THE PAPERS OF HERBERT HOOVER
DESCRIPTION OF SUBGROUPS
The Herbert Hoover Papers span Hoover's lifetime from his birth in West Branch, IA, in 1874 to his death in New York City in 1964. To facilitate research, the Library has divided the collections chronologically into five subgroups, each pertaining to a distinct period in Mr. Hoover's long career of public service. In addition to the chronological subgroups, there are eight special collections that span the greater part of Mr. Hoover's career. The following outline provides an overview of the Herbert Hoover Papers, identifying each subgroup, its inclusive dates, and the series that compromise each group.
Click her for a detailed description of the series and subseries within each subgroup.
PRE-COMMERCE PERIOD, 1895-1921, 78 linear feet Hoover pre-commerce series
General Correspondence, 1895-1921 Hoover pre-commerce correspondence
Subject File, 1913-24 Hoover pre-commerce subject file
U.S. Food Administration, 1917-19 Hoover pre-commerce Food Administration
U.S. Department of State, Records Relating to Internal Affairs of Austria-Hungary and Hungary*
U.S. Department of State, Records Relating to Internal Affairs of Belgium*
COMMERCE PERIOD, 1921-28, 385 linear feet
Commerce Department: Official and Personal Papers Hoover commerce subject file
American Child Health Association, 1921-35 Hoover commerce American Child Health
Colorado River Commission, 1921-54 Hoover commerce Colorado River Commission
CAMPAIGN AND TRANSITION PERIOD, 1928-29, 100 linear feet Hoover campaign series description
General Correspondence File Hoover campaign correspondence
Special Subjects File Hoover campaign subject file
Appreciation to State Organizations
Latin America Trip
Campaign Materials File Hoover campaign literature files
PRESIDENTIAL PERIOD, 1929-33, 693 linear feet
Cabinet Offices Hoover Presidential cabinet offices
Subject File Hoover Presidential subject files
Secretary's File Hoover Presidential secretary's files
State's File Hoover Presidential states files
Foreign Affairs: Hoover Presidential foreign affairs files
Individual Name File Hoover Presidential individuals files
Executive Orders and Proclamations Hoover Presidential executive orders files
Press Relations Hoover Presidential press relations files
President's Personal File Hoover Presidential personal file
Taylor/Gates Collection Hoover Presidential Taylor/Gates files
Federal Farm Board Minutes*
President's Commission for Study and Review of Conditions in Haiti* Hoover Presidential commission on Haiti files
President's Commission on Conservation and Administration of the Public Domain* Hoover Presidential Commission on Public Domain files
White House Office Records*
POST-PRESIDENTIAL PERIOD, 1933-64, 520 linear feet
General Correspondence File Hoover Post-Presidential general files
Individual Correspondence File Hoover Post-Presidential individuals files
Subject File Hoover Post-Presidential subject files
Commissions on the Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, 1947-49; 1953-55
Hoover Post-Presidential Hoover Comm. I files
Hoover Post-Presidential Hoover Comm. II files
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, 1750-Present, 681 linear feet
Appointments Calendar, 1917-64
Articles, Addresses, and Public Statements, 1915-64
Book Manuscript Material, 1934-64
Clippings File, 1920-64
Hoover Scrapbooks, 1866-1966
Misrepresentations File, 1917-61
Reprint File, 1853-present
DESCRIPTION OF SERIES
PRE-COMMERCE PERIOD, 1895-1921
NUCMC 79-1740, RLIN
The Pre-Commerce Papers reflect Mr. Hoover's activities and interests from the time he graduated from Stanford until he became Secretary of Commerce. The subgroup is arranged in three series as described below:
General Correspondence, 1895-1921 (11 linear feet)
This series comprises letters sent and received by Herbert Hoover in the early part of his career. Important correspondents include Mary Austin, Charles G. Dawes, Cardinal James Gibbons, Warren Harding, John J. Pershing, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. Arrangement is alphabetical by name of correspondent.
