Contents and Arrangement

Series 5: September 2015 Accession of Research Materials and Photographs, 1950-2012

7 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series is predominately composed of research materials such as notes, articles and papers, interview transcripts, correspondence, and audiovisual media that were created or collected by Oberdorfer for various writing projects. Most of the materials pertain to Oberdorfer's biography of Senator Mike Mansfield or to Oberdorfer's interest in Korea, including some materials specifically related to his book The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History. Correspondence with Oberdorfer's publishers and promotional materials for these books are also present.

Other topics documented in the research materials include the Vietnam War (particularly the Tet Offensive), Japan, U.S.-Soviet foreign policy, and Richard Nixon's administration. Of particular note are transcripts of the Nixon White House tapes that reference Oberdorfer and transcripts of interviews conducted for Oberdorfer's book The Turn. This series also contains biographical materials on Oberdorfer and documentation of his connection to the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and other institutions.

To a lesser extent, this series includes photographs featuring or taken by Oberdorfer. Most of the photographs are from Oberdorfer's travels abroad post-retirement, especially in Asia. Also included are photographs of Oberdorfer's army service in Korea.


Materials have been arranged intellectually by content or format but remain in their original physical 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:

Series 5: September 2015 Accession of Research Materials and Photographs; 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 18-24