Contents and Arrangement

Series 8, Photographs and Portraits, 1920-1990

13 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 8, Photographs (1920-1990, undated) consists of hundreds of predominantly black and white photographs of varying size which chronicle both private and public aspects of the lives of David and Mildred Morse. The former category includes many photographs of the couple's families and is weighted towards the period of their youth. Mrs. Morse's early years are far better documented than her husband's, though Morse's passion for football in school and in university is captured in several photographs. The gracious life of a debutante is illustrated in a number of Mrs. Morse's photographs, the most notable of which are those which were taken on the occasion of her presentation at the Court of St. James in 1931. The harsh realities of war intrude as well, however. In a particularly evocative photograph, Mrs. Morse can be seen pointing to a map of Europe, her husband's theater of operations. This category also includes a number of photographs taken in the Morses' mature years, which underscore their enduring attachment to one another.

The great majority of photographs in this series relate to the Morses' public activities, of which there were many. In this instance, Morse is a more ubiquitous presence than his wife, though her active interest in his work, to say nothing of the demands of protocol, are evidenced by her recurring appearance. This category encompasses each phase of Morse's career with the exception of his prewar activities, which are virtually unrepresented. Morse's stint at the South Plains Army Flying School in Lubbock, Texas accounts for most of his wartime photographs; there is a sizeable sampling of photographs dating from his years in the Department of Labor, including an autographed portrait of Secretary of Labor Lewis Schwellenbach; and the active life he led on leaving the ILO is well-documented. Among the latter photographs are a number featuring Morse and various statesmen, including Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush, President Carlos Menem of Argentina, President Mario Soares of Portugal, and Prime Minister Turgut Ozal of Turkey.

Not unexpectedly, Morse's years at the ILO yielded a large body of photographs. They offer glimpses into the multifaceted duties of a Director-General, including the endless round of meetings, receptions, assemblies, and ceremonies in which the incumbent is expected to take part. Two events of an uncommon nature are abundantly represented: Pope Paul VI's visit to the headquarters of the ILO and the conferral on the ILO of the Nobel Peace Prize. International travel is another duty of Directors-General, and, as the photographs relating to the ILO attest, Morse logged countless miles. Photographs taken in the course of his numerous missions are subdivided on the basis of country and, in the case of the superpowers, on the basis of leader as well. Indeed, these photographs constitute something of a visual who's who of the world's politicians between 1948 and 1970. While there are many gaps, the gallery includes Presidents Truman through Johnson as well as such men as Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union, Arturo Frondizi of Argentina, Antonin Novotny of Czechoslovakia, Gamal Nasser of Egypt, Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, and Josip Tito of Yugoslavia. It should be noted in closing that a significant number of the photographs in this series are undated and, in many instances, are at least partly unidentified.


Arranged alphabetically by topic.

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:

Series 8, Photographs and Portraits; David A. Morse Papers, MC097, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
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Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
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Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 107-119