Contents and Arrangement

Notebooks, 1978-2008 February

8 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The notebooks from Oberdorfer's journalism career are especially significant for their detailed notes and commentary on his travels abroad. The notebooks chronicle his many trips with Secretary of State George P. Shultz to Asia from 1983-1988; to the Middle East in 1983 and 1987; to the Soviet Union in 1987; and to other locations. Oberdorfer's trip with Secretary of State James Baker to Asia in November 1991 is also included. Additional travels documented in the notebooks include, but are not limited to, Oberdorfer's trips to the Soviet Union in 1978, January 1984, and April 1987; to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in 1982; to Germany in 1983; and to the Middle East in 1985. He also made a number of trips to Korea, Japan, and China from 1987-1991. Oberdorfer's additional travels to Korea, Japan, and China after his retirement and his attendance at a variety of domestic and international conferences, mostly on the governments of Asia or on the Cold War, are also documented.


The notebooks in this series are arranged chronologically. The other writings remain in their original order as received from the donor.

Collection History


No materials were separated from Series 1 and 2. For Series 3, clippings from widely available newspapers and periodicals, unless annotated, were removed from the collection.

From the January 2015 accession, one folder of Mr. Oberdorfer's correspondence with the Mudd Library regarding his 1994 donation was separated to the Mudd Library's internal collection files.

Digital files consisting of drafts and detailed outlines of Mr. Oberdorfer's published works from the September 2015 accession were not retained. Approximately one linear feet of business cards, personal materials, copies of Mr. Oberdorfer's published books, and a copy of his Princeton senior thesis were also removed from this series.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Daniel J. Linke in 1994. Materials were arranged into three series and a finding aid was written by Daniel J. Linke in 1994.

The January 2015 accession was processed by Rachel Van Unen in April 2015. Some materials in the accession were rehoused in archival boxes and folders and all materials were described in the finding aid. The collection-level description of the Don Oberdorfer Papers was also updated at this time.

The September 2015 accession was processed by Rachel Van Unen in 2016. Some materials in the accession were rehoused in archival boxes and folders and all materials were described in the finding aid.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The 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, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to Princeton University and researchers are free to move forward with use of materials without anything further from Mudd Library. For materials not created by the donor, where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. In these instances, researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting 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:

Notebooks; Don Oberdorfer Papers, MC162, 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 7-14