The original 1965 accession covers the period from 1941 to 1956, and is related mainly to the work of James William Fesler while he served on the War Production Board as Assistant to the Executive Secretary from 1941 to 1943, Chief of the Policy Analysis and Records Branch from 1943 to 1945, and War Production Board Historian from 1945 to 1946. During this period, James Fesler was in close contact with the United States War Production Program. His papers are contained in five manuscript boxes, three of which are correspondence. In addition to correspondence between various War Production officials and other government officials, these three boxes contain memoranda, press releases, and the minutes of War Production Board meetings. The two remaining boxes pertain to the War Production Board and include confidential reports, miscellaneous material, reports from other government agencies, miscellaneous notes of James Fesler, writings of Fesler and others concerning war production, charts, photographs, printed material on war production, and the War Production Board History Project.
Later additions to the papers document Fesler's participation on the committees of various academic organizations, particularly the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the American Political Science Association, his activities as a professor of political science at Yale University and his service on commissions appointed by the state of Connecticut, the United States government and the United Nations. Included are the papers of the Committee on Europe of the Comparative Administration Group of the ASPA, correspondence of the Connecticut Committee on the Structure of State Government (Files Committee), files on various Yale administrative and faculty committees and the United Nations group on Administrative Decentralization for Development (1961). Also papers relating to various United States government commissions (1936-1967) working on administrative reorganization of the federal government.