Henry A. Kissinger papers, part III
Scope and Contents
The papers consist of correspondence, memoranda, writings, photographs and other material that document the career of the diplomat, author and foreign policy expert and scholar Henry A. Kissinger, who served as United States secretary of state from 1973 to 1977 and as assistant to the president for national security affairs (national security advisor) from 1969 to 1975. These papers constitute Part III of a three part collection of Kissinger's personal papers. The Part III papers primarily document his career after he worked in government, as an influential author and commentator on international affairs and consultant. The Part III papers also contain material relevant to his years in office and career before government.
There are three major collections (Parts I-III) of Kissinger’s personal papers at the Yale University Library and the Library of Congress. Part I, maintained at the Library of Congress, consists of materials primarily documenting his government career and includes copies of records from his government service. Part II is maintained at both the Library of Congress and Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. Part III, which this finding aid describes, is maintained at Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, and is comprised of materials mainly documenting Kissinger’s post-government career after 2000.
The papers in Part III primarily document Kissinger’s professional life from 2001 to 2007 although Part III also contains a number of files related to Kissinger’s government service and early career. The three Parts of the Henry A. Kissinger papers complement and overlap each other in numerous ways which the finding aids for each Part describe in greater detail. The Provenance section of this finding aid provides more information about the division of the papers into the three Parts. The Part III papers to a great extent serve as a supplement to the materials found in Part II. The correspondence files continue into the years 2001 to 2007 the series of professional and personal correspondence found in Part II. Likewise, the photographs series extend coverage of his career and social activities into 2006.
For documenting Kissinger’s government service, Part III materials are a significant supplement to Part I and Part II materials and to the official records of Kissinger’s government service found at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Of particular note among the subject files (Series II) are a set of Nixon tapes partial transcripts which recount Kissinger’s conversations captured by the White House taping system from 1971 to 1973. The subject files also include a small number of memoranda of conversation with journalists and business and church leaders from 1971 to 1974. Series IV consists of a substantial, but incomplete, collection of copies of Kissinger’s telephone conversation transcripts from 1969 to 1974 from the Nixon Presidential Library. These invaluable transcripts document virtually every aspect of his foreign policy work for the Nixon administration. A small amount of the correspondence in Series I and a substantial portion of the photographs in Series VII date from Kissinger’s time in office.
In conjunction with Part II, the Part III papers document Kissinger’s career after he left office in 1977. The papers do not include files from his international consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, which he founded in 1982. The papers, however, do provide insight into his dealings with the international business community and foreign governments, primarily through correspondence and photographs. Additional material documents Kissinger’s work as an author and prominent commentator on international affairs, especially in Series II and V, which include research files from his books White House Years (1979), Diplomacy (1994), and Years of Renewal (1999) and an extensive collection of drafts of his syndicated articles. Part III also provides a limited amount of material on Kissinger’s family and social life, mainly through correspondence and photographs.
Part III materials relevant to Kissinger’s youth and early career are very limited and consist primarily of a copy of the final version of his undergraduate thesis at Harvard University and a small number of photographs.
- 1930 - 2011
- Majority of material found within 1977 - 2007
Language of Materials
The materials are primarily in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Series IV, VI, VII, and VIII are open for research.
Access to Series I, II, and V requires written permission of Henry A. Kissinger or his designee, during his lifetime and for five years from the date of Dr. Kissinger's death, after which access is unrestricted.
Researchers must use the online access system for the digital version of this collection to submit their requests for permission from Kissinger. The portal to the digital collection provides researchers further instructions for requesting access and permissions, see http://web.library.yale.edu/digital-collections/kissinger-collection.
Series III is closed for twenty-five years after Kissinger's death, after which it is open to research.
Researchers may not request access to the documents in Series III; the documents will be automatically opened to researchers as restrictions expire.
Original computer files may not be accessed due to their fragility. Researchers must consult access copies.
The entire collection has been digitized. As per repository policy, researchers must use the digital copies instead of the originals.
Existence and Location of Copies
The entire collection is available in digital form through Yale University Library.
Existence and Location of Copies
Series Accession 2017-M-0019 "Declassified Library of Congress Kissinger Papers" contains ditigized material which is available and searchable (as of March 18, 2021) on the CIA Electronic Reading Room. Researchers should access the material via the CIA's site.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright is retained by Henry A. Kissinger for works he has authored and provided during his lifetime to the Yale University Library. After the lifetime of Dr. Kissinger, all intellectual property rights, including without limitation all copyrights, in and to the works authored by Dr. Kissinger pass to Yale University, with the exception of all intellectual property rights, including without limitation all copyrights, motion picture and/or audio rights in and to his books, interviews and any films that will be retained by Dr. Kissinger’s heirs and assigns. Copyright status for collection materials other than those authored by Dr. Kissinger is unknown.
