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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2109

Robert Manning papers

Correspondence, speeches, other compositions, and notes by Robert Manning, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, 1962-1964, and editor of the Atlantic, 1964-1980.


  • 1938-1993

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Part of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Please consult Public Services staff in the Library.


22 linear feet (68 boxes and 1 portfolio box)

Biographical / Historical

The journalist Robert Manning (1919- ) began his career on the Binghamton (N.Y.) Press; then after military service was a correspondent for the United Press (1944-1949), and Time magazine (1948-1958). He was chief of the London bureau of Time, Life and Fortune from 1958 to 1960. He was then Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from 1962 to 1964. He left this office to become Executive Editor of the Atlantic monthly in 1964, and succeeded Edward Weeks as Editor-in-Chief in 1966.

In 1980 Manning was dismissed by the new owner of the Atlantic Monthly Company. The sale of the company gave rise to a long-running lawsuit finally settled in court in 1987. By that time Manning had joined, and left, the Boston Publishing Company, which produced the series of books The Vietnam Experience.

Manning was active in a number of cultural and political organizations at various times, including such diverse ones as the Boston Ballet, Experiment in International Living, Massachusetts Democratic Advisory Council, the Public Broadcasting Service, and the Salk Institute; as well as several clubs in Boston and New York. He has been a prolific speaker and occasionally a broadcaster.

Robert Manning's autobiography is The swamp root chronicle (1992).


The papers are organized into the following series:
  1. I. Correspondence
  2. ___A. Correspondence by Manning by subject: organizations with which he was associated
  3. ___B. By subject: trips, engagements, publications and other incidents
  4. ___C. Other correspondence
  5. II. Compositions by Robert Manning
  6. ___A. Speeches
  7. ___B. Broadcasts, interviews, and discussions
  8. ___C. Dispatches, articles, and books
  9. ___D. Other compositions by Manning
  10. III. Compositions by others
  11. ___A. Copies and proofs of articles written for the Atlantic
  12. ___B. Other compositions edited or published by Manning
  13. IV. Notes and other material
  14. V. Biographical material

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

b, pf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

*1997M-33, *2000M-36, and *2001M-43. Gift of Robert Manning, 1200 Washington St., apt. 507, Boston MA 02118; received 1997-2002.

General note

A portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: J. F. Coakley
Link to catalog
Manning, Robert, 1919-. Robert Manning papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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