Contents and Arrangement

Series 2: Personal Papers, 1912 November-1929 November

3 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 2: Personal Papers, contains a sampling of material relating to Lansing's private concerns. It, too, represents the tip of an iceberg but is sufficient to convey a sense of both the prosaic and the notable in Lansing's life: from the purchase of a Packard, complete with Lansing's monogram, to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The descriptions in the folder list are, once again, only indicative of the subjects and corresponding individuals represented in this series. There is a significant body of material relating to the publication of Lansing's books on the peace conference, and while correspondence with Houghton Mifflin Company, the successful publisher, predominates, its rivals are also represented.

Arguably the most interesting component of Lansing's personal papers is a sequence of long and candid letters written to an intimate circle of colleagues and friends, including John William Davis, the Democratic Party's nominee for president in 1924, between 1918 and 1920. The replies of these individuals, many of whom were fellow members of the Phortnightly Klub, or P. K. as it was called, have not survived, but it is clear that Lansing was on such terms with them that he could unburden himself with relative freedom. His letters, therefore, constitute not only an interesting chronicle of the times but an entree into his thinking. The following excerpts, the one from a letter to a colleague; the other from a letter to a friend, are not atypical. Lansing to Polk on the peace conference: "I really wish that I was at home and out of it all, because under the present system of secret conclaves by the heads of states I feel so helpless and unable to check or even advise as to the course which should be pursued." Lansing to Smith on Wilson: "I am not blind to the fact that the President has sought to make himself the great central engine which controls all the machinery of government, and that during the war this made for its efficient prosecution and was therefore accepted by every one." Although it postdates Lansing's death, this series also contains a body of correspondence concerning his estate and emanating, for the most part, from Penfield & Penfield, the firm charged with its management.


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Collection History


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Processing Information

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Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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 2: Personal Papers; Robert Lansing Papers, MC083, 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 3-5