- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Keeley, James H. (James Hugh), 1895-1990
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- James Hugh Keeley, Jr. Papers
- Public Policy Papers
- Permanent URL:
- 1898-1975 (mostly 1921-1975)
- 2 bins, 57 boxes, and 2 items
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-57
The James H. Keeley Jr. papers document Keeley's career in the Foreign Service from 1920 through the 1960s. Over the course of his career, Keeley served in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Canada, Greece, Belgium, and Italy.
Collection Description & Creator Information
Consists primarily of correspondence but also includes writings, clippings, various personal records, and photographs that document Keeley's career in the Foreign Service. Series 1 contains personal and office correspondence that details the foreign service world and the political climate in countries where Keeley was stationed. Series 2 is not extensive and supplements Series 1. Most of the material details Keeley's work as consul general in Athens, Greece (1946-1947) and his involvement in the Allied Mission for Observing the Greek Elections and also includes official and family correspondence. Series 3 documents Keeley's personal life. Of specific interest are drafts of articles Keeley wrote, including those about life in Damascus (circa 1924-1928). The first subseries of Series 4 contains correspondence between Keeley and his immediate family. The second subseries contains correspondence between both Keeley and his wife, their siblings, parents and extended family. Series 5 contains personal and family photographs and a photo album that documents family life in Damascus, including the Druze revolt of 1925. Photos of Bedouins in Syria (circa 1923) and Palestinian scenes after the earthquake of 1927 are included.
- Collection Creator Biography:
James H. Keeley, Jr. (1895-1990) was born in Curwensville, Pennsylvania. He attended the Military School of Aeronautics, Princeton University, in 1917, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University of Beirut in 1931. After serving as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War I, Keeley worked in the restaurant business until 1920 when he joined the Foreign Service.
Keeley's early career in the Foreign Service featured a series of postings in the Middle East: vice consul at Istanbul, Turkey, 1920-1923; consul at Damascus, Syria, 1923-28; and consul at Beirut, Lebanon, 1928-1931. From there Keeley moved to Montreal, where he served for four years, and then to Salonika, Greece, where he was consul from 1936-1939. After the outbreak of war in Europe, Keeley returned to Washington, where he held a variety of State Department posts, including chief of the Special War Problems Division from March 1943-September 1944.
In the fall of 1944 Keeley returned to Europe, serving in Antwerp and then Athens until 1947. In 1948 Keeley was named American minister to Syria, which made him the chief American diplomatic representative in Syria at that time. Keeley held this position until 1950.
In 1950 Keeley returned to the United States, spending two years as a fellow in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and the 1952-53 academic year as chairman of the Near East Seminar at the State Department Foreign Service Institute. In June 1953 he became consul-general in Palermo, Italy, and served there until his retirement in the early 1960s.
Keeley married Mathilde Vossler in December 1922. They had three sons: Hugh Morgan ("Budge"), Edmund LeRoy ("Mike"), and Robert.
Gift of Keeley's sons, Edmund and Robert, and his daughter-in-law, Darlene Keeley in 1996 (ML1996-1).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No information about appraisal is available for this collection.
These papers were processed with the generous support of Edmund and Robert Keeley and Princeton University's Department of Hellenic Studies.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Grace Kashangaki in 1999 and Helene van Rossum in 2002. Finding aid written by Grace Kashangaki in 1999 and Helene van Rossum in 2002. The materials were arranged into series and sub-series and collection-level and series-level descriptions were created within this time frame. Restricted materials were removed during processing, re-housed in separate boxes and listed as restricted in the finding aid.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
All materials dated through December 31, 1947 are open to the public. Materials created after January 1, 1948 are closed during the lifetimes of the donors.
Materials post-dating 1947 are closed.
- Conditions for Reproduction and 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.
- Credit this material:
James Hugh Keeley, Jr. Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Subject Terms:
- Bedouins -- Syria -- 20th century -- Photographs.
Diplomatic and consular service, American -- Greece -- 20th century.
Diplomatic and consular service, American -- Syria -- 20th century.
Diplomats -- United States -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Diplomatic history.
- Genre Terms:
- United States. Foreign Service
- Greece -- Foreign relations -- United States -- 20th century.
Greece -- History -- Civil War, 1944-1949.
Syria -- Foreign relations -- United States -- 20th century.
Syria -- History -- Insurrection, 1925-1927.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Greece -- 20th century.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Syria -- 20th century.