Subject File, 1913-21 (61 linear feet)
This series contains correspondence, memorandums, photostats of letters and documents, clippings, and other papers relating to the wide variety of interests that claimed Mr. Hoover's attention. Typical of the subjects in the file are Edith Cavell, Foreign Trade and Banking, Mining (printed material), Meat Investigation, National Security League, Russia, Stanford University, War Trade Board, and Wheat Investigation. Larger subseries are as follows:
American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, 1913-21-Mr. Hoover was president of the AIMME during 1920-21, and the bulk of this subseries is from this period. Much of the material is related to the work of the Industrial Waste Committee.
Federated American Engineering Societies, 1920-21-As president of the American Engineering Council (the governing body of the Federated American Engineering Societies), Hoover urged the FAES to conduct a study of waste in industry. This subseries contains a FAES office file and an Industrial Waste Committee file. The more significant correspondents include: Samuel Gompers, Morris L. Cooke, Edward E. Hunt, Florence C. Thorne, Vernon Kellogg, and Robert B. Wolf.
Panama-Pacific Exposition, 1912-14-In January 1913 Herbert Hoover was commissioned by the President and Congress as special representative for the United States to promote the Panama-Pacific Exposition celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. Mr. Hoover attempted to mobilize support within Germany and Great Britain for participation in the San Francisco exposition. World War I cut short this activity and propelled him into food relief work.
Presidential Campaign of 1920-Mr. Hoover's political career was launched during the 1920 Presidential campaign. This subseries containing correspondence, clippings, campaign materials, and speech and statements files, sheds light on this time. Of particular interest are the "Hoover Boom" efforts in both parties, the California primary contest with Hiram Johnson, and the struggle over the issue of the League of Nations.
President's Industrial Conference, 1919-29-Herbert Hoover served as vice chairman of the Second Industrial Conference called by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919. Hoover played an important role because the chairman, Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson, was rarely in attendance. This subseries contains correspondence, printed reports, clippings, and other papers. In addition, the Library has added microfilm and electrostatic copies of letters and documents of the Industrial Conference materials from the Records of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Record Group 280) and General Records of the Department of Labor (Record Group 174) in the National Archives, Washington, DC.
War Relief and Reconstruction, 1919-23- Hoover Pre-commerce American Relief Administration
This subseries contains bound volumes of printed materials and typescripts copies of documents relating to war relief and reconstruction in Europe and Russia, 1918-23. (The original documents are in the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.)
American Relief Administration-Bulletins 7 volumes
American Relief Administration, European Operations-Documents 24 volumes
American Relief Administration, Russian Operations-Documents 10 volumes
Supreme Economic Council (Paris Peace Conference)-Documents 10 volumes
Committee for the Relief of Belgium-Bound Clippings (London) 140 volumes
COMMERCE PERIOD, 1921-28
NUCMC 70-187, RLIN
Mr. Hoover's papers from the period when he served as Secretary of Commerce are arranged in three series as described below:
Commerce Department, 1921-28 (330 linear feet)
Originally in separate series, Mr. Hoover's Official File and Personal File have been combined for the convenience of researchers. However, the original folder titles have been retained to facilitate the retrieval of items cited previously in scholarly publications.
The papers in this series deal with such subjects as the reorganization of the Commerce Department, the expanded activities of existing bureaus (Fisheries, Standards, Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Census, Lighthouses, and others) and the creation of new bureaus and divisions such as Aeronautics and Housing. Large sections are also devoted to farm matters, foreign debts and loans, the regulation of radio, the relief of flood victims in Mississippi and Vermont in 1927, and the problems of business cycles and unemployment. These files contain correspondence, memoranda, reports, statistics, clippings, maps and charts, and printed material arranged alphabetically by name and subject.
American Child Health Association, 1921-35 (22 linear feet)
Mr. Hoover's abiding concern for the welfare of children appears to have been, in large part, a direct result of his wartime experiences. In 1921 he became president of the American Child Hygiene Association. Two years later he presided over its merger with the Child Health Organization to form the American Child Health Association. Mr. Hoover took an active role in the direction of the Association until its liquidation in 1935, using his influence to secure donations from private foundations to finance the Association's work.
Documents in this series include correspondence, annual and quarterly reports, financial and personnel records, minutes of the executive committee, memoranda, copies of speeches and statements, clippings, and printed material including various Association publications. Arrangement is alphabetical by name and subject. Related materials can be found in the Presidential and Post-Presidential Papers.
