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.

Kennan and Tito

U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia George Kennan (right) is greeted by Marshal Josip Broz Tito as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson looks on in a picture taken in 1962-63. (Photo: Mudd Manuscript Library)

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.

Forrestal, a 1915 Princeton alumnus and a Wall Street businessman, was the first U.S. secretary of defense, overseeing the unification of the U.S. military departments in 1947. He previously served as assistant to President Franklin Roosevelt as well as undersecretary and secretary of the Navy. His papers date from his service in the U.S. government during and immediately after World War II.

Forrestal at Hospital

James Forrestal (right), secretary of the Navy, visits the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oahu in spring 1945 on his return trip from the Iwo Jima combat area. Forrestal speaks with Lamoine Weber, hospital apprentice first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, who was wounded during the invasion. (Photo: Mudd Manuscript Library)

The finding aids for the George F. Kennan Papers and the James V. Forrestal Papers are available online. The processing of these papers was completed in June and managed by project archivist Adriane Hanson. It was made possible through the support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

As part of this project, the Arnold A. Rogow Papers on James V. Forrestal also were processed.   The Rogow papers are composed of materials he collected for his book " James Forrestal: A Study of Personality, Politics and Policy" (1963) and include correspondence with individuals who knew Forrestal, Rogow's notes and other research materials. The finding aid is available online. 

For further information about these collections or about conducting research at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, visit the library website.