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Council on Foreign Relations Records

The Records of the Council on Foreign Relations document the history of this research organization from its founding in 1921 through the present, detailing its role in underpinning the development of an internationalist tradition in the twentieth century United States. The collection includes valuable source documents and papers from meetings, group discussions and studies, and conferences led by American and international experts and visiting statesmen in both New York and Washington, D.C. It also includes operational records, such as files from the board of directors, administration, publication, and communication departments, the Corporate and National Program, and the independent Committees on Foreign Relations.

The records provide a source of information not only for the Council’s history, but for aspects of foreign relations since 1921. The collection illuminates world affairs and the development of foreign policy from World War I through the present, examining a broad range of military, economic, political and social developments. It includes material on American and international political figures and statesmen who participated in study and discussion groups, meetings, and conferences, and who published through the Council. The records also reveal the climate of public opinion at key points in twentieth century history. The individuals and topics selected for meetings and studies illustrate what world issues were deemed important during specific times.

The Council on Foreign Relations records at the Mudd Manuscript Library do not include historic photographs, membership records, personnel files, or legal and financial files, which are retained in the Council’s Archives at the Pratt House in New York.

A paper index is available for portions of the Study Group, Meeting, and Conference records in the Mudd Manuscript Library reference room; these indices have been integrated into the contents lists for Series 3: Studies Department, Series 4: Meetings, and Series 5: Conferences.

Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.