Except for the limited purposes allowed by the Yale University Library Guide to Using Special Collections, exploitation, including without limitation the reproduction, distribution, adaption, or display of Dr. Kissinger’s works protected by the U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. §101 et seq.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain shall not be commercially exploited without permission of Dr. Kissinger, the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Henry A. Kissinger, 2011 and 2015.
The papers are arranged in eight series: I. Correspondence, 1941-2009. II. Subject files, 1958-2007. III. Restricted files, 1947-2006. IV. Telephone conversation transcript copies, 1969-1974. V. Writing and research materials, 1950-2006. VI. Cartoons and graphic materials, circa 1969-1989. VII. Photographs, 1938-2009. VIII. Moving images and sound recordings, 1976-1997; and three additions.
151.1 Linear Feet (343 boxes)
1 Optical Discs (DVD) (7, 895 computer files)
The papers consist of correspondence, memoranda, writings, photographs and other material that document the career of the diplomat, author and foreign policy expert and scholar Henry A. Kissinger, who served as United States Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977 and as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from 1969 to 1975.
Biographical / Historical
Henry Alfred Kissinger was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923, in Fürth, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1938. After studying at Harvard University, he joined the faculty there as a member of the Department of Government and made a reputation for his scholarly work on international affairs, which included his best-selling book Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, published in 1957. He served as assistant to the president for national security affairs (national security advisor) from 1969 to 1975 and as Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977 under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. In office, he was known especially for his work on normalizing relations with China, detente with the Soviet Union, peace negotiations for the Vietnam War and his Middle East shuttle diplomacy. After leaving office, Kissinger remained an influential author and commentator on foreign affairs and founded the international consulting firm Kissinger Associates.
- Born in Fürth, Germany, to Louis and Paula (Stern) Kissinger
- Immigrated to the United States
- Enrolled in City College of New York
- Served in U.S. Army
- Civilian instructor, European Command Intelligence School, Germany
- Married Ann Fleischer (divorced 1964)
- Completed Bachelors of Arts, Harvard University
- Founder and editor of Confluence
- Director, International Seminar, Harvard University
- Completed PhD, Harvard University
- Faculty member, Department of Government, Harvard University
- Director, Study Group on Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
- Director, Special Studies Project, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- Published Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy
- Faculty member, Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
- Director, Defense Studies Program, Harvard University
- Resigned U.S. Army reserve commission
- Daughter Elizabeth born
- Son David born
- Published The Troubled Partnership: A Reappraisal of the Atlantic Alliance
- Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
- Secretary of State
- Married Nancy Maginnes
- Joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies as a Counselor
- Published White House Years
- Founded Kissinger Associates, Inc.
- Published Years of Upheaval
- Chairman, National Bipartisan Commission on Central America
- Published Years of Renewal
Part I: Materials in Part I of the Kissinger Papers document his life from 1957 to 1982 and include copies of records from his government service. Part I was given to the Library of Congress by Henry A. Kisinger in 1976 and 1977, shortly after leaving office. Consult the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/) for further information.
Part II is comprised of materials that are owned either by the Library of Congress or Yale University (Yale) and document Dr. Kissinger’s pre-government, government and post-government careers. When they were in Dr. Kissinger’s possession, the papers formed an integrated collection. To maintain that integrity, as well as increase access to these materials, the two institutions agreed to a joint project undertaken by Yale to arrange, describe and digitize them. Each institution now holds both paper and digital copies of Part II. The work was funded by Charles Johnson, Yale class of 1954, and Nicholas Brady, Yale Class of 1952.
Part III: Materials in Part III were originally maintained by Dr. Kissinger’s staff. They primarily document his post-government years. They were gifted to Yale in 2011.
Materials that contained classified national security information have been removed from the collection for declassification review. Classified item withdrawal forms mark the specific locations from where these documents have been removed and provide brief descriptions of the documents.
When files are arranged chronologically, archivists have provided undated material that appears at the end of a section with rough date approximations in order to facilitate digital searching and discovery. These date approximations take the form of, for example: “Undated, circa 1967-circa 2009.”
- China -- Foreign relations -- United States
- Diplomats -- United States
- Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006
- Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
- National Security Council (U.S.)
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
- Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States
- United States -- Foreign relations -- 1969-1974
- United States -- Foreign relations -- 1974-1977
- United States -- Foreign relations -- China
- United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union
- United States. Department of State
- Henry A. Kissinger Papers, Part III: Guide to the Yale University Library Collection
- compiled by Sahr Conway-Lanz, Rebecca Hirsch, and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
- January 2016
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- Processing of this collection was funded with the generous support of Charles Johnson and Nicholas Brady.
Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)
Sterling Memorial Library
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511