Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Council on Foreign Relations: Records at Princeton, Finding Aid now On-line

This news release comes from Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University, via H-Diplo:

Finding aid for Council on Foreign Relations records at Princeton University now available online

The records of the Council on Foreign Relations, the influential American foreign policy organization, have been fully arranged and described, and an electronic version of the finding aid is available on the website of Princeton University's Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. (The direct link is here. If you have trouble with the link, go here, and search for "Council on Foreign Relations.")
The majority of the council's records were transferred to the Mudd Manuscript Library for research in 1998, and a gift agreement was completed between the council and Princeton University in 2003. Additional, noncurrent records of the council are deposited at Mudd Library annually. Currently, the collection totals nearly 400 linear feet -- 800 boxes -- and includes records related to the inner workings of the council as well as the minutes of off-the-record meetings and study groups.
The Council on Foreign Relations was founded in 1921 by businessmen, bankers and lawyers determined to keep the United States engaged in the world. Today, the council is composed of men and women from all walks of international life and from all parts of America, dedicated to the belief that the nation's peace and prosperity are firmly linked to that of the rest of the world. From this flows the council's mission: to foster America's understanding of other nations -- their peoples, cultures, histories, hopes, quarrels and ambitions -- and thus to serve our nation through study and debate, private and public. Its widely respected and influential research staff -- with backgrounds in government and scholarship in almost every international subject -- regularly meets with council members and other leaders and thinkers. These exclusive sessions, known as study groups or roundtables, form the council's intellectual core. The aim is to provide insights into international affairs and to develop new ideas for U.S. foreign policy, particularly national security and foreign economic policy. Council fellows produce books, articles, manuscripts and op-ed pieces and regularly contribute expert commentary on television and radio. The council also publishes Foreign Affairs, the leading periodical in the field, which has printed some of the most important articles about world affairs....
The finding aid describes each series of the collection and includes historical notes, scope and content notes and arrangement information, as well as a full folder listing. In addition to the folder lists, indices are extant for the early records (circa 1920-1973) of three of the council's departments: Studies Department, Meetings and Conferences. The index to the Conferences has already been incorporated into the online folder list. The Meetings index will be available electronically shortly, and plans are being made to digitize the Studies Department index as well. The council's records currently include two temporary series that hold the most recent acquisitions, from May 2005 and June 2006; these series are described briefly and a full folder list is available for their materials. Most of the records within these series, and portions of records in the other 13 series, remain closed under the council's rule that records are closed for an initial 25-year period and then open only under the council's nonattribution rule.
The Mudd Manuscript Library recently has begun a digital audio transfer project that will make recordings of selected council meetings dating back to 1953 available online in digital format. Funding for this project was provided by over 20 members of the council and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

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