Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 15C: Subject Files, 1907-2007

34 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Subseries 15C: Subject Files, 1907-1990 [bulk: 1936-1956], consists of a number of different subjects arranged alphabetically, including the A. P. Smith Manufacturing Case, Harold Dodds's personal correspondence, Margaret Dodds's diaries, the Eugene Higgins Trust, Alger Hiss, the Hoover Commission Task Force, the Madison Memorial Commission, the Princeton Local Government Survey, and World War II. Particulars about these subjects follow.

The A. P. Smith Manufacturing Case evolved from a desire to legitimize unrestricted gifts from businesses to educational institutions. In 1952 the A. P. Smith Manufacturing Company of East Orange, New Jersey gave an unrestricted gift of $1,500 to Princeton University. Stockholders complained that the gift was a misapplication of corporate funds. The State Superior Court ruled that the gift was legal, with Dodds testifying on behalf of Princeton University.

Dodds's personal correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Most letters are from his family, with the majority coming from his brother John Dodds. With regard to his wife Margaret Dodds's diaries, their dates overlap. Topics include the weather, entertaining, engagements, impressions of speeches, health, concerns of family and friends, travel, and references to her husband's schedule.

The Eugene Higgins Trust, a $34,000,000 perpetual trust, was allocated among four universities, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton, in order to enhance their science departments. The Trust was to be controlled by the president of each university.

Alger Hiss, a former State Department official and convicted perjurer, was one of several speakers invited to address the Whig-Cliosophic Society. The president's administrative council, which had not been consulted in advance, cautioned the students about the serious implications of the invitation but did not force them to rescind it. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, both alumni and the general public deluged Dodds's office with letters. Most were passionately against the Hiss lecture, stating that he was a spy and responsible for the deaths of American soldiers. Hiss lectured on April 26, 1956. Father Hugh Halton, chaplain to Princeton University's Roman Catholic students, arranged a lecture about Hiss the preceding night. The lecture featured Willard Edwards, a Chicago Tribune reporter who had followed Hiss's career and trial.

Dodds was chairman of the Hoover Commission Task Force, which was established to investigate and make recommendations about Civil Service and personnel issues in the Federal Government. The material relating to this undertaking consists of reports, bills, and correspondence. Dodds was also chairman of the Madison Memorial Commission, which was formed to establish the Madison Memorial Library, part of the Library of Congress, in Washington, D. C. Folders on this topic contain correspondence regarding the location of the library, its architectural design, office space, and exhibits.

A committee composed of Dodds, Harley Lutz (public finance), and William S. Carpenter (politics) organized the Princeton Local Government Survey on September 1, 1935. Its purpose was to devise a program for the improvement of local government in New Jersey, to explain the program, and to place the program in a form suitable for practical implementation. The Survey, which functioned even during World War II, generated numerous recommendations, as well as reports on its work. One folder contains correspondence with Robert Wood Johnson, who had subscribed to the cost of the Survey and delegated to a lawyer, Russell E. Watson, the task of seeking other subscriptions.

World War II-related topics include the military branches and accelerated training courses. Various conferences, committees, commissions, and associations are represented, and there is material relating to programs such as Books for Men in Service, in which servicemen received three books of their choosing free of charge. Educational matters such as emergency courses in Near Eastern languages and culture, military planning, French for government service, topography and map interpretation, radio communication, marine and air navigation, and Japanese, Russian, and Arabic can also be found. There were also military language courses in French, German, Spanish, and Italian designed for intelligence, censorship, and interpreter services. Of note in the correspondence folder are letters from British Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill and James V. Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Collection History


No information on appraisal is available.


These papers were processed with the generous support of former Princeton University President Harold T. Shapiro, Charles Brothman '51, and the John Foster Dulles and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Carol V. Burke and Stacey C. Peeples in 2002. Finding aid written by Carol V. Burke and Stacey C. Peeples in 2002.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Materials generated by the office of the president are closed for 30 years from the date of their creation. Some records relating to personnel or students are closed for longer periods of time.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. For instances beyond Fair Use, if copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of materials from the Princeton University Archives.

For instances beyond Fair Use where the copyright is not held by the University, while permission from the Library is not required, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Subseries 15C: Subject Files; Office of the President Records : Jonathan Dickinson to Harold W. Dodds Subgroup, AC117, Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 174-207