Colorado River Commission, 1921-54 (33 linear feet)
The construction of Hoover Dam was made possible by an interstate compact that was drafted by the Colorado River Commission. Mr. Hoover represented the federal government on the commission and was elected its chairman. Due to his continuing interest in the development of the Colorado's resources, these files extend into 1954. The greater portion of the papers, however, fall within the period 1921-28. Related materials may be found in the Commerce and Post-Presidential Papers and in the papers of Commission member Delph E. Carpenter. Carpenter played a major role in devising a formula to divide the electric power and water equitably, thus resolving the main issue facing the Commission.
Documents in this series include correspondence, memoranda, minutes of public hearings and commission meetings, printed reports, engineering studies, clippings, maps and charts, and miscellaneous printed materials, arranged in five subseries.
CAMPAIGN AND TRANSITION PERIOD, 1928-29
NUCMC 79-1739, RLIN
The papers of this subgroup cover the interim between the Republican National Convention that began on June 12, 1928, and Mr. Hoover's inauguration as President on March 4, 1929. These papers are arranged in the following series:
General Correspondence (34 linear feet)
Correspondence, enclosures, and memoranda received during this period. Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.
Subject File (45 linear feet)
This series includes correspondence, telegrams, reports, charts, schedules, lists, speeches, bulletins and memorandas. Arranged alphabetically by common subject content. The larger subseries are:
Appreciation: Form letters sent by Mr. Hoover to campaign people in October 1928. Arranged alphabetically by state.
Cabinet Appointments: Biographical sketches of candidates and correspondence endorsing or opposing appointments. Arranged alphabetically by candidate and cross-referenced to the General Correspondence series.
Congratulations: Letters and telegrams received by Mr. Hoover after his nomination, June 14, 1928; acceptance speech, August 11, 1928; and election, November 6, 1928. Each set of congratulations is arranged separately and alphabetically by correspondent and cross-referenced to the General Correspondence series.
Latin America Trip: Materials created during Mr. Hoover's good-will visit to 10 Latin American republics between November 19, 1928 and January 6, 1929. Correspondence and a separate file for each republic are arranged alphabetically; ships' bulletins are arranged chronologically. Correspondence has been cross-referenced to the General Correspondence series.
Campaign Literature (21 linear feet)
This series includes a collection of pamphlets, press releases, clipsheets, and other printed materials used in the 1928 Presidential campaign. One set of pamphlets is arranged alphabetically by title. Another set of pamphlets was assigned numbers by the publicity department of the Republican National Committee for control purposes and arranged sequentially. One set of press releases is arranged chronologically and another by author and subject.
PRESIDENTIAL PERIOD, 1929-33
NUCMC 70-186, RLIN
The Presidential Papers include correspondence, memoranda, reports, press releases, messages, invitations, public opinion mail, cipher messages from diplomatic representatives, statistical material, maps and charts, editorial analyses, transcripts of trans-Atlantic telephone conversations, proclamations, Executive orders, and miscellaneous printed materials. These papers are arranged in 10 series as described below:
Cabinet Offices (32 linear feet)
This series is concerned with matters of interest to the various cabinet level departments. It is an important supplement to the States File and to several sections of the Subject File. Other related papers may be found in the Secretary's File, Individual Name File, Foreign Affairs, President's Committee on the Conservation and Administration of the Public Domain, President's Organization on Unemployment Relief, and the President's Personal File. This series is arranged alphabetically by name of department and thereunder alphabetically by subject or bureau title.
Subject File (155 linear feet)
The Subject File is the backbone of the Presidential Papers, and includes the main topics of interest to the President, such as farm matters, financial matters, and unemployment. It also contains cross-references to related papers in practically all of the other series. The material is arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder chronologically.
Secretary's File (264 linear feet)
This is the largest series in the Presidential subgroup. It contains some correspondence, numerous cross-references, and abstracts of letters referred to various governmental departments and agencies for attention. The cross-references are very helpful in developing leads to information within other series. Names of individuals, organizations, and subjects are arranged alphabetically by folder title, but the documents are in chronological order within each folder.
