Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Tillett, Paul
Paul D. Tillett, Jr. Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
4 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-4


The Paul D. Tillett, Jr. Papers contain research material Tillett compiled for his study entitled, "Social Costs of the Loyalty Program." The never-published research contended that the loyalty-security programs of the federal government profoundly affected political and social institutions within the United States. In particular, Tillett asserted that the government initiated and executed the loyalty-security programs without regard for the long-term effects on individuals and institutions.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The papers of Paul D. Tillett, Jr. largely relate to his study, "The Social Costs of the Loyalty Programs." The most significant part of this collection is the responses to questionnaires Tillett sent to academic professionals and a few federal employees in 1964, who were adversely affected by official inquiries into Communist activities during the 1950s. The questionnaire was designed to evaluate the long-term financial and psychological consequences of the anti-Communist crusade. Also included are interviews with several people including Professor Horace David and Herman Orentlicher of the American Association of University Professors. The rest of the material in the collection is largely correspondence, notes, articles, press releases and case studies. Tillett relied heavily upon the ACLU Archives for much of his research. Because the ACLU Archives are housed at Princeton, photoduplicates from that collection have been discarded.


The material is arranged in accordance with an outline of the study that came with the papers followed by correspondence, other articles written by Tillett, and his F.B.I. file.

Collection Creator Biography:

Tillett, Paul

The life of Paul Dexter Tillett, Jr. (1923-1966) began on July 13 in Greensboro, North Carolina. His father, a salesman, and mother, a homemaker, later relocated the family to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Wesleyan University (Class of 1944) where he received an A.B. with high honors and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, Tillett interned as an Information Specialist for the Presidentʼns Committee on Fair Employment Practice. He left Washington and earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1949. The following year, Tillett served as a research assistant in the Law College, University of Nebraska. In 1950, he became a research assistant in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He applied and was admitted to the graduate program at Princeton University, where he obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science in 1953 and 1957 respectively. While at Princeton, he received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for the 1952-1953 academic year and served as an instructor in the Political Science Department.

In 1957, Tillett was appointed to the teaching faculty of Douglass College, Rutgers University, where he also served as the Assistant Director of its Eagleton Institute of Politics. While at Eagleton, he edited a series of case studies in practical politics designed to bring actual political situations into the classroom. He received wide acclaim in 1965 for his five month television course entitled "A New Birth of Freedom: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties," a part of WCBS televisionʼns Sunrise Semester program.

Tillett received a grant from the Louis Rabinowitz Foundation in 1961 to study the social costs of the loyalty investigations. In the course of conducting the study, he sought out people who had, in one way or the other, been involved with the anti-Communist frenzy of the 1950s. Among those he contacted was Herbert Aptheker of the American Institute for Marxist Studies. This association raised the suspicion of the F.B.I. which began to investigate Tillett in 1965. After discussing the study with Tillett and his colleagues, the F.B.I. concluded that Apethekerʼns role was purely academic.

On the morning of September 26, 1966, Paul D. Tillett, Jr. suffered a fatal heart attack. He left behind a wife and three children.

Collection History


Mrs. Virginia Wilson, Tillett's widow, donated the papers of Paul D. Tillett, Jr. in 1978 and his F.B.I file in 1979 .


Because ACLU records are held at Princeton, photoduplications of ACLU materials were separated from this collection and destroyed. There is no indication that any other materials were separated from the collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kristine Marconi with the assistance of Natasha Ermolaev. Finding aid written by Kristine Marconi with the assistance of Natasha Ermolaev.

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:

Paul D. Tillett, Jr. 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 1-4