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Series II: Writings, 1923-1981

Call Number: MS 1043, Series II

Scope and Contents

The Writings series includes materials received in the original gift of Lasswell papers to the Manuscripts and Archives Department as well as copies of writings received in later additions to the papers. In 1991 the series was reorganized to accommodate these additional writings. This reorganization relied heavily on Harold D. Lasswell: an annotated bibliography (New Haven Press: New Haven, Conn., 1990) by Rodney Muth. The bibliography was used to identify previously unidentified or misidentified items. Not all items listed in this bibliography, however, are included in the papers.

The series begins with a box of notecards representing an early bibliography of Lasswell's writings. The series is then arranged in sections as follows:

Published for materials relating to Lasswell's published books and articles. Also included are the radio scripts for "Human Nature in Action." Since in the Muth bibliography, as a general rule, Lasswell's speeches and lectures are treated as unpublished, these items are not included in this section. For any title the files may contain outlines, notes, manuscript drafts, revised drafts, printed copies, and research material, as well as contracts, communications with publishers, and lists of persons to whom copies of the work were sent.

Unpublished for those works identified in the Muth bibliography in the section "Unpublished Works," as well as other items not classified by Muth. The section includes speeches, memoranda, and materials intended for publication but which were never published. The sub-section alphabetical contains only those works without dates and is arranged alphabetically by title. The sub-section chronological includes those works listed in Muth with dates as well as additional dated items not included in Muth. Undated items not listed in the Muth bibliography are arranged at the end of the sub-section.

The series includes a number of outlines and sketches which appear to have been created in the process of Lasswell's writing for publication but cannot be identified with any title or work. These along with fragments of manuscripts are arranged in the section Unidentified.

The series also includes a section Forthcoming, which contains drafts for the book Law, Science, and Policy. The volume, when published, will represent the culmination of the long scholarly collaboration between Lasswell and Myres MacDougal. The section includes material from a course of the same name, taught by them, as well as outlines and draft revisions that document the volume's development and revision.

At the end of the series in the section Card Files, Extracts, and Notes there is material, apparently collected or created in Lasswell's research, but which cannot be identified with a specific work.


  • 1923-1981


Physical Description

25 linear feet (57 boxes)

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist must pay for a use copy, which is retained by the repository. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy for their personal use should consult Copying Services information on the Manuscripts and Archives web site.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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