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Franklin D. Roosevelt, Papers as President: The President's Secretary's File (PSF), 1933-1945 | Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Collection Overview

Title: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Papers as President: The President's Secretary's File (PSF), 1933-1945Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1882-1945)

Extent: 87.0 Cubic Feet

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The President's Secretary's File, or PSF, is one of five major collections of FDR's Papers as President. The PSF contains Roosevelt's special or confidential documentation housed in the custody of his personal secretary. This collection includes incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, printed material, and newspaper clippings. Materials date from the beginning of FDR's first term as President, to the months directly following his April 12, 1945 death while serving his fourth term. These papers represent the documentation most highly protected and heavily used by the Roosevelt White House.

Collection Historical Note

Franklin D. Roosevelt, as administrative head of the Executive branch of the United States Government, had the assistance of several secretaries, administrative assistants and special assistants as well as a personal secretary. During the Roosevelt administration, the White House received an average of 3,000 letters a day. Mail addressed to the White House was routed by the Assistant Executive Clerk either to the President, through his personal secretary; to an assistant with a specific area of responsibility; to the Office of the Chief of Correspondence for the preparation of a routine reply; or, if appropriate, routinely referred to another government agency for action. The correspondence that went to the President directly was either answered personally by him or sent to another agency for the preparation of a draft reply. Occasionally Roosevelt would merely initial his approval on an original letter and return it to its sender.

After the White House mail had been answered, it was routed to the Office of the Chief of Files for filing. At this time a record was also kept of all correspondence referred elsewhere. This White House office maintained what was known as the White House Central Files; the filing system used was that originally developed in 1906 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

The Central Files were divided into four categories of material. The Alphabetical File contained copies of letters of acknowledgment for mail referred elsewhere, copies of forwarding letters, lists of forwarded mail, abstracts of documents placed in the other filing categories, as well as some routine correspondence. Material in this file was arranged alphabetically by correspondent or subject.

The Official File was intended to consist of correspondence and other material related to the policy-making activities of the President. It includes correspondence, memoranda, and reports from government officials and other public and private individuals. Within this group of papers are files on government departments and agencies; subjects of concern to the President; important organizations and individuals; as well as files on less important persons or subjects. These files are arranged numerically by subject or individual concerned.

The President's Personal File was set up to contain correspondence concerned with matters in which the President took a personal interest. It includes files on gifts received by the President, birthday and holiday greetings, honorary memberships, fraternal organizations and philanthropic societies as well as files on personal friends and political associates of the President. This file is also arranged numerically by subject or individual concerned.

The fourth group of papers in the Central Files was known as the Confidential File. It contained material similar to that found in the other filing categories which had been designated confidential by the President or one of his secretaries or assistants. It was arranged alphabetically by subject. The boundaries between these file groupings were often vague and similar material can be found in both the Official File and the President's Personal File. In many cases both groups of paperswill contain files on a particular subject or individual. Researchers should thus consult both files to be assured of seeing all the material on their topic.

To facilitate the use of the Central Files, the Office of the Chief of Files prepared an index of important individuals and subjects and also-adopted a system of inserting cross reference sheets in other related files throughout the four groups of papers. When correspondence was received by the Office a classifier determined the appropriate file for the original document and so marked the covering letter. Notations were also made on the document to indicate the other files where abstracts of that particular correspondence would be-placed. The correspondence then passed to a typist for the preparation of the required number of abstracts. Subsequently, filing clerks would file both the original papers and the abstracts.

With a few exceptions, all of the mail received at the White House (or a record thereof) would thus end up in the Central Files. Occasionally large amounts of correspondence concerning a particular subject would be referred to another agency without a record being kept. Secretaries and administrative assistants might also retain small amounts of correspondence in their own files. The President's personal secretary, while sending ordinary correspondence to the Central Files, also maintained a file of documents deemed special and confidential by the President.

The correspondence retained by the personal secretary was arranged alphabetically by subject into a Diplomatic File, containing confidential reports from American representatives abroad; a Department File, containing material from various government agencies; a Famous People File; Secret File with correspondence from individuals such as Winston S. Churchill and Joseph Stalin; a Special Studies File; and a General File. This material plus the Confidential File of the Central Files has been incorporated into what is known as the President's Secretary's File.