States File (11 linear feet)
The States File documents some of the local activities of various field offices of the federal government. Subjects include general administrative matters such as the acquisition and disposition of federal properties, construction of federal buildings and installations, contracts for services, complaints from the public, and patronage. This series supplements the Cabinet Offices series and the Republican National Committee States File within the Subject File series. Arrangement is alphabetical by name of state or federal territory and thereunder by cabinet department.
Foreign Affairs (23 linear feet)
The Foreign Affairs series contains correspondence and copies of State Department documents forwarded by the Secretary of State to the President for his information and attention. This series is arranged in seven subseries, each of which is more fully described below.
Countries subseries deals with routine matters related to each particular country, with cross-references to such subjects as the moratorium, the standstill agreement, reparations, and disarmament. The finding aid lists names of American representatives to each country as a convenient cross-reference to the Diplomats subseries. Arranged by name of country alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Diplomats subseries concerns a wide variety of subjects and many routine matters such as the appointment and resignation of American diplomats and requests by American nationals for special treatment while traveling abroad. The Secretary's File, the Individual Name File, the Countries subseries, and the President's Personal File contain additional references to correspondence with these diplomats. Arranged by name of diplomat alphabetically and thereunder chronologically.
Disarmament subseries concerns the efforts of the Hoover administration to promote international disarmament. Related papers are found in the Subject File, and the Cabinet Offices and President's Personal File series. Arrangement is chronological.
Financial subseries deals with the moratorium agreement, the standstill agreement, and war debts and reparations. Related papers may be found in the State and Treasury Departments subseries of the Cabinet Offices series and under "Business," "Chronology of Important Economic and Financial Events," and "Financial Matters" in the Subject File. Arrangement: a chronological correspondence file followed by subject files arranged alphabetically.
General Subjects subseries concerns foreign affairs questions that do not fall within the province of the other subseries, such as: Inter-American High Commission, League of Nations, Peace, and Treaties. Arranged alphabetically.
Judicial subseries concerns the codification of international law, the appointment of American representatives to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Permanent Court of International Justice (World Court). Related papers may be found in the President's Personal File (Permanent Court of International Justice). Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Manchurian Crisis subseries relates to the efforts of the Hoover administration, in cooperation with other nations and the League of Nations, to effect a cessation of hostilities between China and Japan. Related papers are found in the Cabinet Offices series under State Department and War Department. Arrangement is chronological.
Individual Name File (17 linear feet)
This series concerns official or semiofficial matters relating to various individuals. Many of these files concern requests for appointment and endorsements; appeals for advancement, reinstatement, or pardon; and exemptions from mandatory retirement provisions. A number of these individuals may also be found in the Secretary's File and the President's Personal File. The series is arranged alphabetically by name and thereunder chronologically.
Executive Orders and Proclamations (5 linear feet)
This file contains copies of Executive orders and proclamations issued by President Hoover, arranged chronologically. A subject-classified list of Executive orders is available in the Taylor/Gates series (folder XIV, box 4).
Press Relations (19 linear feet)
The Press Relations series consists of editorial analysis reports, questions submitted prior to press conferences, transcripts and excerpts from press conferences, press releases issued by the Republican National Committee, speaker's materials for use in the 1932 campaign, and White House press releases. Related papers may be found in most other series of the Presidential Papers, especially in the Newspapers section of the Subject File and the President's Personal File. Arranged in four subseries.
President's Personal File (99 linear feet)
The President's Personal File (PPF) is a subject and name file including correspondence, telegrams, memoranda and printed materials. Although created and maintained apart from the official files, the PPF contains many of the same subjects and names as other series of the Presidential Papers. Consequently, it reflects official matters as well as more personal aspects of the Presidency.
This series includes correspondence with organizations and individuals soliciting messages from the President to be read at annual meetings, anniversaries, celebrations, and other public gatherings; congratulatory correspondence regarding public statements and administration policies; correspondence regarding gifts sent to the President; messages received after the loss of the 1932 election; and correspondence with members of the press, and representatives of religious, professional, educational, patriotic, and political organizations. In correspondence with personal friends, Hoover responded to comments and advice on administration policy, problems, and political questions. Arrangement is alphabetical by name of individual, organization, or subject.
