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Helen Paull Kirkpatrick papers, 1930-1998
5 linear feet (13 containers)
Collection number: SSC.MS.00103

Abstract:
Helen Paull Kirkpatrick was a journalist. Her papers include extensive correspondence to her family while serving as a foreign correspondent in Europe. Included are her views of Europe just before the outbreak of World War II; the air raids in London; Allied Headquarters in North Africa; campaigns in Algiers, Italy, and Corsica; the armistice in Paris; post-war Germany and Europe; the Nuremberg Trials; and the Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow. Notable correspondents include Adlai Stevenson, Katharine Graham, Dean Acheson, Stewart Alsop, Styles Bridges, J. William Fulbright, General George C. Marshall, and Abe Ribicoff. Materials include broadcast scripts, lectures, published writings, diaries, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that she owns copyright, Helen P. Kirkpatrick has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Helen P. Kirkpatrick, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Sophia Smith Collection

Biographical / Historical

Helen Kirkpatrick was born October 18, 1909, in Rochester, NY, daughter of Lyman B. and Lyde Paull Kirkpatrick. She graduated from the Master's School, Dobbs Ferry, New York, in 1927 and from Smith College in 1931. In 1932, following postgraduate work at the University of Geneva, she became an assistant buyer at R. H. Macy and Co. in New York City. She married Victor H. Polacheck, Jr. in 1934. They were divorced in 1936. Between 1935 and 1937 Kirkpatrick worked in Geneva and England. During that time she was a writer, then editor, of Research Bulletin published by the Foreign Policy Association; research assistant for the Geneva Research Center (Foreign Policy Association) editing their "Geneva: A Monthly Review of International Affairs"; and correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, Manchester Guardian, and London Daily Telegraph. Together with Victor Gordon-Lennox of the Daily Telegraph and Graham Hutton of the Economist she started the weekly Whitehall News Letter, which analyzed current state of European affairs. She was diplomatic correspondent for London Sunday Times in 1938 during the Munich crisis. Kirkpatrick expanded her views into two books, This Terrible Peace (1938) and Under the British Umbrella (1939).

As the war approached in 1939 Kirkpatrick began her career as a foreign correspondent. During the war she came to know many important figures in the European theatre. She traveled extensively under dangerous conditions and was respected and trusted for her political acumen and integrity. She was hired by the Chicago Daily News in 1939 and from their London office she covered the London blitz and the campaigns in Algiers, Italy, and Corsica (1943-45). She was the first correspondent after D-Day assigned to the headquarters of French forces inside France. She entered Paris in August 1944 riding in a tank of General Leclerc's 2nd Armored Division. As foreign correspondent for the New York Post, she covered the Nuremberg Trials and Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow (1946-48). During the late 1940s she was with the Washington Bureau of the Post and was Chief of the Office of Information of the Economic Co-operation Administration's mission to France (1949-51). Between 1949 and 1953 she worked for the State Department with Voice of America, the Economic Cooperation Administration and as Public Affairs Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (1951-53). In 1953 she become assistant to the president of Smith College. In 1954 she married Robbins Milbank.

Following her retirement in 1955, she was engaged in many civic activities including the Democratic Party, Citizens Advisory Committee to the Attorney General on Crime Prevention (1956-59), Public Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations (1964), the League Of Women Voters, and the Harvard University Board of Overseers. Kirkpatrick received the French Medallion de la Reconnaissance (1945), French Legion of Honor (1947), U.S. Medal of Freedom (1947), an honorary degree from Smith College (1948), and Rockefeller Public Service Award (1953). Following the death of her husband in 1985, she moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where she died on December 29, 1997.

Scope and Contents

The Kirkpatrick papers consist of correspondence, clippings, writings, photographs, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and biographical material dating from 1930 to 1998. It is a well-balanced collection that documents both her personal and professional lives. Of particular interest in these papers is Kirkpatrick's extensive correspondence to her family from overseas. She kept scrapbooks over the years and these, plus articles in SERIES II, provide extensive evidence of her writing.

Notable correspondents include Adlai Stevenson, Katharine Graham, Dean Acheson, Stewart Alsop, Styles Bridges, J. William Fulbright, General George C. Marshall, and Abe Ribicoff.

