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Series 1, Subseries 1: Bylaws and Minutes, 1941-1994

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Series 1, Subseries 1: Bylaws and Minutes, 1941-1994, contains two distinct sets of minutes: the Board of Trustees meetings and the Executive Committee meetings. In accordance with the bylaws, the board was to meet at least once every three months exclusive of July and August. From 1970 on, this requirement was met or exceeded. However, prior to1970 meetings seem to have occurred once in the winter, usually in February, and once in the fall, usually in October. Where extant, notices and agendas are included with the minutes. The content of the minutes can be broken down into two parts. One part concerns the everyday administrative operations of Freedom House such as nominating new board members, discussing fund raising, reviewing committee work, deciding who would receive the Freedom Award, as well as the mundane tasks of managing the upkeep of the Willkie Memorial Building. The other material in the minutes concerns policy matters. Recorded here are board member discussions related to current events, such as the nuclear test ban treaty, the war in Vietnam, and, in general, dialogue regarding American foreign policy.
Series 1, Subseries 2: Meeting Materials, 1941-1992 supplements the minutes of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee by providing detailed information on matters discussed at these meetings. Meeting Materials for the early years focus on establishing the organization with an emphasis on enlisting the proper individuals for the Board of Trustees, finding financial support, and establishing operations in the Willkie Memorial Building. Information was sent to each board member prior to meetings and could include clippings, memoranda, committee reports, open letters to government agencies, policy statements, notification of conferences, and activity reports. Researchers should note that the folders for 1979-1981 contain comprehensive descriptions of Freedom House projects called Activities Reports that list all the activities of Freedom House in those years and describe in detail the wide variety of interests of the organization.