Taylor/Gates Collection (2 linear feet)
During the closing months of the Hoover administration, James S. Taylor and Robert M. Gates collected memoranda, outlines of accomplishments, and printed government documents that would reflect the activities and accomplishments of the executive departments of the administration. This collection is a good starting point for researchers interested in the Hoover Presidency. The scope and content of these materials are more fully discussed in the detailed finding aid available in the reading room.
POST-PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS, 1933-64
NUCMC 70-185, RLIN
The Post-Presidential Papers contain the record of Mr. Hoover's activities from the time he left the White House in March 1933 until his death in October 1964. These papers are arranged in four series:
General Correspondence File (131 linear feet)
This series contains correspondence with the general public who wrote Hoover about matters of concern to them during the last 31 years of his life. Cross-references are also included to names found in the Post-Presidential Subject File. Arrangement is alphabetical by correspondent.
Individual Correspondence File (142 linear feet)
The Individual Correspondence File contains correspondence with well-known people as well as individuals with whom Hoover regularly corresponded. Exchanges with Presidents, senators and representatives, governors, foreign heads of state, engineers, scientists, educators, representatives of various media, and people prominent in the arts are found here. Correspondence with personal friends in a wide variety of fields kept Hoover informed on a broad range of topics. Also included is correspondence with former employees and with individuals with whom he collaborated in his writings. Arrangement is alphabetical by name, with each correspondent having a separate folder or folders. In some cases the correspondence with an individual fills several document boxes. A card index has been prepared for the names of individuals and main topics mentioned in this series.
Subject File (196 linear feet)
The Subject File contains correspondence, memorandums, printed material, and clippings that reflect Mr. Hoover's interest in a broad range of subjects and organizations. Topics such as agriculture, depression, foreign policy, labor, radio, relief, tariff, taxes, and trade show his continued interest in matters of public policy. In addition, there are files on individuals, states, and countries. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject. Larger subseries are as follows:
Boys' Clubs of America, 1933-64-Hoover was chairman from October 19, 1936, until his death. This file contains correspondence with executive directors and clubs, annual meeting material; minutes of board meetings; correspondence relating to the granting of a congressional charter; dedication of the Herbert Hoover Building; and resolutions and gifts from clubs on the death of Mr. Hoover.
Campaign Material, 1932-64-This subseries contains lists of workers, press releases, documents of the Republican program committee, information concerning various candidates, polls, and conventions.
Famine Emergency Committee, 1946-47-These documents reflect trips made by Hoover at the request of President Truman to assess food needs in 24 countries. The subseries contains correspondence, itineraries, statistical information, press conferences and releases, diaries of committee members, and Mr. Hoover's reports to President Truman.
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, 1933-64-This file gives an overall picture of Hoover's association with the institution at Stanford, including finance drives, collection development program, building plans, and minutes of advisory boards.
Trip File -Detailed materials on Hoover's 1938 trip to Europe, 1954 trip to Germany, and 1958 trip to Belgium are included in this subseries.
Trustee Materials, 1933-64-These files concern Mr. Hoover's service on the boards of several organizations, including the following:
The American University,
Huntington Library and Art Gallery,
National Academy of Sciences, and
Commissions on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, 1947-49; 1953-55 (51 linear feet) I.
Commissions on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, 1947-49; 1953-55 (51 linear feet) II.
President Hoover's last major public service was to preside over the investigations of the two commissions that Congress created to study the reorganization of the executive branch. These papers reflect his active role in the Commissions; determining the overall Commission agendas, selecting personnel, and editing task force reports and the Commissions' final reports. The papers pertaining to each Commission are arranged separately in two overlapping chronological segments: 1947-52 and 1949-59. These papers contain a wide variety of manuscripts and printed matter including correspondence, memorandums, clippings, press releases, draft and printed copies of Commission and task force reports, and miscellaneous printed materials.
Related official records of the Commissions compose Record Group 264 at the National Archives. Papers of Mr. Hoover's fellow commissioners and Commission staff members may be found in numerous repositories including the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The Post-Presidential Subject File also contains a small quantity of material concerning the Commissions, including Mr. Hoover's proposal to President Johnson in 1964 that a third Commission be established. Additional manuscripts concerning the third Commission proposal are in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library.
