Contents and Arrangement

Series 5: 2014 Accession, 1802-2014

7 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series is mostly comprised of materials related to George F. Kennan's family history. The materials were collected by Kennan's daughter, Joan. Some of the materials were consulted by John Lewis Gaddis as part of his research for his biography of Kennan prior to the materials' transfer to the Mudd Library. The materials in this series are occasionally annotated by either Joan Kennan or John Lewis Gaddis.

Much of the series consists of family correspondence, particularly letters written by or to George Kennan's wife, Annelise Sorensen Kennan, his sister, Jeanette Kennan Hotchkiss, and Joan Kennan. Writings by various members of the Kennan family and genealogical research are also present. Notable items include a working manuscript of Kossuth Kent Kennan's memoirs (George Kennan's father) and Joan Kennan's interviews with George Kennan and other members of the Kennan family. One box is comprised entirely of research on the Kennan family and other related families, conducted by Kennan in preparation for his book on Kennan family history and by various other members of the network of related families. There is also a significant amount of photographic material (mostly original prints, but also negatives, slides, and reproductive prints) of the extended Kennan family, some dating back to the 19th century.

To a lesser extent, the series contains materials that relate to George Kennan more directly. His mostly personal correspondence dating from his childhood through his career with the Foreign Service and photographs of him taken throughout his life (including scans of photographs on CD) are present. Other materials include news clippings on George Kennan's professional activities (including a scrapbook compiled by one of his children), printed material he collected from Moscow, two books of sketches and paintings by George Kennan, and his writings, including his student papers, diary entries from his 1987 trip to Morocco, and working manuscripts related to religion and Russian history and politics. Additionally, the series includes the Kennan family's expense ledger and a small amount of material related to the operations of their family farm.


Arranged by document type.

Collection History



Custodial History

The Kennan Papers were originally on deposit at the Firestone Library of Princeton University.


Duplicate writings and correspondence and routine medical records have been separated from this collection. Widely available published materials were separated from Series 5.


These papers were processed with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Adriane Hanson, with assistance from Clelia Douyon, Grace Haaland, and Jamie LaMontagne in 2008. Finding aid written by Adriane Hanson in January 2009. Series 5 added by Rachel Van Unen in 2014.

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, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, 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. 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 a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This series contains images in TIFF and JPEG formats acquired from a CD. Researchers are responsible for meeting the technical requirements needed to access these materials, including any and all hardware and software.

Credit this material:

Series 5: 2014 Accession; George F. Kennan Papers, MC076, 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:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 327-333

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

FOR DIGITIZED CONTENT: Subseries 1A, Permanent Correspondence and Subseries 4G, Unpublished Works, have been digitized. Correspondence may be viewed or downloaded through this finding aid. To view materials, navigate to a specific person's name, rather than an entire series or subseries.

Related Materials

The Mudd Manuscript Library has numerous collections related to the Cold War and to United States diplomacy which can be located by selecting the subject "Cold War" or "Diplomacy" on the Princeton University Finding Aids Website. Collections of particular relevance to the George F. Kennan Papers are the papers of Hamilton Fish Armstrong, John Foster Dulles and James V. Forrestal, and the records of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Collections at other institutions of relevance to the George F. Kennan Papers are the records of the Department of State Policy Planning Staff at the National Archives and papers of George Kennan (1845-1924) at the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.


Kennan's diaries were published as Sketches from a Life. New York: Pantheon Books, 1989. Correspondence between Kennan and John Lukacs were published as George F. Kennan and the Origins of Containment, 1944-1946. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997.

The following sources were consulted during the preparation of the biographical note: "George F. Kennan Dies at 101; Leading Strategist of Cold War" by Tim Weiner and Barbara Crossette. The New York Times, March 18, 2005. Obituary from Current Biography. H.W. Wilson Company, 2005. Obituary of George Kennan by Harold Jackson. The Guardian, March 19, 2005. "Outsider Forged Cold War Strategy" by J.Y. Smith. The Washington Post, March 19, 2005. Profile of George Frost Kennan. Marquis Who's Who on the Web. Accessed January 2009.

Council on foreign relations
United States. Foreign Service
Kennan Institute
Institute for advanced study Princeton, N.J.
Kennan, George F. (George Frost) (1904-2005)