Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 2, Microfilm, 1938-1973

2 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 1: International Labour Organisation Files, Subseries 2: Microfilm (1938-1973) consists of material contained in the "cabinet files," that is, in the files of the Office of the Director-General of the ILO. The lion's share of this material was created during Morse's tenure, while the rest dates from the time of his predecessors, John Winant and Edward Phelan, and his successor, Wilfred Jenks. There are two sets of microfilm in this subseries, reflecting its twofold provenance. Set One, which Morse supplied, comprises eleven 16mm reels of microfilm spanning the period between 1938 and 1961. Set Two, which Professor Gordenker supplied, comprises eight 35mm reels of microfilm spanning the period between 1948 and 1973. Both sets consist for the most part of correspondence, official and personal; records of meetings; and reports by Morse and his staff.

The official correspondence is chiefly composed of letters or memoranda between Morse, officials of the ILO, and representatives of various countries and business and trade union organizations. The personal correspondence generally takes the form of thank you notes of various kinds, congratulatory messages, and letters concerning travel plans. The records of meetings, for their part, detail who attended, what issues were raised, and what conclusions or decisions were reached. A wide range of reports are represented, including reports on missions carried out by Morse or his staff, documents which frequently include a schedule and abbreviated summary of the trip; reports submitted to Morse on various subjects, providing him with the background, analysis, and projections essential to informed decision-making; and reports presented by Morse at various meetings and assemblies. Interspersed throughout this subseries are newspaper clippings on various issues of interest to the ILO; excerpts from or copies of publications, including serials such as the Congressional Record and booklets such as "Labor's Role in Newly Developing Countries;" and mementos from Morse's travels, among which can be found the business cards of individuals with whom he met and the programs of events at which he spoke.

Neither set of microfilm possesses a discernible structure, but an index is available which lists the subjects, together with their respective date spans, on a reel by reel basis. A number has been assigned to each subject, denoting its incorporation in a formal filing system. What this subseries lacks in orderliness, it more than makes up for in diversity. Topics covered in Set One range from the re-entry of Paraguay into the ILO to the use of the Swiss diplomatic pouch and cipher to the appointment of an Assistant Director-General from the Near and Middle East. Topics covered in Set Two range from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees to the ILO's relations with Bulgaria to the Nobel Peace Prize. Set Two is less sweeping than Set One, but the quality of its reproductions is much higher. Much of the fourth reel in Set One, for instance, is illegible, and other reels impose a heavy burden on the eyes. A further challenge stems from the multinational character of the ILO. English-speaking scholars can expect to encounter a variety of foreign languages. While French predominates, there is also a smattering of Spanish, German, Arabic, and Chinese.


Arranged chronologically by year.

Collection History


Duplicates were separated from the April 2008 accession. No information about appraisal is available for the other accessions associated with this collection.


These papers were processed with the generous support of Mildred H. Morse, wife of the late David A. Morse, and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by John S. Weeren with the able assistance of Fifi Chan and Tina Wang in 1995. Mildred Morse provided invaluable help in identifying photographs and contextualizing portions of this material. Additions received since 1995 were integrated into the collection by Adriane Hanson in 2008. Finding aid written by John S. Weeren in 1995. A subsequent accession in March 2011 was added to the collection as its own series, and the finding aid was updated at this time.

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:

Subseries 2, Microfilm; David A. Morse Papers, MC097, 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 15-16