This collection is organized into four series:

  1. I. Biographical Material
  2. II. Professional Activities
  3. III. Correspondence
  4. IV. Photographs and Scrapbooks

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that she owns copyright, Helen P. Kirkpatrick has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Helen P. Kirkpatrick, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

Helen Paull Kirkpatrick papers, Sophia Smith Collection, SSC-MS-00103, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

History of the Collection

The papers were a gift of Helen Paull Kirkpatrick between 1983 and 1993.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request the creation of and access to digital copies.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Other Finding Aids

OCLC Number: 46451323

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL
1931-1979 1931-1979


This series provides an overview of Helen Kirkpatrick's personal and professional lives. It consists of college and university related items (1931-79); wedding clippings and correspondence (1934, 1955); a short run of diaries (1932-36); unpublished poetry and essays (1931, n.d.); awards (1946-72); articles and clippings (1932-98); and memorabilia (1937-78).

The Smith College material includes not only undergraduate records and memorabilia, but also general correspondence and items related to Kirkpatrick's life long relationship to the College. Additional Smith material can be found in material related to her position as Assistant to the President of Smith College (1953-55) and her relationship with the Smith College Alumnae Association (1948-81), both of which are included in SERIES II. PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTITIVIES. There are also Smith related photographs in SERIES IV. The diaries, consisting of a combination of typed originals, carbons, and handwritten material, relate to her life in Geneva (1932-36). Included with the articles and clippings which document her life and career from 1932 to her death in 1997 is a college term paper written about her in 1943. Memorabilia consists of passports, war correspondent items, financial material, and miscellaneous items.

Smith College
1931-79

Box 1: folder 1
University of Geneva/Institute Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales
1931-32

Box 1: folder 2
Weddings
1934 1955

Box 1: folder 3
Diaries
1932-36

Box 1: folder 4
Unpublished poetry and essays
1931 undated

Box 1: folder 5
Awards
1946-72

Box 1: folder 6
Articles
1932-98 undated

Box 1: folder 7-8
Memorabilia



Passports


Box 1: folder 9
War correspondent
1940s

Box 1: folder 10
Expense accounts, fees, and taxes
1939-44

Box 1: folder 11
Miscellaneous
1937-78

Box 1: folder 12
SERIES II. PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
1935-1981 1935-1981


This series is divided into four subseries: Professional, Civic, Miscellaneous and freelance writings, and Lectures. The Professional subseries follows Kirkpatrick's professional employment beginning with her work for the Geneva Research Center in 1935 and ending with her position as Assistant to the President of Smith Co llege in 1955. Arranged chronologically, it contains printed material, correspondence, writings, and typescripts. Related material can also be found in SERIES IV. PHOTOGRAPHS AND SCRAPBOOKS. The Geneva Research Center material consists of publications authored and/or edited by Kirkpatrick. Contained in the files of the three major newspapers for whom Kirkpatrick worked (The New York Herald Tribune, Chicago Daily News, and New York Post) are typescripts, correspondence, clippings, expense accounts, and financial material. The Chicago Daily News kept Kirkpatrick's mother appraised of her daughter's whereabouts and activities, so there are letters from her editor to Mrs. Kirkpatrick. There is material related to the three positions she held with the State Department before she resigned to become Assistant to Smith College President Benjamin Wright.

The Civic subseries, arranged alphabetically, consists of correspondence, reports, memorabilia and clippings related to Kirkpatrick's civic activities mostly dated from her retirement from Smith College in 1955. Kirkpatrick led an active life supporting causes ranging from the environment to the Democratic Party. Her interest in higher education is reflected in her service not only to Smith College, but also Harvard, Dartmouth, Mills College, and the California State Coordinating Council for Higher Education. A friend of Adlai Stevenson, Kirkpatrick was a delegate to the 1956 Democratic Convention and an active member of the Democratic Party. There is correspondence from Stevenson in this section.

Miscellaneous and freelance writings, arranged alphabetically, contains articles Kirkpatrick wrote for various newspapers and magazines (1936-68); book reviews and letters to the editor (1939-80); scripts of her broadcasts (1944-60); miscellaneous publications (1930-80); and her two books, This Terrible Peace (1939) and Under the British Umbrella (1938).

