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Manuscripts and Archives (Repository) Guide to Collections on the Wilsonian Era and the League of Nations: About this Guide

Guide to the World War I (House Collection) in Manuscripts and Archives.

What's Here


The World War I (House Collection) is an annotated list of personal papers in Manuscripts and Archives of Edward M. House and his associates related to World War I. The Edward Mandell House Papers, augmented by those of his colleagues, constitutes one of the major collections of archival resources on the Wilsonian era and the formation of the League of Nations.  


Additional information about each collection is available in the catalog record in ORBIS, the Yale University Library online public catalog, and/or a finding aid. (Finding aids are more detailed than the annotations in this guide.  They provide context for the materials described as well as a contents list, usually to the box and folder level and sometimes to the item level.) Click on the highlighted titles to access the finding aid.



History of the House Collection

Edward Mandell House was born July 26, 1858 in Houston, Texas. He became active in Texas politics and served as an advisor to President Woodrow Wilson, particularly in the area of foreign affairs. House functioned as Wilson's chief negotiator in Europe during the negotiations for peace (1917-1919), and as chief deputy for Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference. He died on March 28, 1938 in New York City.

The papers of Edward M. House were administered as a special library collection by the Curator, Charles Seymour. Papers of a significant number of House's associates were donated to the library and placed in the House Collection until the death of Seymour in 1963, when the collection was added to the department of Manuscripts and Archives. The most important of these auxiliary collected papers are those of Frank Lyon Polk, who worked closely with House during the Wilsonian period as Counselor, Acting Secretary and Under Secretary of State; and Gordon Auchincloss, House's son-in-law, who served as assistant counselor in the State Department and secretary to Colonel House at the armistice and peace negotiations. Both of these men kept detailed diaries which supplement the House diary record. Also of prime importance are the papers of Sir William Wiseman, British intelligence liaison between Wilson and House and the British government and adviser at the Paris Peace Conference. The papers of Charles Seymour as editor and curator of the House Papers, historian, and administrator of the House Collection provide extensive documentation on the work of Colonel House and his colleagues. Descriptions of the associated papers and collections formerly part of the House Collection follow.

About Manuscripts and Archives (Repository)

Manuscripts and Archives is a major center for historical inquiry and also serves as the documentary memory of Yale University. All members of the Yale community as well as those outside the university are welcome to use the resources and services of the department.



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