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Walter L. Pforzheimer papers

 Collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 817

Scope and Contents

The Walter L. Pforzheimer Papers contain personal correspondence, diaries, writings, notes, and family papers; correspondence, reports, and other documents relating to the United States Army during World War II, the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection, and the United States Defense Intelligence College; historical manuscripts and related materials collected by Pforzheimer concerning the history of military intelligence, including autograph documents, signed, by European heads of state and American presidents, seventeenth-twentieth centuries; prints, posters, and newspapers, including rare seventeenth-twentieth century items relating to Molière and other subjects; framed oil paintings and prints; book collecting notes, lists, vendor receipts, and card catalogs; rare postage stamps, including propaganda and forgeries; photographs, glass and film negatives, glass stereographs, and photograph albums; video and audio recordings, including interviews with Pforzheimer and presentations by him; microfilms; computer disks; and objects collected by Pforzheimer, including Molière medals, military decorations, and memorabilia relating to his intelligence career.

Research strengths include the history of military intelligence; World War II intelligence and propaganda; Pforzheimer's intelligence career, the formation and early history of the Central Intelligence Agency, and development of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Historical Intelligence Collection; book and manuscript collecting, and the development of Pforzheimer’s collections of military intelligence, Molière, French armorial bindings, and Frank Richard Stockton; postal history and stamp collecting; American twentieth century politics and government; and the Pforzheimer family.

Dates

  • circa 1548-circa 2001 1940-1995
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1995

Creator

Language of Materials

Chiefly in English; some materials in French, German, or other languages.

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted pending full processing. Access to specific items may be requested. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 111 (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 56-59, 60 (Art), 141-143 (Art), 143a (Art), 141-144 (Art), 145-150, 151 (Art), 152, 153 (Art), 154-158, 159 (Art), and 161-162 (Cold storage): Restricted fragile material. For further information consult Access Services.

Boxes 160 and 165 (computer disks): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies are available. For further information consult Access Services.

Conditions Governing Use

The Walter L. Pforzheimer Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Conditions Governing Use

Box 111 (audiocassettes and videocassettes): Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. For further information consult Access Services.

Audiotapes, videotape, and microfilms in box 20: Use of originals is restricted. Reference copies may be requested. For further information consult Access Services.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift and bequest of Walter L. Pforzheimer (Yale 1935, 1938L), 2000-2005.

Arrangement

Organized into four groupings: November 2000 Acquisition, April 2003 Acquisition, January 2005 Acquisition, and Unidentified Acquisitions.

Associated Materials

Walter L. Pforzheimer Collection of Historical Manuscripts (GEN MSS 838)

Walter L. Pforzheimer Collection of Frank Richard Stockton (YCAL MSS 560)

Books owned by Pforzhemer may be found in the online catalog by a keyword search on the phrase "From the library of Walter L. Pforzheimer".

Extent

133.09 Linear Feet ((147 boxes) + 9 broadside, 2 cold storage, 9 art, 1 roll)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.pforzheimer

Overview

The Walter L. Pforzheimer Papers contain personal correspondence, diaries, writings, notes, and family papers; correspondence, reports, and other documents relating to the United States Army during World War II, the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection, and the United States Defense Intelligence College; historical manuscripts and related materials collected by Pforzheimer concerning the history of military intelligence, including autograph documents, signed, by European heads of state and American presidents, seventeenth-twentieth centuries; prints, posters, and newspapers, including rare seventeenth-twentieth century items relating to Molie?re and other subjects; framed oil paintings and prints; book collecting notes, lists, vendor receipts, and card catalogs; rare postage stamps, including propaganda and forgeries; photographs, glass and film negatives, glass stereographs, and photograph albums; video and audio recordings, including interviews with Pforzheimer and presentations by him; microfilms; computer disks; and objects collected by Pforzheimer, including Molie?re medals, military decorations, and memorabilia relating to his intelligence career.

Walter L. Pforzheimer (1914-2003)

Walter L. Pforzheimer, lawyer, intelligence officer, and book collector. Pforzheimer was born in Port Chester, New York, in 1914, and graduated from Yale College (1935) and Yale Law School (1938). Pforzheimer began his intelligence career in the United States Army, 1942-1945, in the Office of Strategic Services and as an Army Air Force intelligence officer. He was one of the founders of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1946, and as a CIA legislative counsel and liaison to Congress assisted in drafting the 1947 National Security Act. In 1956, he founded the CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection, which he curated until his retirement in 1974. In retirement, he continued to work for the CIA and taught at the Defense Intelligence College. Pforzheimer died in Washington, D.C., in 2003.

Pforzheimer came from a family of book collectors: his father, also named Walter Pforzheimer (1883-1955), collected French armorial bindings and assembled a virtually complete collection of Molière; his uncle Carl H. Pforzheimer (1879-1957) collected Percy Bysshe Shelley and his circle. Pforzheimer inherited and augmented his father's collections, and assembled his own collection of American novelist Frank Richard Stockton. In addition to curating the CIA's Historical Intelligence Collection, Pforzheimer built a personal collection of books and manuscripts documenting the history of military intelligence. Elected to the Yale Library Associates board of trustees in 1936, Pforzheimer was a life-long trustee and donor to the Yale Libraries. He donated his book and manuscript collections of Molière, French armorial bindings, Frank Richard Stockton, and military intelligence to the Beinecke Library in 2001.

Sources:

Peake, Hayden B. "Walter Pforzheimer -- Lawyer, Intelligence Officer, Bibliophile." In: In the Name of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Walter Pforzheimer (Washington: NIBC Press, c1994).

"Walter L. Pforzheimer, CIA's First Curator, Dies at 88." Washington Post (2003 February 12).

Processing Information

This collection consists of materials formerly classed as Uncat Mss 489, Uncat Mss 741, and Uncat Mss 991. In 2001, the collection received a preliminary level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, based on lists created at or around the time of receipt by the Library. In 2007-2008, these lists were merged in a preliminary finding aid listing each acquisition by call number and acquisition month and year, with descriptive information drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of contents. Some materials were moved to separate Pforzheimer collections of Marie Antoinette, French Historical Documents, and Frank Richard Stockton. Remaining materials, including additional French historical documents and Stockton items, were partially sorted into groupings of historical manuscripts, papers relating to Pforzheimer's intelligence career, and personal papers. Most box and folder titles were based on those provided by the creator; some were supplied by Library staff. Box and folder titles were not verified against contents.

In 2011 December, the collection was reclassed under one call number, boxes and other containers were renumbered in a single sequence, and some restricted fragile materials were identified. Preliminary organization by acquisition was maintained, with the addition of several items (boxes 166-167) not included in preliminary processing. Series titles were revised to reflect the overlap of contents between acquisitions and subseries. Box and folder titles and folder notes assigned during preliminary processing were maintained, with some errors corrected. Box and folder titles were not verified against contents.

Based on a survey of contents conducted in 2011 December, access to the collection was restricted, pending full processing.
Title
Guide to the Walter L. Pforzheimer Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
2007-05-15
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.