The final subseries, Lectures, reflects Kirkpatrick's active lecture schedule (1937-80). It contains clippings, correspondence, bills, contracts, and schedules.

Professional



Geneva Research Center



Geneva Special Studies
1935-36

Box 1: folder 13
Foreign Policy Reports
July 15, 1936

Box 1: folder 14
Geneva: A Monthly Review of World Affairs
Jan-Aug 1936

Box 1: folder 15
Geneva Newsletter, 1-4, 1936-37


Box 1: folder 16
New York Herald Tribune: typescripts
1936-37

Box 2: folder 1-2
Manchester Guardian
1937

Box 2: folder 3
Berkshire Eagle
1938

Box 2: folder 4
Chicago Daily News



General

[see also SERIES IV. PHOTOGRAPHS AND SCRAPBOOKS]

Correspondence
1940-46

Box 2: folder 5-6
Writings



Typescripts from Ireland
1941-42

Box 2: folder 7
Clippings



1939-41

Box 2: folder 8-12
1942-46

Box 3: folder 1-8
Clippings containing additional text or variations from other Chicago Daily News clippings
1939-44

Box 3: folder 9
New York Post



Correspondence and miscellaneous material
1946-49

Box 4: folder 1
Writings (typescripts)
1946-48

Box 4: folder 2-4
Clippings
1946-48

Box 4: folder 5-6
Expense account
1946-47

Box 4: folder 7
State Department



Voice of America
1949

Box 5: folder 1
Economic Cooperation Administration
1949-51

Box 5: folder 2
Public Affairs Office
1949-53

Box 5: folder 3
Smith College Assistant to the President



Talks and speeches
1953-55

Box 5: folder 4
Correspondence, memoranda, and memorabilia
1953-55

Box 5: folder 5
Civic



Board of Overseers of Harvard College
1971-76

Box 5: folder 6
California State Coordinating Council for Higher Education
1960-62

Box 5: folder 7
Conference on College Women in England and the United States, Bellagio, Italy
1965

Box 5: folder 8
General

[see also SERIES IV. PHOTOGRAPHS AND SCRAPBOOKS]

Dartmouth Arts Council
1967-71

Box 5: folder 9
Democratic Party



Adlai Stevenson
1949-65

Box 5: folder 10
California State Democratic Committee
1969

Box 5: folder 11
Advisory Committee on Foreign Policy
1957

Box 5: folder 12
Marshall Scholarship Commission
1963-70

Box 5: folder 13
Mills College Board of Trustees
1960-62

Box 5: folder 14
Miscellaneous activities
1956-80

Box 5: folder 15
New Hampshire Conservation Commission
1971-74

Box 6: folder 1
New Hampshire League of Woman Voters
1967-73

Box 6: folder 2
Public Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations
1964-66

Box 6: folder 3
Smith College Alumnae Association
1948-81

Box 6: folder 4
Miscellaneous and freelance writings



Book reviews and letters to the editor
1939-80

Box 6: folder 5
Broadcasts: KNBC, BBC (scripts)
1944 1958-60

Box 6: folder 6
Colby Literary Quarterly
1961 undated

Box 6: folder 7
"New Hampshire's Paper Tiger," Columbia Journalism Review



Correspondence
1965-66

Box 6: folder 8
Article, typescript, research material
1963-66

Box 6: folder 9
Keene (N.H.) Evening Sentinel
1967-68

Box 6: folder 10
L'Ordre
1938-39

Box 6: folder 11
London Daily Telegraph
1936-37 1957

Box 6: folder 12
Miscellaneous articles and notes
1930-81 undated

Box 7: folder 1-2
The New Yorker
1955

Box 7: folder 3
News Chronicle
1937

Box 7: folder 4
This Terrible Peace (London, Rich and Cowan Ltd., 1939): photocopy and flyer
1939

Box 7: folder 5
Under The British Umbrella, What The English Are And How They Go To War (New York, Scribners, 1938)
1938

Box 7
Lectures



Texts
1937-80 undated

Box 8: folder 1
Publicity
1942-71

Box 8: folder 2
Clippings
1942-66

Box 8: folder 3
Correspondence
1943-48

Box 8: folder 4
Bills, contracts, and schedules
1940-48 undated

Box 8: folder 5
SERIES III. CORRESPONDENCE
1930-1982 1930-1982


This series contains Professional and Personal correspondence to and from Kirkpatrick.

