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Collection Overview

Hard, William (1878-1962)
William Hard Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
5 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-5


The William Hard Papers consist of correspondence files, notes, typescripts, speeches, papers and articles relating to the career of William Hard. The papers also contain a significant amount of supplementary printed materials Hard used for research on his unpublished publication on the League of Nations fight during the Wilson presidency.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains Hard's files for a planned book on the League of Nations fight, which include voluminous correspondence, notes, typescripts, articles, speeches, articles, and supplementary materials. Correspondence files include drafts of conversations with Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and other prominent personalities. Notes and typescripts contain the book outline and typed chapters; reference notes on various issues including the League Fight, Versailles Treaty and the World Court. The remainder of the collection consists of articles and speeches, as well as printed material collected by Hard in support of research for his book.

Collection Creator Biography:


William Hard was born on September 15, 1878 in Painted Post, New York, the son of missionaries Clark Pettengill and Lydia van Someren Hard. Hard received his preliminary education at the Philander Smith Institute, Mussoorie, India and in public school in Lima, New York and at University College, London, England before enrolling at Northwestern University. After receiving a B.A. in history in 1900, he received a fellowship at Northwestern and lectured there in medieval history.

In 1901, Hard moved to the Northwestern University Settlement House. His professional journalism career began in 1902 with Hard's involvement in the production of Settlement House's monthly newsletter. Like many of his colleagues, Hard developed sympathies for the plight of urban workers and ties to the organized labor movement. He was widely acknowledged among his colleagues for the quality of journalistic integrity which characterized Hard's work. In 1906 he worked as a free-lance contributor to many magazines, an activity in which he continued until the end of his life. He was a member of the editorial staffs of Everybody's and Metropolitan magazines; the latter then edited by Theodore Roosevelt.

With the advent of radio, a new career path for Hard opened up. By 1929 he was a regular correspondent and commentator for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). Between 1930-1935, Hard broadcast reports and interviews from Washington, D.C., the 1932 Republican Convention in Chicago, and Berlin. In February 1937, he was appointed executive assistant to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee and served as secretary of the Republican Program Committee. He resigned his party posts in October 1938, saying he wished to return to "independent political journalism." In the following year, he began writing for Reader's Digest and was roving editor for the magazine until his death in New Caanan, Connecticut in 1962.

He was married in Chicago, November 3, 1903 to Anne Nyhan, adopted daughter of Wiley S. Scribner, and had two children: William, who married Jean Foster and later Rita Setten; and Eleanor Van Someren, who married Gerard Kirsopp Lake.

Collection History


These papers were donated to the Princeton University in 1964 by William Hard's daughter, Eleanor Van Someren Lake. (AM18294).


No information about appraisal is available for this collection. No material was separated from the June 2012 accession to this collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mei-Yu Tsai in 1995. Finding aid written by Mei-Yu Tsai in 1995. The finding aid was updated by Regine Heberlein on June 29, 2011 to include material from the June 2010 accession.

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:

William Hard 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 1-5