Contents and Arrangement

Series 3: Willkie Memorial Building, 1940-1987

4 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 3: Willkie Memorial Building, 1944-1987, houses a variety of correspondence related to the purchase, maintenance and sale of the building. The building was purchased and renovated with funds subscribed by the original supporters of Freedom House. It was dedicated to the memory of Willkie on October 8, 1945. Unable to maintain the building financially, Freedom House was forced to sell it in 1985, setting off a firestorm of protest from the occupants. Lawsuits were filed to block the sale, but to no avail. Located in Meeting Materials of the Board of Trustees is more information regarding the sale of the building. During its 40-year existence, the building housed non-profit organizations that engaged in advancing a free society. Such renowned organizations as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Citizens Council on Civil Rights used the Willkie building for their offices.

Within this series are materials related to specific events and ceremonies, which either took place in the building itself or were sponsored by the trustees of the Willkie Memorial Building. Aside from the dedication and rededication of the building, there were receptions for dignitaries, fundraisers for Freedom House, and One World Award dinners. Notable in this series is the correspondence between George Field and the African-American sculptor Richmond Barthe. In 1945, Barthe was commissioned to design the Wendell Willkie Memorial Plaque.

Although the Willkie Memorial Building was a separate entity from Freedom House, governed by its own board, the key players remained the same. A few stray copies of the meeting minutes of the Willkie board can be found in Series 1: Board of Trustees, while a complete run is located in the George Field collection (MC#048).


The materials in this series are arranged chronologically.

Collection History


Accruals are expected from Freedom House on a periodic basis.


Duplicates and secondary source reference materials were separated from the collection in 2000 and 2001. No material was separated during accessioning in 2007-2017.


These Archives were processed with the generous support of The National Historical Publications and Records Commission and The John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kristine Marconi McGee in 1999-2000 with the assistance of Christine Kitto, Nicole Basta, Patrick Gallagher, Michael Gibney, Meghan Glass, Nate Holland, Chris Hoyte, Shantanu Mukherjee, Eric Reimer, Stan Ruda, Noelia Saenz, Brian Schulz, Sid Smith, Jeremy Sturchio, and Laura Vanderkam. Finding aid written by Kristine Marconi McGee in 1999-2000. The finding aid was updated to include accessions from 2000 through 2007 by Adriane Hanson in 2008. Materials from the 2011-2017 accessions were added to the collection as individual series or as parts of existing series and the finding aid was updated to reflect these additions.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use except for Board materials in Series 18. All Board materials received from 2017 onward are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation.

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:

Series 3: Willkie Memorial Building; Freedom House Records, MC187, 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 78-81