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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2021

William R. Castle diaries


Typed copies of diaries kept by the American diplomat William Richards Castle, including the period of his service in Japan.


  • 1918-1960

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research. Formerly restricted until January 1985.

Conditions Governing Use

Under the terms of the gift, no single diary can be published in its entirety; it can, however, be quoted in part. Further, the diaries cannot be copied in whole or in part. The Library may give permission to paraphrase the diaries, but not to quote, which right is reserved to the heirs of William Castle. The last heir with whom the library was in contact was Castle's grandson, Rev. Donald Winslow, resident in the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, who died in 2000.

According to the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, literary rights in the unpublished writings of William R. Castle, Jr. have been dedicated to the public.


6.5 linear feet (65 volumes)

Typed copies of diaries covering the periods 1 July-3 Sept. 1918, 22 June-14 Oct. 1920, and Jan. 1922-Mar. 1960. The diaries contain an almost daily account of Castle's professional and social activities, and include comments on national and international affairs, the political scene, books, and movies.

There are a very few manuscript pencilled notes in these volumes.

All volumes are bound except for volumes (62), (63), and (64) which are loose sheets in springback binders.

Almost every volume includes a typescript index to its contents that is either bound into the volume, or is laid loose inside the cover. See the electronic version of these indexes at end of this finding aid. The volumes that do not have indexes are for the years: 1932 July-Dec., 1933, 1941 Jan.-Apr., 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960.

Biographical / Historical

William Richards Castle (1878-1963) was an American diplomat. He served in the Department of State as chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (1921-1927), assistant secretary of state, and undersecretary of state. He was ambassador to Japan during the Naval Arms Conference, 1930. He later served as president of Garfield Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. (1945-1952).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

61M-71. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Castle; received: 1961.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm of the Castle diaries is held in the William R. Castle Jr. papers, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.

Castle, William R. (William Richards), 1878-1963. William R. Castle diaries, 1918-1960: Guide. MS Am 2021
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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