The Professional correspondence (1946-82) is arranged alphabetically. Kirkpatrick knew many well known figures in government and she wrote many letters to members of Congress commenting on the issues of the day. There are responses to her from many of these people. Many of her professional associates were also personal friends.

The bulk of the Personal correspondence consists of letters Kirkpatrick wrote to her family, which she did often and in much detail. These letters (1930-50) are of particular interest because they not only describe her personal and professional life, but also provide rich descriptions of her surroundings. Included are her views of Europe in the late 1930s just before the outbreak of World War II; air raids in London (1939-42); Allied Headquarters in North Africa (1943); France, particularly the armistice in Paris (1944); and post war Germany and Europe (1946-47). She socialized with many important people who are part of the life she describes.

Her letters with friends (1931-68) reflect her wide and varied network. There is also correspondence in this file with many of her Smith College connections. Related to these are letters from author and Smith College professor, Mary Ellen Chase (1954-66), as well as several from Chase's friend Eleanor Shipley Duckett, keeping Kirkpatrick appraised of Chase's battle with breast cancer (1958-66).

Professional, A-Z, and unidentified
1932-82 undated

Box 9: folder 1
Personal



To family
1930-50

Box 9: folder 2-9
Friends
1931-68

Box 10: folder 1
From Mary Ellen Chase
1954-66

Box 10: folder 2-7
From Eleanor Shipley Duckett
1958-66

Box 10: folder 8
SERIES IV. PHOTOGRAPHS AND SCRAPBOOKS
1930-1964 1930-1964


The last series consists of approximately 55 photographs and scrapbook contents. It is divided into two subseries: Photographs and Scrapbooks.

There are three sections of photographs: Smith College, Professional, and Miscellaneous. They are arranged chronologically within each section. The Smith College photographs consist of several undergraduate photos; they also document her honorary degree and other later Smith College activities. There are other related Smith College photographs located in the Smith College Archives. The second section contains photographs of Helen Kirkpatrick involved in many of her professional and civic activities (1936-64). The final section of miscellaneous photographs are not of Kirkpatrick. Six of the eight include Dean Acheson.

The bulk of the scrapbooks (1936-44) contain clippings which have been photocopied for preservation purposes

