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Hanson Weightman Baldwin papers

Call Number: MS 54
Description of the Papers

The Hanson Weightman Baldwin Papers consists of materials relating to Baldwin's work and interests as journalist and author. They include correspondence, writings by Baldwin in draft and published form, and printed matter of various types on military and political topics collected by Baldwin.

The Hanson Baldwin Papers are divided into five series: CORRESPONDENCE, WRITINGS, SUBJECT FILE, PRINTED MATTER and SPECIAL FILES.

CORRESPONDENCE is divided into three sections: "General Correspondence," "Correspondence on Writings," and "Correspondence of Others."

"General Correspondence" consists of letters to Baldwin or his assistant (George Barrett and later Edward Mossien) and his own retained file copies of replies. Baldwin corresponded with numerous high-ranking military personnel, government officials, and other writers and historians. Some letters are of a purely business nature, arranging lectures and visits or requesting and sending official information, but many do discuss military and political affairs. There are almost no letters of a purely personal nature or which do not in some way relate to Baldwin's work. Correspondents of note include among others: Arleigh A. Burke, Louis Denfeld, Allen W. Dulles, Ferdinand Eberstadt, E.M. Eller, Basil H. Liddell Hart, Roger Hilsman, Alfred A. Knopf, Frank Knox, George C. Marshall, Louis Morton, Richard Nixon, William E. Potter, William J. Sebald, Robert Sherrod, Harold R. Stark, Carl Vinson (and other members of the House Committee on Armed Services) and Gerauld Wright. There is also a section of correspondence between Baldwin and other members of the New York Times staff, including Julius Ochs Adler, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger. In addition, there is a large section of correspondence with various U.S. government departments (mainly the Department of Defense.) Correspondence with an individual who held several different offical positions in the course of his career, has been grouped together under the person's name, and a cross-reference made for each position.

"Correspondence on Writings" consists of correspondence between Baldwin and others about his books and articles. This section is not complete, however, and correspondence about addresses and other writings may be found in "General Correspondence." (Cross references have been made where there is known to be correspondence about the article or book in question in "General Correspondence".) Most of the correspondence in this section consists of reactions to Baldwin's writings from members of the public, or of business correspondence with publishers. There is a large section of correspondence with other writers concerning the book series edited by Baldwin, Great Battles of History, but this also is mainly of a business or editorial nature. Correspondents of note in this section include William F. Halsey and Thomas C. Kinkaid, who contributed notes to Baldwin's chapter on "The Battle for Leyte Gulf" in Seafights and Shipwrecks. (Kinkaid's notes are filed with the book manuscript in Series II.) There is also a letter from the Hill-stead Museum enclosing a copy of an account by one of the survivors of the Lusitania, and a section of letters referring to Baldwin's T.V. appearance on C.B.S.'s 1965 program, "Hawks and Doves."

"Correspondence of others" consists of correspondence between persons other than Baldwin. Much of this correspondence is in the form of copies, which were probably sent to Baldwin for reference by one of the correspondents. A large section consists of letters to other members of the New York Times staff. Of particular interest are copies of letters from John R. McKone and Bruce F. Olmstead to their wives, written while the two airmen were prisoners in Russia in 1960.

Series II, WRITINGS, consists of manuscript material for and published editions of addresses, articles, books written or edited by Baldwin, together with a small amount of research and publicity material. There are also some accounts of his radio and television appearances. Articles have been divided into those identifiable as having been written for the New York Times, and articles written for other publications. At the end of the section of the New York Times articles is a small section of inter-office memos concerning editorial cuts and changes which had been made in Baldwin's articles. In most cases these memos are attached to the manuscript or printed version of the article in question. There is a small section of writings by others on which Baldwin has written notes and comments.

Series III, SUBJECT FILE, consists of Baldwin's own reference files on military and political subjects. They contain clippings of his own articles and other newspaper clippings, notes by himself and others, and printed matter of various types. The allocation of material to any particular subject heading is largely Baldwin's own. Correspondence originally kept in these files has been moved to CORRESPONDENCE in order to consolidate letters from any one individual, but a list of these has been left under the relevant subject heading. There is inevitably some overlap of information filed under different subject headings, but cross-references have been made where possible. Additional information on many of the subjects will be found in Series IV, PRINTED MATTER.