After the United States' entry into World War II, a White House Map Room was established in January 1942 under the supervision of the President's Naval Aide. This office also maintained files, arranged by subject, which are now known as the Map Room Papers. Included are wartime messages sent and received by the President, including those exchanged with Churchill, Stalin, and Chiang Kai-shek, as well as a number of documents sent by the War and Navy Department for the President's information. President Roosevelt began shipping those portions of his White House files which were not in current use to the Roosevelt Library in August 1940. Additional accessions were received throughout his presidency. After his death, the remainder of the Central Files were received from his estate in December 1947. Security classified material in the President's Secretary's File and the Map Room Papers was received from storage in the National Archives in November 1951.

Administrative Information

Repository: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Access Restrictions: None

Use Restrictions: President Roosevelt donated his copyright interest in these papers to the United States Government; writings of other individuals are subject to copyright restrictions under Title 17 of the U.S. Code. These papers may contain materials restricted in accordance with Executive Order 11652, and material which might be used to harass, embarrass, or injure living persons has been closed.

Acquisition Method: These papers were donated to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They were received at the Library from his estate in November 1951, having been held in the White House at the request of President Truman until then.

Related Materials: Franklin D. Roosevelt's Papers as President are divided into seven major series - The Alphabetical File, the Official File, the President's Personal File, the President's Secretary's File, the Map Room papers, Executive Orders, and Press Conferences.

Box and Folder Listing


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[Series 1: Safe File],
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Series 3: Diplomatic CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
This series consists mostly of confidential reports sent to the President from American representatives abroad, but also includes letters from royalty and heads of state. Many official diplomatic communications sent and received by the State Department are housed here as well, though additional diplomatic correspondence can be found in the President's Official File (OF). Materials in the Diplomatic Correspondence series are arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically thereunder.

Box 23Add to your cart.

ArgentinaAdd to your cart.
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Australia, 1939-August 1942Add to your cart.
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Australia, September 1942-1944Add to your cart.
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Austria, 1933-April 1944Add to your cart.
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Austria, May 1944-February 1945Add to your cart.
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Belgium, 1933-1937Add to your cart.
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Box 24Add to your cart.

Belgium, 1938-1941Add to your cart.
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Biddle, Anthony J. Drexel, 1937-May 1941Add to your cart.
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Biddle, Anthony J. Drexel, June-December 1941Add to your cart.
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Biddle, Anthony J. Drexel, 1942-1944Add to your cart.
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BoliviaAdd to your cart.
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BrazilAdd to your cart.
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Bullitt, William C., 1941-1943Add to your cart.
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Box 25Add to your cart.

BurmaAdd to your cart.
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Canada, 1933-1935Add to your cart.
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Canada, 1936-1937Add to your cart.
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Canada, 1938-1939Add to your cart.
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Canada, 1940Add to your cart.
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Canada, 1941Add to your cart.
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Canada, 1942-1943Add to your cart.
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Canada, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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Canada - Permanent Joint Board on DefenseAdd to your cart.
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Canada - Roper, Daniel C.Add to your cart.
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Chile, 1938-May 1941Add to your cart.
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Chile, June-December 1941Add to your cart.
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Chile, 1942Add to your cart.
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Chile, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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China, 1933-1936Add to your cart.
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China, 1937Add to your cart.
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China, 1938Add to your cart.
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Box 27Add to your cart.

China - Military Dispatches, 1938Add to your cart.
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China, 1939-1940Add to your cart.
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China, 1941Add to your cart.
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China - Currie, Lauchlin: Report, March 15, 1941Add to your cart.
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China, 1942Add to your cart.
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China, 1943Add to your cart.
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China, January-June 1944Add to your cart.
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China, July-December 1944Add to your cart.
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China, 1945Add to your cart.
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Box 28Add to your cart.

China - Currie, Lauchlin: Outgoing, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
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China - Currie, Lauchlin: Incoming, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
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China - Lattimore, Owen, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
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China - Yangtze Gorge Project: Drawings, November 9, 1944Add to your cart.
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China - Yangtze Gorge Project: Report, November 9, 1944Add to your cart.
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ColombiaAdd to your cart.
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Costa RicaAdd to your cart.
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Cuba, 1933-1935, 1942-1944Add to your cart.
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Czechoslovakia, 1938-1944Add to your cart.
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Denmark, 1938-1941, 1944Add to your cart.
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Ecuador, 1943-1944Add to your cart.
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Egypt, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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EthiopiaAdd to your cart.
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Finland, 1930-1940, 1944Add to your cart.
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Box 29Add to your cart.

France, 1934-37Add to your cart.
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France, 1938-1939Add to your cart.
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France, 1940Add to your cart.
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France, 1941Add to your cart.
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France France, 1942, , 1943Add to your cart.
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France, January-July 1944Add to your cart.
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Box 30Add to your cart.