Agricola Collection, 1908-61 (7 linear feet)
In 1912 the translation by Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover of Georgius Agricola's De Re Metallica was published in London. The collection contains two 1657 copies of the Latin original, manuscript copies of the translation by the Hoovers, and footnotes, and galley and page proofs. Background material such as research notes and collateral translations used in translating and annotating the work is also included. The correspondence and subject files contain letters and printed material dealing with the translation, printing, and distribution of the book and reaction to its publication.
Appointment Calendar, 1901-64 (12 linear feet)
In 1940 Mr. Hoover's staff reconstructed a partial calendar for the period 1901-17. The balance of this calendar is much more complete and seems to have been created on a day-to-day basis. Arranged in chronological order.
Articles, Addresses, and Public Statements, 1892-1964 (260 linear feet)
This series contains copies of Hoover's public statements, addresses, and writings. It is divided into two subseries: bound typed copies and a speech file. Both are arranged in chronological order, and each statement or writing has been assigned a consecutive number. There are 120 bound volumes of typescript copies. A bound chronological index to the statements includes number, title, place, and date. The statements are indexed by subject on cards for the years 1917-33.
Book Manuscript Material, 1934-64 (46 linear feet)
Herbert Hoover wrote or compiled 21 volumes during his post-Presidential years. This archival series includes research notes, handwritten drafts, revised and corrected copies, galley and page proofs, publications notices, advertisements, editorials, and book reviews. This series includes materials for the following works:
Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson, 1958 (9 linear feet);
Memoirs of Herbert Hoover, Volume I, 1951; Volumes II and III, 1952 (15 linear feet);
An American Epic, Volume I, 1959; Volumes II and III, 1960; Volume IV, 1964 (15 linear feet);
The Problems of Lasting Peace (co-author, Hugh Gibson), 1942 (5 linear feet);
Addresses Upon the American Road, 1938-61 (1 linear foot);
America's First Crusade, 1942 (1 linear foot);
The Challenge to Liberty, 1934 (3 linear feet);
Fishing For Fun, 1962-64 (1 linear foot); and
On Growing Up, 1962-63 (1 linear foot).
Correspondence pertaining to these books may be found in the Post-Presidential Subject File under "Books by Herbert Hoover."
Clippings Files, 1920-64 (214 linear feet)
The Clippings File, with few exceptions, is arranged chronologically. Clippings from 1927 and 1928 are arranged in alphabetical order by state. Also for the year 1928, there are subject and newspaper folders arranged alphabetically. Daily press summaries are incorporated into the 1921-28 clippings.
Genealogy, 1750-64 (8 linear feet)
This series contains individual and subject files arranged in alphabetical order. Included is background material for the Genealogy of the Herbert Hoover Family; correspondence with relatives, genealogists, and unrelated Hoovers; articles about the family and family locations; and supportive material proving eligibility for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.
Hoover Scrapbooks, 1866-66 (1 linear foot)
Photographs, clippings, mementos, accountings, maps, tourist information, correspondence, lists, tabulations, pamphlets, and articles collected by the Hoovers during years of travel.
Misrepresentations File, 1917-61 (8 linear feet)
This series contains correspondence, documents, and printed material pulled together by Mr. Hoover's staff in response to misrepresentations of Mr. Hoover's statements and actions throughout his public career. The series is arranged in two sequences: The first is alphabetical by topic; the second, chronological (1921-61).
Reprint File, 1853-present (130 linear feet)
The Reprint File is a collection of periodical articles (clipped or copied), leaflets, brochures, booklets, and press releases that have been brought together by the staff of the Hoover Library. Most of the material placed in the Reprint File came from the printed material within the Hoover papers. Materials from outside the papers are added if they concern Mr. Hoover's work and associates, or deal with topics of interest to Mr. Hoover during his lifetime. In addition, articles by researchers who have used the papers are also placed in reprints. The reprints are arranged in chronological order with each reprint having its own folder. Subject, author, title, periodical, and date card indexes to this collection are available in the Research Room.