Contents and Arrangement

Series 1, General Correspondence, 1920-1949

6 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 1, General Correspondence, 1920-1947, contains both personal and office correspondence. The series details the small and chummy world of foreign service officers as it contains letters between James Keeley and his many friends and colleagues. Some correspondence of other foreign service officers criticizes how the Service worked and treated its staff, with some suggesting improvements. Of particular interest in this respect is the correspondence with Edward Groth, John Randolph, and Howland Shaw.

Some of the correspondence sheds light on the political climate in the countries where Keeley was stationed, though for the period 1923-1931, when Keeley served as consul in Syria and (from 1928) Lebanon, there is surprisingly little information. However, extensive reports on the situation in Syria can be found in Series 2. The correspondence series contains more information concerning the situation in Greece, especially in the correspondence with Lincoln MacVeagh and Harold Shantz. MacVeagh was American minister to Greece, and Shantz was consul general in Athens while Keeley was posted as consul in Salonika (1936-1939). The MacVeagh file contains formal memos from 1936-1937, with detailed information regarding the political landscape in Thessaloniki (Salonika). These include accounts of local perceptions of political events and leaders; communist activity and names of suspected communists; the business environment, and significant political events in Salonika. Subsequent letters to MacVeagh contain information on pre-war conditions in Salonika. Correspondence with Keeley's vice-consul, Andrew Foster, concerns the day-to-day affairs of the consulate.

Correspondence relating to the Thessalonica Agricultural and Industrial Institute, or the American Farm School, begins in 1935, when Keeley was first assigned to Salonika. Charles House was the director of the all-boys school until he and his wife Anne became prisoners of war during the German occupation. The file consists mostly of letters sent by the Houses to Charles' mother, which were forwarded to the school and all the Houses' acquaintances. The letters describe day-to-day living conditions while the Houses were interned-part of the time in the Vittel concentration camp. Correspondence with Ethel Bliss concerns efforts to secure the release of Anne and Charles House, as well as the situation at the school during the absence of its director.

Much of the correspondence is personal and concerns family matters. R. Woodland Gates, his attorney, provided Keeley with legal advice concerning the affairs of his stepmother "Mother Keeley," among other topics. Bill Gates, a navy captain in Washington, helped Keeley while his sons served in the Navy during World War II.


The correspondence in this series is arranged alphabetically.

Collection History


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

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

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:

Series 1, General Correspondence; James Hugh Keeley, Jr. Papers, MC191, 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 1-6