Strong Intelligence Material Housed at Georgetown

Posted in: G-Town News- Oct 26, 2010 No Comments

Georgetown’s Lauinger Library has one of the strongest collections in diplomacy, international affairs, intelligence and espionage in the country, outside of the CIA. 

“These collections are regularly used by the international and diplomatic communities in Washington, D.C.,” says university librarian Artemis Kirk. “It is collections such as ours that attract the brightest scholars, who in turn attract the brightest students.”

Kirk says collections develop over time, and would not be possible without donors who understand how primary source materials influence scholarly research. 

“Gifts beget gifts, and when one donor sees the profound impact his gift can have on the university and scholarly community, it can inspire new contributions from like-minded donors,” Kirk explains.

Spy vs. Spy
Included in the intelligence collections is material from Col. Russell J. Bowen, a senior foreign technology analyst in non-nuclear energy and illegal technology transfer in the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Bowen, who died in 1992, contributed more than 17,500 titles on cryptography, signal intelligence and the application of modern technology to intelligence gathering.

The separately maintained Bowen Spy Fiction Collection contains more than 3,500 titles in the spy fiction genre.

Selwa “Lucky” Roosevelt, chief of protocol with the ranking of ambassador in the Reagan administration donated her papers, letters and scrapbooks, as well as the papers and books of her late husband, Archibald Roosevelt Jr., who worked for the U.S. State Department.

Another donor to the intelligence collection is Cynthia Helms, who gave Georgetown the extensive archive of personal papers from her late husband, former CIA director Richard M. Helms. The collection includes lengthy correspondence from Presidents Nixon, Johnson, Reagan and George H. W. Bush, among many other political figures. 

Pentagon Papers
A recent gift to the library comes from Thomas Coler (F’64), who donated an original copy of The Pentagon Papers, one of only 435 copies given to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Coler says he came into possession of the copy in 1971 while serving as chief of staff to Rep. J. Edward Rousch (D-Ind).

“I am delighted that Georgetown will be the new home for this collection,” he says.

Lauinger Library is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The contents of the library’s Special Collections Research Center are highlighted in the recently released fourth edition of Special Collections at Georgetown

“As the library marks its fourth decade at Georgetown, we are proud that our intelligence and other collections are growing, a testament to our generous donors and our prime location in the nation’s capital,”  Kirk notes.

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