Contents and Arrangement

Series 4: Later Activities, 1929-2004 (mostly 1980-1999)

10 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Series 4 documents Bowie's activities after his government service and after his retirement from Harvard University in 1980. The series reflects Bowie's abiding interests in arms control, NATO and the Atlantic alliance.

Bowie's subject files date from the early 1980s, including correspondence and printed material. These subject files overlap with other material in the series, since they document Bowie's membership in organizations, his writing, and his participation in conferences. They are grouped together here because they reflect the organizational system that Bowie maintained during the period.

Material under Conferences and Organizations documents Bowie's work with a task force of the Committee for Economic Development, and his involvement with organizations such as the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, the Overseas Development Council, the Trilateral Commission, the Brookings Institution, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Nuclear History Program, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Brookings Institution, and the Rules Committee of the Appeals Court of Maryland, among others. The series documents Bowie's role in the European Security Study (ESECS), a group of independent defense analysts who advocated bolstering NATO's conventional weaponry as an alternative to nuclear stockpiling. Bowie's involvement with many of these organizations extended through the 1980s and 1990s. Files relating to Harvard and the Center for International Affairs are also included in this category. One course file demonstrates that Bowie returned to teaching a course at Harvard in 1989-1990.

The series also documents Bowie's participation in conferences and seminars, such as annual Salzburg Seminars, conferences at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and conferences in honor of John Foster Dulles and Jean Monnet, among others. Files on conferences, as well as containing official schedules, often contain Bowie's notes and/or talking points.

Series 4 also contains the transcripts for several oral histories Bowie recorded during this period, as well as correspondence documenting Bowie's participation in radio interviews and television documentaries. The series contains notes for and typescripts of talks Bowie gave in the early 1980s and afterwards. One file contains correspondence and information compiled for a biography of Bowie by Australian doctoral student Andrew McFadzean.

Research and writing files contain contracts, research, and correspondence for Bowie's and Richard Immerman's book on Eisenhower's strategy, Waging Peace. Much of the Eisenhower research material appears in Box 18. Other writing includes Bowie's monthly column during the early 1980s for the Christian Science Monitor, as well as other articles, chapters and forewords.

Series 4 also contains several books that were included with Bowie's files. A copy of Lenin's Imperialism contains undated notes inserted by Bowie, and a copy of America's Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Thomas Alan Schwartz) includes Bowie's sticky notes. Other bound books in this series are authored by Bowie.


Materials remain in the order in which they were received from the donor.

Collection History


One box of personal files, framed certificates and some photographs was returned to the donor.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Phoebe Nobles in March, 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

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, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, 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. 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 a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting 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 4: Later Activities; Robert R. Bowie Papers, MC290, 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 10-18; 20

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