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Collection Overview

Eddy, William A. (William Alfred) (1896-1962)
William Alfred Eddy Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
24 boxes and 1 folder
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-24


The papers of William A. Eddy (1896-1962), educator, diplomat, minister to Saudi Arabia, intelligence agent, and college president, focus on his presidency of Hobart College (1936-1941), his work in U.S. - Middle East policy, and his family life in the period from 1917-1962. The holdings of his personal and family correspondence is extensive. The collection contains all correspondence from his term as president of Hobart College, 1936-1941. Many military documents are included, especially in the years 1941-1946 (the planning of the North African landings, the FDR/Ibn Saud meeting, the Treaty of the Yemen). There are many geneological papers and letters from Eddy's relatives concerning American missionary work in the Middle East. There are numerous publications concerning 18th C. English literature, religious and civic duties, U.S. Foreign policy re Israel and the Arabs, and sociological accounts of the Middle East. The collection is composed of personal/professional correspondence, documents, diaries and notebooks, addresses, publications, manuscripts of Eddy's books and articles (including unpublished MSs), scrapbooks, photographs, negatives, and memorabilia.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of papers of Eddy (Princeton Class of 1917). Included are notes and articles (and drafts) concerning his interests in the Arabic language, 18th-century literature, and Jonathan Swift; Hobart College presidency correspondence and related scrapbooks; military documents regarding his role in planning WWII North African landings, the President Roosevelt/King Ibn Saud meeting at the Suez Canal, and the U.S. treaty with Yemen (1946); numerous addresses, some college journals, and class notebooks; and photographs of Middle East dignitaries and landscapes. In addition, there are genealogical papers, memoirs, family correspondence, and papers (1937-1978) of his wife, Mary Garvin Eddy, and films.

Collection Creator Biography:


William A. Eddy was born in Sidon, Syria, on March 9th, 1896. He was graduated from Princeton in 1917, the year in which he married Mary Garvin. His A.M. and Ph.D were also from Princeton. In WWI he was badly wounded at Belleau Wood and received many citations. From 1922-1936 he taught English at Peekskill Military Academy and Dartmouth College, and was chairman of the department of English at the American University, Cairo. In 1936 he was called to be president of Hobart College. With the outbreak of the second World War he offered his services again to the Marines, was commissioned a Major and was made a full colonel in the staff of Mark Clark. In 1942 Eddy was Naval Attache in Tangier, and was instrumental in the planning of the Allied North African landings. In 1944 he resigned from the Marine Corps to become Minister Plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia. Fluent in Arabic (and French), he acted as interpreter for President Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia during the historic meeting in the Suez Canal, and was key in developing the U.S. treaty with The Yemen in 1946. He served in the OSS and CIA for the remainder of his life, and was also a full-time consultant for the Arabian-American Oil Company. He died at his home in Beirut in 1962.

Collection History


The Papers were in the possession of his wife, Mary Garvin Eddy, who donated the papers in 1978 . Personal correspondence from 1914-1918, 1935, and the 1940s was donated by his daughter, Mary Garvin Eddy Furman, in 1991 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by C. A. Prettiman in July, 1991. Finding aid written by C. A. Prettiman in July, 1991. Finding aid updated by Helene van Rossum in February, 2020.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

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:

William Alfred Eddy Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-24