Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: Interview Transcripts, 1982 August 24-1995 December 13

2 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Interview Transcripts series is composed of transcripts of interviews conducted by Gaddis in preparation for his authorized biography of George F. Kennan. Gaddis interviewed Kennan, his family, and his colleagues in the United States government and in academia. The interview topics span Kennan's entire life and include his family, education, years in the Foreign Service, and his career at the Institute for Advanced Study. Subjects of the interviews include Kennan's opinions on various world events and political issues, his experiences at the embassies where he served, notably in the Soviet Union, and with the Policy Planning Staff, his contributions to government policies and to scholarship, his opinions of various individuals, and general impressions about Kennan.


Arranged alphabetically by interviewee.

Collection History


No materials were separated from this collection during processing in 2009 or 2012.


These papers were processed with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Processing Information

This collection was first processed by Adriane Hanson in March 2009. Finding aid written by Adriane Hanson in March 2009 and updated by Maureen Callahan on April 16, 2013 to incorporate a January 2012 accession. Interview transcripts were interfiled alphabetically with Series 1, mp3 recordings were incorporated alphabetically in Series 2, and CDs were copied to web-based storage at this time.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Access to interviews for living individuals requires the permission of the interviewee. All other interviews are open for research use. Restricted interviews are noted in the contents listing below.

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.

Series 2: Interview Recordings (Box 2) contains 40 audio cassette tapes and 65 CDs.

Credit this material:

Series 1: Interview Transcripts; John Lewis Gaddis Papers on George F. Kennan, MC256, 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): Boxes 1, 6

Find More

Related Materials

A collection at the Mudd Manuscript Library of particular relevance to the John Gaddis Papers on George Kennan is the George F. Kennan Papers. The Mudd Manuscript Library also has numerous other collections related to the Cold War and to United States diplomacy which can be located by selecting the subject "Cold War" or "Diplomacy" on the Princeton University Finding Aids Website.


The following sources were consulted during the preparation of the biographical note: "Documenting the Cold War: John Lewis Gaddis," by Meredith Hindley. Humanities, vol 27, no 1, January/February 2006. "John Lewis Gaddis," Marquis Who's Who Online. Accessed March 17, 2009. "John Lewis Gaddis," Yale University History Department webpage. Accessed March 17, 2009.

United States. Foreign Service
Institute for advanced study Princeton, N.J.
Gaddis, John Lewis
Kennan, George F. (George Frost) (1904-2005)