The series is divided into four main sections:

U.S. Military Information is divided into five sub-sections: "U.S. Defense", U.S. Air Force", "U.S. Army", "U.S. Navy" and "U.S. Territorial Possessions". "U.S. Defense" contains material relating to general defense policies and topics, and material relating to more than one of the armed services. Of interest are materials on the B36 and the TFX, filed under 'Aviation', and Baldwin's memoranda on the F.B.I. investigation of him filed under 'Loyalty, Secrecy and Security'. The next three sub-sections contain material relating to the Air Force, the Army and the Navy respectively. "U.S. Territorial Possessions" consists of material relating to Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal and the Virgin Islands.

Foreign Military Information consists of material relating to foreign countries and areas of the world. This often includes information on U.S. foreign policy in these areas, such as Korea and Vietnam (on which there are large quantities of material). There are also fairly large sections on Germany and Great Britain.

General Military Information consists of material which does not refer exclusively to either the United States or any one foreign country. A large portion of this material provides information on both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., including materialon missiles and on nuclear weapons.

Wars consists of material relating principally to World War II, but occasionally to the Korean War or Vietnam as well. This has been indicated on the folders where appropriate. This section is divided into three sub-sections: "Europe and Africa", "The Pacific and Asia", and "General Topics". The first two sections contain material relating to combat in those areas of the world. "General Topics" consists of material relating to subjects relevant to all areas and phases of war, such as casualties, naval engagements, the importance of rubber, and so on.

Series IV, PRINTED MATTER, consists of government documents, U.S. service manuals, periodicals, commerical pamphlets, and reports and studies by various individuals and organizations, and has been roughly grouped under subject headings which correspond with those in Series III (SUBJECT FILE.) Of particular interest are the Council on Foreign Relations' "Studies of the American Interests in the War and the Peace"; the government hearings on the T.F.X. contract; reports and studies of the first and second Hoover Commission; and some pre-World War II Russian propaganda books written in English and published in Moscow.

Series V, SPECIAL FILES, consists of biographical material about Baldwin (mainly clippings), contracts, legal and personal documents, and notes by Baldwin.


This addition to the Hanson Baldwin Papers is comprised of five accessions which have been merged, totaling 16.5 linear feet. The addition is divided into five series: Correspondence (Series I), Research Material (Series 10, Writings and Related Material (Series III), Personal Material (Series IV), and Photographs (Series V). These series generally follow the five series of the main body of the papers. Series III (Subjects File) and Series IV (Printed Matter) of the main accession have been combined into Series II (Research Material) in the addition. Series V (Special Files) of the main accession has been separated into Series IV (Personal Material) and Series V (Photographs) in the addition.

Most of material in the addition dates from the 1960s and 1970s. The most thorough documentation is of the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. There is much more material from those years in the addition than in the main accession, especially for the period following Baldwin's retirement from the New York Times in 1968. There are also documents relating to Hanson Baldwin's family, especially his father, O. P. Baldwin, Jr., and a greater number of photographs than are found in the main accession.

Baldwin's career as a journalist and author and his interactions with other journalists, military leaders, and politicians are well-documented in the addition. He traveled extensively throughout the world, and there is substantive material documenting these trips, especially to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The addition also contains quite interesting material on the internal workings of the New York Times and Reader's Digest.

A detailed bibliography of Baldwin's newspaper articles editorials, book reviews, and feature stories is available in the repository.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Hanson Baldwin in 1968, 1978, 1988, and 1989. Gift of Barbara Potter, 1994.


Arranged in five series and one addition: I. Correspondence, 1931-1968. II. Writings, 1934-1968. III. Subjects File, n.d. IV. Printed Matter, 1940-1946. V. Special Files, 1931-1967. The addition is arranged in five series: I. Correspondence, 1928-88. II. Writings, 1934-68. III. Subjects File, n.d. IV. Printed Matter, 1940-1964, n.d. V. Photographs, 1910-1970s.

99.5 Linear Feet (173 boxes, 1 folio, 2 volumes)
Related Names
Baldwin, Hanson Weightman, 1903-1991
Language of Materials