France, August 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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France - Blum, Leon - Correspondence and English translation of "For All Mankind", 1942-1943Add to your cart.
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France - Blum, Leon - French transcript of "For All Mankind", 1942-1943Add to your cart.
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France - Bullitt, William C., 1936Add to your cart.
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France - Bullitt, William C., 1937Add to your cart.
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France - Bullitt, William C., 1938Add to your cart.
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France - Bullitt, William C., January-June 1939Add to your cart.
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France - Bullitt, William C., July-December 1939Add to your cart.
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Box 31Add to your cart.

France - Bullitt, William C., 1940Add to your cart.
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France - De Gaulle, Charles, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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France - Giraud, HenriAdd to your cart.
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France - St. Pierre & MiquelonAdd to your cart.
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France - Strauss, Jesse I., 1934-1936Add to your cart.
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Germany, 1933-1938Add to your cart.
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Germany, 1939Add to your cart.
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Germany, 1940-1941Add to your cart.
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Germany, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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Box 32Add to your cart.

Germany - Dodd, William E., 1933-1935Add to your cart.
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Germany - Dodd, William E., 1936-1938Add to your cart.
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Germany - Wilson, Hugh R., March-November 1938Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1933-1936Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1937-1938Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1939Add to your cart.
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Box 33Add to your cart.

Great Britain, January-September 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, May 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, June 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, July 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, August 1940Add to your cart.
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Box 34Add to your cart.

Great Britain - Military Situation, September 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, October-December 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britian - Military Situation, October 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britian - Military Situation Great Britain - Military Situation, November 1940, , April 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britian - Military Situation, December 1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1941Add to your cart.
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Box 35Add to your cart.

Great Britain - Military Situation, January 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, February 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, March 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, May 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, June 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, July-August 1941Add to your cart.
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Box 36Add to your cart.

Great Britain - Military Situation, September 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, October 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, November 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, December 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1942Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, January 1942Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Military Situation, February-March 1942Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1943Add to your cart.
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Great Britain, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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Box 37Add to your cart.

Great Britain - Bingham, Robert W.Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Churchill, Winston, 1940-1942Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Churchill, Winston, 1942-1943Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Churchill, Winston, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Defense Articles Transfer, 1941Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Halifax, LordAdd to your cart.
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Great Britain - Harriman, W. Averell, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Kennedy, Joseph P., 1938-June 1939Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Kennedy, Joseph P., July 1939-1940Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Kennedy, Joseph P. - Lost ShippingAdd to your cart.
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Great Britain - Keynes, John MaynardAdd to your cart.
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Box 38Add to your cart.

Great Britain - King and Queen, June 1938-June 1939Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - King and Queen, July 1939-1942Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Laski, HaroldAdd to your cart.
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Great Britain - MacDonald, J. Ramsey, 1933, 1937Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Murray, Arthur, 1936-1939Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Murray, Arthur, 1940-1944Add to your cart.
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Great Britain - Office of Strategic ServicesAdd to your cart.
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Great Britain - Report on Press and BBCAdd to your cart.
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Great Britain - Winant, John G.Add to your cart.
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Box 39Add to your cart.

Greece, 1934-1939Add to your cart.
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Greece, 1940-1942Add to your cart.
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Greece, 1943-1945Add to your cart.
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Greece - MacVeagh, LincolnAdd to your cart.
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Greenland, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
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Haiti, 1933-1934, 1944Add to your cart.
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HungaryAdd to your cart.
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IcelandAdd to your cart.
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IndiaAdd to your cart.
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IndochinaAdd to your cart.
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Box 40Add to your cart.

IranAdd to your cart.
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IraqAdd to your cart.
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Ireland, 1938-1939Add to your cart.
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Ireland, 1940Add to your cart.
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Ireland, 1941Add to your cart.
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Ireland, January-April 1942Add to your cart.
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Ireland, May-December 1942Add to your cart.
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Ireland, 1943-1945Add to your cart.
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Box 41Add to your cart.

Italy, 1933-1938Add to your cart.
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Italy, 1939-1940Add to your cart.
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Italy, 1941Add to your cart.
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Italy, 1943-June 1944Add to your cart.
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Italy - Developments Dating from Arcmistice Negotiations, June12, 1944Add to your cart.
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Italy, August 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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Italy - Long, Breckinridge, 1933-1936Add to your cart.
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Italy - Mussolini-HitlerAdd to your cart.
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Box 42Add to your cart.

Italy - Phillips, William, 1935-May 1939Add to your cart.
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Italy - Phillips, William, June 1939-1941Add to your cart.
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Japan, 1933-1934Add to your cart.
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Japan, 1935-1936Add to your cart.
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Japan, 1937Add to your cart.
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Japan, 1938-June 1939Add to your cart.
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Box 43Add to your cart.

