Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: Correspondence, 1891-1969

60 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 1: Correspondence, 1891-1969, is arranged alphabetically by last name of the correspondent and then chronologically within each folder. The correspondence documents Dulles's professional and personal activities from his early years with the State Department until his death in 1969. Correspondence between Dulles and other young foreign service officers in the late 1910s and early 1920s is a particularly rich resource for documenting this period. These letters, generally handwritten, are quite candid summaries of events in the countries where Dulles and his acquaintances were stationed. Dulles's involvement in the post-World War I apportionment of territory in Eastern Europe, particularly the territories of Czechoslovakia, is also well-documented. Dulles kept in close contact with others who participated in the peace- making process in France.

Although his activities with the OSS during World War II are not particularly well-documented by contemporary correspondence, his discussion of past activities with the contacts he established at the time provide some insight. Correspondence with Gero von Gaevernitz, William Donovan, Mary Bancroft, and others illuminates not only their wartime activities but the sense of responsibility and kinship that Dulles maintained with these colleagues.

Dulles's participation in activities and clubs, particularly the Council on Foreign Relations, is also well-documented. Despite his absence from New York from 1951 onward, he maintained his association with the Council and his close personal relationship with Hamilton Fish Armstrong. His devotion to Princeton University, his alma mater, is evidenced through his service on the Board of Trustees, Board of Trustees for the Woodrow Wilson School, and fund- raising activities for the John Foster Dulles oral history program. Dulles also assisted University librarians in soliciting the donation of the Bernard Baruch Papers.

While Dulles's official correspondence from his tenure with the CIA is not in this collection, his personal correspondence with CIA colleagues and acquaintances seeking employment with the CIA is included here. Also included is Dulles's correspondence with his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and sister, Eleanor Lansing Dulles, who also worked in the State Department. There is a considerable amount of correspondence from friends, acquaintances, and the general public concerning John Foster Dulles's battle with cancer and his death in May 1959. In addition to assisting those interested in careers in intelligence and foreign affairs, Dulles also maintained close relations with his daughters, nieces, and nephew, particularly David Dulles, son of Eleanor Lansing Dulles. Particularly poignant is correspondence concerning his son Allen Macy Dulles, who was wounded in Korea in 1952. Dulles maintained a brave, optimistic facade and clearly hoped for his son's full recovery.

Much of the correspondence is social in nature, documenting the Dulles' engagements in Washington, D. C., as well as their travels in the U. S. and Europe, visiting friends. However, significant correspondents include Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Mary Bancroft, David Bruce, William Donovan, Gero von Gaevernitz, Richard Nixon, and CIA officials John McCloy, John McCone, and Richard Bissell. Dulles exchanged correspondence with family members especially Edith Foster Dulles, Eleanor Lansing Dulles, John Foster Dulles, Joan Dulles Buresch, Clover Todd Dulles, and Clover Todd Jebsen.


(arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name)

Collection History


No appraisal information is available.


Processed with the generous support of Alexandra Buresch, Joan Dulles Buresch-Talley, Matthew Buresch, Allen Macy Dulles, Clover Jebsen Afokpa, Allen Dulles Jebsen, Joana Jebsen, Per H. and Margaret E. Jebsen and the assistance of the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Susan J. Illis, Daniel Linke, Kristine Marconi, and Thomas Rosko assisted by Carl Esche, Christine Kitto, Terun Weed, Christina Aragon, Jake Bartalone, Grace Chen, Victoria Coleman, Natasha Ermolaev, Sue Jean Kim, Cei Maslen, James McGillivray, Wendy Phillips, Stan Ruda, Patrick Shorb, Isabel Tremblay, and Elizabeth Williamson. Finding aid written by Susan J. Illis, Daniel Linke, Kristine Marconi, and Thomas Rosko.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

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. For instances beyond Fair Use, 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:

Series 1: Correspondence; Allen W. Dulles Papers, MC019, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpph): Box 1-60