Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Graham, George A. (George Adams), 1904-2005
George Adams Graham Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1935-1995 (mostly 1935-1964)
5 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-5


George Adams Graham, faculty member in the Department of Politics at Princeton University from 1935 to 1958, specialized in the field of public administration. He was also active in public life, serving on the Citizens Federal Committee on Education; the Committee on Indian Affairs (a subcommittee of the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government); the Committee on Public Administration of the Social Science Research Council; and the second Hoover Commission's Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service. His papers consist of reports, notes, correspondence, and subject files from his service in these capacities.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of Graham's subject files from his service on the Committee on Indian Affairs in 1948. The committee was convened as a subcommittee of the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government. According to Graham, unlike the other Hoover Commission subcommittees, the Committee on Indian Affairs was formed later in the tenure of the Commission - almost as an afterthought - and Hoover asked Graham to chair the committee, although Graham had no prior special knowledge of Indian affairs. The subject files document Graham's process of apprising himself of the history and current status of American Indians: their social, economic and cultural conditions. To a lesser extent, the files also document how Graham organized the committee's research into Indian affairs: the committee members' field trips; the major topical areas of inquiry; and the various individuals and organizations from whom the committee solicited information. The files are particularly rich in copies of internal communications within the Bureau of Indian Affairs, including a number of confidential reports on the status of various American Indian tribal groups and summaries of the structure, policies, and activities of the Bureau.

Almost all the material in the files dates from approximately 1945-1948. This was a critical period in federal relations with American Indians, marking, as it did, the beginnings of the federal government's postwar efforts to end its formal obligations to and management of American Indian tribes. The formation of this policy and its implementation, frequently referred to as "termination," is significantly documented in Graham's papers. This policy was to remain in effect until the 1960s, when it was generally assessed a failure.

The remaining papers consist of Graham's notes, drafts, correspondence, and reports as a member of the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Public Administration, the Committee on Organization of Federal Activity in Education, and the Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service.

The Social Science Research Council, a non-governmental organization, was formed in 1923 with a mission to encourage interdisciplinary social science practice within and beyond academia and to foster research for direct policy application of social science research. Much of the Council's activity took place through its many committees. The Committee on Public Administration was active from 1928-1945, and Graham was a member from 1940-1944. Graham's files contain meeting minutes from 1935-1944, however, as he received and retained copies of prior meeting minutes on joining the committee. Topics of concern detailed in these files include public employment, governmental research bureaus, and training for public administration.

Herbert Hoover convened the Citizens Federal Committee on Education in 1946 to investigate federal activity in education. In correspondence with the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library's curatorial staff (included in the files), Graham explained that Hoover was displeased with the committee's findings, which did not call for increased federal activity in education, as Hoover had hoped. The report of the committee, entitled The Organization of Federal Activity in Education, discusses curriculum development, the training of Foreign Service officers, R.O.T.C. programs, education in federal prisons, citizenship education, the education of Indians and natives of Alaska, and veterans' educational facilities.

The Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service, a sub-group of the second Hoover Commission, was principally concerned with training for civil service. The most popular and influential recommendation from the task force's report was the institution of a Senior Civil Service; Graham's papers contain follow-up on this proposal in the file entitled "The Senior Service and the career system."


The files in this collection contain reports, meeting minutes, internal documents, work-related correspondence, speeches, legislation, newspaper clippings, journal articles, and notes. They are arranged alphabetically in a single series by committee name or function.

Collection Creator Biography:

Graham, George A. (George Adams), 1904-2005

George Adams Graham was born in Cambridge, New York on December 23, 1904. He received his bachelor's degree from Monmouth College, Illinois in 1926, followed by a master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1927 and 1930. He married Rosanna Grace Webster in 1930, and they had three children: Andrew Allen, Lora Katherine, and Mary.

Graham was a faculty member in the Department of Politics at Princeton University from 1930 to 1958, serving as department chair from 1946-1949, and again from 1950-1953. From 1942-1945 he served as in various capacities with the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. From 1944-1945 he served as chief of the Division of Administrative Management of Government Organization of the Hoover Commission. In 1948 he served as chair of the Committee on Indian Affairs, a subcommittee of the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government. Graham also served on the Hoover Commission Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service from 1954-1955.

In 1958 Graham left Princeton to join the Brookings Institution as director of governmental studies, a position he retained until 1968. He then served as executive director of the National Academy of Public Administration from 1968-1972. Graham concluded his career at Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as professor of public administration, achieving emeritus status in 1985.

Among Graham's books, the most notable include Education for Public Administration (1941), Morality in American Politics (1952), and America's Capacity to Govern (1960).

Graham participated in a number of other federally mandated committees and non-governmental organizations such as the Detroit Bureau of Government Research (1929-1930), the Senate Subcommittee on Ethics in Government (1951), and the Ford Foundation (1956-1957), among others.

Collection History


One linear foot was processed in 1995 from an accession donated by Graham (Accession number ML1994-19).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Theresa Marchitto processed the original accession of 1 linear foot in April 1995. An addition to the collection resulted in the processing of the Graham Papers in their entirety, which was completed by Jill B. Stuart in May 2003.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

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:

George Adams Graham 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 1-5