Subseries 5A: Diaries

2.9 Linear Feet

This collection is stored at Mudd Manuscript Library.

Requests will be delivered to Public Policy Papers, MUDD Reading Room .

Collection Creator: Forrestal, James, 1892-1949..

Dates: 1941-1949.

Extent: 2.9 Linear Feet

Languages: English.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.


The Diaries subseries contains Forrestal's diaries from while he was Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense. In the diaries, Forrestal recorded his work for the military, conversations he had with military and government officials, the result of official meetings (including with the President), and his analysis of current events. His diary entries are typed, rather than handwritten, and he interleaved his diary with copies of related correspondence, newspaper articles, and pages from his appointment calendars. During World War II, his diary entries were predominantly concerned with managing the Navy, the war effort, and military personnel. After the war, Forrestal wrote about the various plans for unifying the U.S. military, post-war Europe and world conditions, the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and the many world events and crises of the time, including atomic energy. Many of the entries after he was appointed Secretary of Defense in September 1947 are related to cabinet meetings. Also included are the galleys for the published version of his diaries and two notebooks. One notebook is from March to June 1941 in which Forrestal recorded the requirements of the Navy, the official Navy positions on legislation, and the opinions of government officials with regards to the Navy. The second notebook, from 1944 to 1949, contains lists and notes from meetings and Forrestal's thoughts on issues facing the military.


Arranged chronologically.

Preferred Citation

Subseries 5A: Diaries; 1941-1949; James V. Forrestal Papers, Public Policy Papers, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

    Request Checked Items
    Title Date Container
    Diaries, Use Copies 1941 March-1949 March 25 Explore Multiple Containers
    The Forrestal Diaries, Galleys 1944-1949 Box 148, Folder 2 to 4
    Forrestal Notebook 1944-1949 Box 148, Folder 5
    Diaries, Originals 1944 March-1949 March Explore Multiple Containers

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