Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Roberts, Owen W.
Owen W. and Janet K. Roberts Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
2 boxes
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-2


The Owen W. and Janet K. Roberts Papers document the Roberts' time in Cairo, the Congo and Nigeria while Owen Roberts was a member of the Foreign Service.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The Owen W. and Janet K. Roberts Papers document the Roberts' time in Cairo, the Congo and Nigeria while Owen Roberts was a member of the Foreign Service. The papers consist of nearly two hundred original letters written between 1955 and 1957, describing the Roberts' life in Cairo, as well as transcriptions of a majority of the Cairo letters, bound and titled "Letters from Cairo, 1955-1957." The Roberts Papers also include bound transcripts of letters from Roberts' Foreign Service in Africa, entitled, "Letters from the Congo, 1958-1960," and "Letters from Nigeria, 1964-1966," as well as "Letters from Jerusalem and the Sinai, 1976-1978." In addition, the bound transcripts contain Owen Roberts' remarks on the Congo and Nigeria for Georgetown University's Oral Diplomatic History program in 1991.

Collection Creator Biography:


Owen W. Roberts was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 1924. He served in the United States Army from 1943-1946 and graduated from Princeton University (A.B., 1948) and from Columbia University (M.A., 1952; Ph.D., 1955). In 1955 he entered the Foreign Service as consular officer in Cairo and was commercial officer in Leopoldville in 1958-1960. In the Department he was desk officer for Africa in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1961-1962) and in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (1963-1964). He was political officer in Lagos from 1964-1965, and deputy chief of mission in Ouagadougou from 1966-1968. He attended the Air War College from 1969 to 1970. In the Department he was staff director of the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service (1970-1971), Deputy Director for Cultural Affairs for Africa (1971-1972), a member of the policy planning staff (1973), and Executive Director of the Office of Inspector General (1974-1975). From 1976-1978, he was Deputy Director of the Sinai Field Mission, Sinai Desert. He was Director of the African Office at the Department of Defense (on detail) from 1978-1979, and deputy chief of mission in Addis Ababa from 1979-1982. In 1983 he served as African adviser at the United Nations General Assembly. From 1982-1984, he was roving Charge in Victoria, Banjul, and then N'Djamena. In May 1984 Roberts was appointed Ambassador to the Republic of Togo, and held that post through September 1986. Owens retired in 1989.

Biography of Janet K. Roberts

Janet Read Kiehel Roberts was born in Philadelphia in 1926. She attended Vassar College, graduating in 1947 with a focus on creative writing and social anthropology. She married Owen Roberts in 1949.

Collection History


Gift of Owen W. and Janet K. Roberts in December 2006 , January 2008 , January 2009, and April 2011 . Accession numbers associated with this collection are ML.2006.019, ML.2008.003, ML.2009.001 and ML.2011.013.


No material was separated from this collection during accessioning in 2008, 2009 or 2011.

Processing Information

Four accessions were combined to form this collection. Collection-level MARC and EAD finding aid created when first two accessions were combined to form the collection (December 2006 and January 2008 accessions). The finding was updated when subsequent accessions were acquired in January 2009 and April 2011.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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.

Credit this material:

Owen W. and Janet K. Roberts Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-2