Kennan and Forrestal papers processing project completed

Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library has completed a one-year project to process the papers of George Kennan and James Forrestal, two Princeton alumni who were important figures in shaping U.S. policy at the inception of the Cold War.

George F. Kennan, U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia, is greeted by Marshal Josip Broz Tito. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, looks on. Circa 1962-1963. Source: George F. Kennan Papers, Box 184, Folder 14.

Kennan, a diplomat and historian, is best known for writing the “Long Telegram” and the subsequent “X” article in Foreign Affairs in which he advocated for a new course in U.S.-Soviet relations that became known as “containment.” Kennan, a 1925 Princeton graduate, was involved in diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union throughout most of his distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service. As a historian at the Institute for Advanced Study, he studied modern Russian and European history and became an important critic of American foreign policy. His papers document his entire career.

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Radioactive Manhattan Project Records and Archival Serendipity

Early this year, staff from the University’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in preparing for the move to the new chemistry building, found a filing cabinet in the Frick Laboratory (currently home of the Chemistry Department) containing material related to Princeton’s involvement with the Manhattan Project. (While the common perception of the Manhattan Project is that it was physicists doing the work, a great part of the effort involved chemists too.) Many of the documents were labeled as classified, though some were stamped with Declassified stamps from the 1950s. EHS Director Garth Walters sought advice from the General Counsel’s office and Val Fitch (emeritus professor who worked in Los Alamos during the war). Fitch did not believe any of the documents were still classified, but until that was definitively determined, the General Counsel’s office suggested that a more secure place be found for the cabinet, and hence a call to the Mudd Library in March.

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MARAC Finding Aid Awards

I am pleased to announce that four Mudd finding aids have been awarded MARAC’s 2008 Fredric M. Miller Finding Aid Award. The award, which comes with a $250 cash prize, has been given to the Mudd finding aids as a group and was presented at the Spring MARAC meeting last week. I submitted a representative sample for each of Mudd’s major processing projects in 2007 – a list of the finding aids and projects is below. Please join me in congratulating the winners: Casey Babcock, Adriane Hanson, Jennie Cole, Dan Brennan, Rosalba Varallo, and Christie Lutz. This is also a nice bit of recognition for the last several years of work on EAD and finding aids that involved many of us in RBSC Technical Services, especially Cristela Garcia-Spitz and Don Thornbury and John Delaney in Firestone.

Finding Aid Award Winners:

NHPRC Economics Papers Processing Project:

W. Arthur Lewis Papers: processing and finding aid by Adriane Hanson.

New Jersey Historical Commission General Operating Support Grant:

H. Alexander Smith Papers: processing and finding aid by Casey Babcock.

Council on Foreign Relations Processing and Digitization Project:

Council on Foreign Relations Digital Sound Recordings: processing, finding aid, and project management by Jennie Cole.

Princeton University Archives Processing Project:

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Records: processing and finding aid by Dan Brennan and Rosalba Varallo, processing supervision by Christie Lutz.

Guide to Economics Collections Now Available

One of the strengths of the Public Policy Papers at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library is 20th century economic thought and development. The Economics collections discussed here are now part of a guide to all of Mudd’s economics collections, found here.

The collections document economic activity on every settled continent and include the papers of important government officials and advisors, influential scholars, bankers and businessmen, and the records of for-profit and non-profit development and advocacy organizations. As a whole, they comprise a valuable resource for scholars to study American economic policy and the ideas of some of the leading economic minds of the 20th century and their impact on the emerging world economy, especially in developing nations. The collections are particularly strong in documenting the subject areas of public and international finance, economic development, United States foreign economic policies, and economic policies in Latin America.

New Finding Aids From Princeton University Archives Processing Project

I am pleased to announce the availability of several new EAD finding aids resulting from the Princeton University Archives Processing Project. Processing and finding aids for all three collections were completed by Dan Brennan.

Finding aids for all Mudd library collections (478 finding aids in total) are now available and searchable on the EAD site at . Please contact Dan Santamaria with any questions or comments

New Finding Aids:

Dean of Undergraduate Student Records:

Department of Politics Records

Office of Government Affairs Records

Online Access to All Collections at Princeton’s Mudd Manuscript Library

Staff at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University have recently completed a project aimed at providing online access to all of the Mudd Library’s collections, both processed and unprocessed.

In addition to a number of ambitious processing projects, in the fall of 2006 the library began a retro-conversion project, resulting in the conversion of all legacy electronic finding aids to Encoded Archival Description. Collection-level MARC cataloging was completed for all collections lacking finding aids, and the MARC records were then converted to EAD, primarily through the use of XSL stylesheets and Terry Reese’s MarcEdit software. With the new EAD finding aids, descriptive records, at at least the collection level, for all of Mudd’s collections are discoverable in the Princeton University Library’s OPAC, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collection’s EAD website, union catalogs and databases such as OCLC’s WorldCat and ArchiveGrid, and via common internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo. As of November 2007, 478 records for Mudd Library collections are available.

Staff will continue to add to the collection-level records through the creation of series, box, or file-level inventories. The Mudd Library is also currently revising accessioning procedures in order to ensure that both collection-level MARC records and EAD finding aids are produced at the time of accessioning. We also plan to increasingly link finding aids to digital surrogates of material in collections and to explore additional ways for users to interact with finding aids and the material that they represent.

For additional information please visit the Princeton University Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Finding Aids website at: or contact Dan Santamaria, Assistant University Archivist for Technical Services.