Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:
In general, there is no restriction on access to the Dwight W. Morrow Papers for research use. Selected items may be restricted to protect the privacy rights of individuals or for other legal reasons. All family material and financial records are closed. Particularly fragile or valuable items have been replaced with copies.
Restrictions on use:
All copyrights held by the Morrow family on the Dwight W. Morrow Papers were transferred to the College in 1971. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of other copyrights. Requests for permission to publish material from the papers should be directed to the Archivist of the College.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
[Identification of item], in Dwight W. Morrow Papers [Box #, folder #], Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library
The business and public papers are also available on 167 reels of microfilm.
History of the Collection
Elizabeth R. Morrow, widow of Dwight W. Morrow, donated the Dwight W. Morrow Papers to Amherst College in 1954.
The papers were stored in the Morrow home in Englewood, New Jersey, from 1931 to 1954. During the 23 years before the papers were given to Amherst College, the physical order and condition were altered.
There is internal evidence to suggest that biographer Harold Nicolson had custody of the papers when he was writing the 1935 biography Dwight Morrow. This internal evidence includes compiled lists of Morrow's talks and activities, typescript copies of correspondence, and galley proofs of the biography. The degree to which Nicholson rearranged or reorganized the papers is not known.
In 1954, librarian Lillian T. Courand worked for the Morrows to organize the papers in an alphabetical sequence. She grouped the folders into four broad categories within the alphabetical sequence: the main administrative files of Morrow's career, biographical files, files maintained in Mexico, and Senatorial campaign files.
The papers were damaged by water during the time they were maintained in the Morrow house. Mrs. Morrow noted in a letter to Amherst College President Charles W. Cole that "our fireproof room where the files were kept was deluged by a storm several years ago, so that many papers are stuck together ..." [3 May 1954]. The disproportionate distribution of the volume of the files suggests that many files in the later part of the alphabetical sequence were most severely affected and discarded. The mold damage resulting from the deluge is in evidence on many of the letters and reports.
In July 1954, 12 filing cabinets of Morrow's papers were transferred to Amherst College and stored in a fireproof room in Morgan Hall. Additional papers were transferred at later dates: four filing cabinets of unorganized papers in February 1955; several cartons of materials in June 1955; and a few individual items in 1957. Nothing was done to organize the papers or integrate the additions.
Between March and June 1990, the Dwight W. Morrow Papers were processed, and a more useful arrangement was created. (See the Series Description.) The series were based on Morrow's functional activities (e.g., ambassador) or by format (e.g., photographs). Papers from the original gift and the later additions were brought together as an integrated collection.
Certain materials were reappraised. Documents without substanitive information were discarded, i.e. 2 folders of Christmas Telegrams. Other documents with low information density were weeded to reduce their volume by 95%; the documents in the Invitations and Contributions folders were retained as representative samples. Materials that had been compiled for the Nicolson biography were removed from the collection and are maintained in a separate collection. Letters signed by famous people were routinely replaced with photocopies. As part of the processing, a limited amount of preservation photocopying of mold-damaged papers and newspaper clippings was done. Metal fasteners and unannotated duplicates were removed from the papers. A limited amount of material was refoldered, using alkaline-buffered folders; materials were rehoused in archival boxes.
With the support of two preservation grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Department of Education Title II-C, the bulk of the papers were microfilmed between August 1991 and February 1993. The material filmed during this time covers Morrow's professional, public service, and personal activities.
Additional reprocessing was done in order to provide more convenient access, particularly for the microfilmed papers. The following subject and correspondence files were rearranged: Series I: Coolidge, Copper, Cuba, Englewood, General Correspondence, Memoranda, and J.P. Morgan & Co.; Series X: General Correspondence and Memoranda. In general, the reprocessing resulted in name or topic access within the identified sections.
Documents violating the privacy rights of third parties or Morrow family privacy were removed. When a document was removed, a separation sheet was placed at that location. The separation sheet identifies the removed item, e.g. Springer to Morrow 2 October 1928. In some instances, it was possible to supply an edited photocopy of the original document. These edited photocopies are also identified.
Personal papers relating to and supplementing the Dwight W. Morrow Papers are located in other repositories. Morrow family papers are located at Smith College and Yale University; Minnesota Historical Society has the Frank B. Kellogg Papers; the New Jersey Historical Society has Walter E. Edge Papers, 1916-56; the Library of Congress has Grosvenor Family Papers, 1827-1968, and Edward Tracy Clark Papers (secretary to Calvin Coolidge), 1923-35; Harvard Business School has Thomas Lamont Papers. These repositories can be contacted directly for information on the terms of access to and restrictions on the papers, and public hours.