Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Holbrooke, Richard C., 1941-2010
Richard C. Holbrooke Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1912-2017 (mostly 1968-2010)
40 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-40
English French Croatian Japanese Bosnian Chinese German Albanian


Richard C. Holbrooke was an American diplomat who led negotiations at the Dayton Accords for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. The Richard C. Holbrooke Papers contain Holbrooke's subject files, records of public statements, correspondence, writings and drafts of writings, articles and periodicals, and audiovisual materials.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Richard C. Holbrooke Papers contain Holbrooke's subject files, records of public statements, correspondence, writings and drafts of writings, articles and periodicals, and audiovisual materials.


Materials are mostly arranged in the order they were received. Some boxes that had miscellaneous files were moved into appropriate series.

Collection Creator Biography:

Holbrooke, Richard C., 1941-2010

Richard C. Holbrooke was an American diplomat who led negotiations at the Dayton Accords for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, brokering the agreement to end the Bosnian war.

Holbrooke was born in New York City in 1941. He attended Brown University, became editor of the Brown Daily Herald and graduated in 1962. He joined the Foreign Service, was posted to Vietnam's Mekong Delta and later to Saigon, and subsequently worked on Lyndon Johnson's White House group of staff on Vietnam. He attended the Paris peace talks on Vietnam with the American delegation in 1968.

In 1969-1970, Holbrooke spent a year at Princeton University as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He served as Peace Corps director in Morocco from 1970 to 1972, returning to the U.S. to edit Foreign Policy magazine from 1972 to 1976. During the Carter administration, Holbrooke was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. In between Democratic administrations, Holbrooke helped found the consulting firm Public Strategies and worked in investment banking at Lehman Brothers.

Under Bill Clinton, Holbrooke was United States ambassador to Germany from 1993 to 1994, and helped to found the American Academy in Berlin while he was there. He served as assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian Affairs from 1994 to 1995, necessitating a focus on the crisis in the Balkans. Holbrooke's memoir To End a War (1998) recounts his experience of the negotiations between the leaders of Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio in 1995.

Holbrooke served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1999 to 2001, achieving a settlement of U.S. debt to the United Nations and a UN Security Council resolution on HIV and AIDS. He was foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton's campaign for president, and served the Obama administration as special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 to 2010. Holbrooke died on December 13, 2010, after he was treated for a torn aorta.

Collection History


The collection was donated by Kati Marton in June 2018 and January 2019 . The accession numbers associated with these donations are ML.2018.012 and ML.2019.005. A letter was also donated by Maureen Shea in July 2018 and has the accession number ML.2018.020.

Custodial History

While donated by Kati Marton, materials were directly received from George Packer. Holbrooke's papers were loaned to Packer for a period after Holbrooke's death. Packer utilized Holbrooke's materials to write "Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century." Materials were transferred to the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library in June, 2018 and January, 2019. Packer kept Holbrooke's filing cabinets intact, but arrangement of some material may reflect the organization of Packer's office.


Files that contain third-party personal information such as social security numbers have been separated from the papers. A few documents have been removed due to the presence of classified information. Removals are noted at the folder level.

Processing Information

A box-level inventory and basic finding aid were created by Phoebe Nobles in May 2019. This collection was processed and a folder-level inventory was created by Kelli Yakabu in August 2019.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

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:

Richard C. Holbrooke 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 (scamudd): Box 1-40

Find More

Related Materials

The Richard C. Holbrooke Papers at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum mostly consist of transcripts of interviews conducted with Clark Clifford by Holbrooke while the two were collaborating on Clifford's memoir in 1987 and 1988.

Subject Terms:
Dayton Peace Accords (1995)
Diplomatic and consular service, American
U.S. Department of State
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia and Herzegovina : Federation)