazine Common Sense, as well as his other publishing efforts and personal relationships. The bulk of the correspondence is from Archibald MacLeish, poet, playwright, and Librarian of Congress, and Fleming MacLeish, poet and close friend.
Anna Jean Snowden (b. 1895), educator. Snowden’s papers document her education at Howard University and the early years of her teaching career at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, as well as the lives of Snowden’s circle of family and friends who made up an emerging African American middle and professional class during the early twentieth century. Included are clippings, correspondence, diaries and journals, notes, photographs, and school papers, 1910-1949; bulk 1912-1925.
Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation (incorporated in 1984), nonprofit organization that established a Washington, D.C., memorial to women who served in the Vietnam War. The collection chiefly comprises materials related to the organization’s efforts to establish a national memorial to the women, both military and civilian, who served in the Vietnam War, heralded by founder and Vietnam veteran Diane Carlson Evans. Records, 1966-2020; bulk 1985-1999, include correspondence, clippings, video news clips, board meeting minutes and reports, design and construction drawings, photographs, press releases, reference materials, and testimonies, statements, hearings, and official proclamations and certificates from the various government and nonprofit agencies that were involved in the establishment of the memorial.
Washington Psychoanalytic Society, professional membership organization for psychiatrists and other practitioners of psychoanalysis in the Washington, D.C., area. The collection documents the society’s founding in 1914, its evolution in training a broader group of practitioners in the 1980s and 1990s, and the research interests of its members. Included are directories, course materials, a minute book, newsletters, photographs, book drafts, and research materials, 1914-2013; bulk 1973-1988.
Henry Willis Wells (1841-1864), Civil War naval officer and merchant marine sailor. Wells’s papers document his young adulthood as a sailor traveling from his home in Massachusetts to various American and international ports, as well as his service aboard Union naval vessels in the Chesapeake Bay and Florida Keys during the Civil War. Included are correspondence, journals, transcriptions, and other papers, 1851-2012; bulk 1851-1865.
Additions to Existing Collections
American Council of Learned Societies (founded 1919), federation of scholarly organizations specializing in fellowships and grants to promote the study of the humanities and social sciences. The recently added Part IV of the records, 1927-2019; bulk 2002-2019, documents the tenure of ACLS president Pauline Yu, who led the organization from 2003 to 2019. As with the other parts of this collection, Part IV contains material covering ACLS administrative matters, coordination of fellowships and grants, development of projects and programs, and collaboration with various foundations.
American Historical Association (AHA) (founded 1884), national professional association for historians. The most recent addition to the collection, Part C, contains records, 1954-1986; bulk 1966-1986, of the AHA’s Executive Council, committees, divisions, delegates, prizes and awards, and publications. Also featured are the records of the organization’s Committee on Women Historians, 1971-1985.
American Scholar (founded 1932), quarterly magazine of public affairs, science, literature, history, and culture published by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The newly processed Part IV of the records, 1970-2010; bulk 2004-2009, documents the production and organization of the American Scholar magazine and its business and editorial office during the editorial tenures of Joseph Epstein, Anne Fadiman, and Robert Wilson.
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), author, educator, and political philosopher. Addition IV, 1955-2006, and consists of correspondence from Arendt to Ruth H. Rosenau, identification and membership cards, and a documentary film.
Democratic Study Group (founded 1959), legislative service organization operating from 1959 to 1995 to assist Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives. The added Part III records, 1967-1994, relate to the group’s legislative report, daily report, fact sheet, research publications, and miscellany.
Nina V. Fedoroff (b. 1942), molecular biologist, geneticist, educator, and science and technology advisor to the U.S. State Department. The 2022 Addition documents Fedoroff’s research and interest in plant genetics through her speeches and writings, photographs, notes, a subject file, and other material, 1971-2012.
William Kennoch (1841-1887), United States Secret Service agent who investigated counterfeit currency following the American Civil War. Added to the collection were two letterpress copybooks containing daily reports by Kennoch in 1875 and a letterpress copybook, 1908-1909, by his son, George, who also served as a United States Secret Service agent.
Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982), poet, playwright, government official, and Librarian of Congress. The recent addition consists of the transcript of an interview with MacLeish about Ernest Hemingway conducted by Denis Brian in 1972.
National Council of Jewish Women (founded 1893), Jewish women’s voluntary organization focused on advocacy efforts related to women, children and families in both the United States and Israel. Additions to the collection received between 1998 and 2021 were organized as Part III, 1893-2019, and include national board and executive committee records, national convention materials, and a subject file relating to topics, events, projects, and organizations of interest to the council.
National Council of Jewish Women, Washington, D.C., Office (established 1944), liaison office between the National Council of Jewish Women and the United States Congress and government agencies. The 2021 Addition contains the records, 1946-2018, of the Washington, D.C., office under the leadership of Sammie Moshenberg and Jody Rabhan. Included are office files containing administrative records and subject files that document the Washington office’s involvement in programs, campaigns, task forces, and general advocacy efforts related to reproductive rights, child care, health care, voting rights, domestic violence, the separation of religion and state, and the judicial nomination process, among other issues.
Carl R. Rogers (1902-1987), psychologist, psychotherapist, and educator. A large addition contains correspondence files, 1970s-1980s; writings by Rogers, 1931-1987; meeting and conference files; research files; and family and personal papers, among other material.
United States Senate Historical Office Oral History Interviews (begun in 1976). Added to the collection in 2022 were interviews conducted by the Senate Historical Office between 1979 and 2015 with twenty-nine U.S. senators and Senate staff touching on a wide range of subjects, including the Church Committee (Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities), U.S. Capitol telecommunications, and the first female pages. Also added was an oral history cross-reference index prepared in 2018.
Let us know whether you found this list useful or of interest. Feel free to provide feedback on how we can make it better.
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