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HOLLIS 10823135

Alger Hiss. Papers, 1911-1999

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 10823135
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Hiss, Alger, 1904-1996
Title: Alger Hiss papers
Date(s): 1911-1999
Quantity: 21 boxes (1 oversized)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Alger Hiss Papers, 1911-1999 consists of personal and professional correspondence, documents from Hiss's time working in the State Department, personal records, notebooks, manuscript notes, newspaper clippings and photographs. The bulk of the collection is the personal correspondence between Hiss and his family and friends after he was released from prison.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

The Papers of Alger Hiss were presented to Harvard Law School as a gift under his terms, dated February 22, 1996. These papers were received by the Law School in September 2003, via John Lowenthal and Tony Hiss.

Processing Information:

Margaret Peachy, August 2007

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business-day advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Historical/Biographical Information


Series List

Within each series and/or subseries individual items or folders are identified by box and folder number. For example, the number 5-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.

Scope and Contents

The Alger Hiss Papers primarily cover the time after Hiss was released from prison until his death (1954-1996). The majority of the collection consists of personal correspondence between Hiss and his family, friends, and supporters. Major correspondents include Beatrice Gwynn, Margaret Halsey , Agnese Lockwood, Charles Miller, Hannah Quinn, Frank Ray, William Rodgers, Arnold Weissberger, and Meyer Zeligs. In total, these letters represent communications with over 600 individuals.
Hiss's time working in the State Department, 1933-1947, is represented with a small collection of professional correspondence, and a larger collection of documents relating to projects involving Hiss. Work on trade agreements and petroleum issues dominate the collection. Additionally, there are documents relating to the U. S. Maritime Commission, American-Philippines relations, and tax.
The remainder of the collection includes Hiss's personal notes and records, and a large collection of newspaper clippings pertaining to Hiss. Also, there is a small collection of photographs, containing images of Hiss, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, and a few others. All original photographs have been transferred to the Art Collection. Finally, there is one box of oversized items, consisting primarily of posters advertising speaking engagements.


Container List