Photographs



Smith College



Junior Usher
1930

Box 11: folder 1
Easter vacation, Deerfield, MA
1931

Box 11
Anne Booth, Harriet Loutrel, and Prof. Samuel Eliot
1931

Box 11
Dewey House
1931

Box 11
Honorary degree
1948

Box 11
Julia Child
1951

Box 11
President Thomas Mendenhall's inauguration
1959

Box 11
Thomas Mendenhall in Alumnae House, 1960 (?)
1960

Box 11
Professional



David Woodward at Geneva airport
1936

Box 11: folder 2
On the Queen Mary
1937

Box 11
Ambassador and Mrs. Kennedy
1939

Box 11
United States lecture tour
1940

Box 11
Dorothy Thompson sailing from New York
1940

Box 11
Mary Welsh, Dixie Tighe, Lee Miller, and Tania Daniell
1941

Box 11
Hugh O'Connor, Joe Evans, and Mary Welsh (Hemingway)
1941

Box 11
Joe Evans
1941

Box 11
Ed Beattie and Douglas Williams
1941

Box 11: folder 2
Mary Welsh (Hemingway), London
1942

Box 11
Ireland
1941

Box 11
First troops in Ireland
1941

Box 11
Mary Welsh (Hemingway), London
1942

Box 11
Belfast
1942

Box 11
Northern Ireland with King and Queen and U.S. Army
1942

Box 11
U.S. troops in Northern Ireland (2)
1942

Box 11
In General Strickland's jeep
1943

Box 11: folder 3
Capt. Robin en route to Capri, Italy
1943

Box 11
Above Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy
1943

Box 11
Europe, in combat uniform
1944

Box 11
Presented with Medal of Freedom by General J. Lawton Collins (2)
1949

Box 11
ECA Agricultural Exhibit
1949

Box 11
Pointoise, France
1949

Box 11
"Washington Observer" (Voice of America)
1949

Box 11
Paul Child, Chief Exhibits (U.S.I.S. Paris)
1949-50

Box 11
Chamber of Commerce, St. Streune
1950

Box 11
Barry Bingham, Chief of ECA Mission
1950

Box 11
"Cooperative Caravan," Paris
1950

Box 11
Mobile Caravan Exhibit
1950

Box 11
French-American banquet, France (3)
1950

Box 11
Marseilles (2)
1950

Box 11
Prime Minister Pleven, Strasbourg Fair
1950

Box 11
Ambassador Milton Katz, Minister Barry Bingham, ECA Capt. Pierre Lancelot - French Naval Attaché,
1950

Box 11
Meeting of Chiefs of Information for ECA missions in Europe
1950

Box 11
U.S.I.S. offices, Paris
1950

Box 11
Farewell party (4)
1951

Box 11: folder 4
Press conference, U.S. Embassy, Vienna
1951

Box 11
Harold Kaplan (Deputy Chief of Information, ECA, Paris)
1951

Box 11
General and Mrs. Robert McClure, Edward Barrett, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
1951

Box 11
Dean Acheson at the American Embassy
1952

Box 11
First official visit of U.S. Secretary State to Austria
1952

Box 11
Lisbon
1952

Box 11
Robbins Milbank and President Tano Jodai, Tokyo, Japan
1964

Box 11: folder 4
Conference on College Women in England and the United States, Bellagio, Italy, 1965 (3)
1965

Box 11
With young child in front of ECA
undated

Box 11
In uniform (4)
undated

Box 11
Portrait
undated

Box 11
State Department (16)
undated

Box 11: folder 5
Miscellaneous



U.K. delegate, Mr. Eden at Lisbon NATO conference
1952

Box 11: folder 6
Dean Acheson



Pearsons, Schumann, Eden, (NATO conference)
1952

Box 11
Berlin
1952

Box 11
Mayor Reuter, Berlin
1952

Box 11
Mrs. McCloy (2), Berlin
1952

Box 11
Edmund G. Brown
undated

Box 11
Scrapbooks



1936-39

Box 12: folder 1
Book reviews of This Terrible Peace and Under the British Umbrella, Lecture tour
1940

Box 12: folder 2
1940

Box 12: folder 3
Chicago Daily News, 1939-40 (part 1 and 2)
1939-40

Box 12: folder 4-5
1940-41

Box 12: folder 6
1941-42 (part 1 and 2)
1941-42

Box 12: folder 7-8
1941-45

Box 13: folder 1
1943

Box 13: folder 2
1943-44

Box 13: folder 3
1944-45 (Chicago Daily News)
1944-45

Box 13: folder 4-5
1944-45

Box 13: folder 6-7
1944-46

Box 13: folder 8
DVD, "Reporting World War II"
1995

Box 13: folder 9
Physical characteristics:

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

OVERSIZE MATERIALS



Chicago Daily News: advertisements
ca.1940s

Map case Flat File
Mounted clippings: "War and a Women,"
ca.1940s

Map case Flat File

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971--Correspondence
  • Alsop, Stewart--Correspondence
  • Bridges, Styles, 1898-1961--Correspondence
  • Chase, Mary Ellen, 1887-1973--Correspondence
  • Duckett, Eleanor Shipley--Correspondence
  • Fulbright, J. William (James William), 1905- --Correspondence
  • Graham, Katharine, 1917- --Correspondence
  • Kirkpatrick, Helen Paull
  • Kirkpatrick, Helen Paull--Correspondence
  • Macdonald, Florence
  • Marshall, George C. (George Catlett), 1880-1959--Correspondence
  • Milbank, Helen Kirkpatrick
  • Ribicoff, Abraham, 1910- --Correspondence
  • Rozendaal, Katherine Scranton
  • Smith College--History--Sources
  • Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1835-1914--Correspondence
  • War correspondents--Personal narratives, American
  • Women journalists--United States--History--20th century--Sources
  • World War, 1939-1945--Journalists--Personal narratives, American
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women--Personal narratives, American

Genre terms
  • Writings
  • clippings
  • correspondence
  • memorabilia
  • photographs
  • scrapbooks


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