Japan, July 1939-1940Add to your cart.
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Japan, January-September 1941Add to your cart.
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Japan, October-December 1941Add to your cart.
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Japan - Grew, Joseph C.Add to your cart.
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Japan - Matsukata, OtohikaAdd to your cart.
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LithuaniaAdd to your cart.
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LuxembourgAdd to your cart.
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Mexico, 1933-1935Add to your cart.
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Mexico, 1936-1937Add to your cart.
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Box 44Add to your cart.

Mexico, 1938Add to your cart.
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Mexico, 1939-1940Add to your cart.
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Mexico, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
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Mexico, 1943Add to your cart.
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Mexico, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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Mexico - Daniels, JosephusAdd to your cart.
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MoroccoAdd to your cart.
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Netherlands, 1934-1939Add to your cart.
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Netherlands, 1940-1941Add to your cart.
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Box 45Add to your cart.

Netherlands, 1942Add to your cart.
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Netherlands, 1943Add to your cart.
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Netherlands, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
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New ZealandAdd to your cart.
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NicaraguaAdd to your cart.
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Norway, 1935-1939Add to your cart.
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Norway, 1940Add to your cart.
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Norway, 1941Add to your cart.
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Norway, 1942Add to your cart.
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Norway, 1943-1945Add to your cart.
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Box 46Add to your cart.

PalestineAdd to your cart.
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PanamaAdd to your cart.
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Panama Canal ZoneAdd to your cart.
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ParaguayAdd to your cart.
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Peru, 1935Add to your cart.
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Peru, 1936-1937, 1944Add to your cart.
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Philippines, 1937-1940Add to your cart.
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Philippines, 1941Add to your cart.
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Philippines, 1942-1945Add to your cart.
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Poland, 1935-1938Add to your cart.
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Box 47Add to your cart.

Poland, January-March 1939Add to your cart.
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Poland, April-June 1939Add to your cart.
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Poland, July-December 1939Add to your cart.
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Poland, 1940-1942Add to your cart.
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Poland, 1943Add to your cart.
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Poland, January-July 1944Add to your cart.
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Box 48Add to your cart.

Poland, August 1944Add to your cart.
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Poland, September-December 1944Add to your cart.
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Poland, 1945Add to your cart.
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Poland - Biddle Report, October 16, 1938-September 19, 1939Add to your cart.
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Poland - Orlemanski-Lange ReportsAdd to your cart.
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PortugalAdd to your cart.
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Puerto RicoAdd to your cart.
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Rumania [Romania]Add to your cart.
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Russia, 1932-1933Add to your cart.
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Box 49Add to your cart.

Russia, 1934Add to your cart.
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Russia, 1935-1936Add to your cart.
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Russia, 1937-1940Add to your cart.
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Russia, 1941Add to your cart.
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Russia, 1942-1943Add to your cart.
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Russia, July 1944Add to your cart.
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Russia, July 1945Add to your cart.
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Box 50Add to your cart.

Russia - Bullitt, William C., 1933-1936Add to your cart.
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Saudi ArabiaAdd to your cart.
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Saudi Arabian PipelineAdd to your cart.
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South and Central AmericaAdd to your cart.
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Spain, 1933-1936Add to your cart.
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Spain, 1937Add to your cart.
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Spain, 1938Add to your cart.
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Spain, 1939Add to your cart.
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Spain, 1940-1945Add to your cart.
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Box 51Add to your cart.

SwedenAdd to your cart.
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SwitzerlandAdd to your cart.
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TurkeyAdd to your cart.
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Union of South AfricaAdd to your cart.
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UruguayAdd to your cart.
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Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., 1939-1940Add to your cart.
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Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., 1941Add to your cart.

Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., 1942Add to your cart.
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Box 52Add to your cart.

Vatican - Taylor, Myron C. - Report on 1942 TripAdd to your cart.
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Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., 1943Add to your cart.
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Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., January-August 1944Add to your cart.
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Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., September-October 1944Add to your cart.
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Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., November-December 1944Add to your cart.
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Box 53Add to your cart.

Vatican - Taylor, Myron C., January-April, 1945Add to your cart.
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VenezuelaAdd to your cart.
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Virgin IslandsAdd to your cart.
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West AfricaAdd to your cart.
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YugoslaviaAdd to your cart.
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Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Safe File],
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[Series 3: Diplomatic Correspondence],
[Series 4: Departmental Correspondence],
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[All]