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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2232

William Phillips diaries


Transcripts of original diaries of American diplomat William Phillips.


  • 1917-1947


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository, with the exception of one volume. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


5.3 linear feet (21 boxes in 7 cartons and 1 volume)

Transcriptions of Phillips' diaries, the originals of which were lost in the preparation of his memoirs, Ventures in Diplomacy. Also includes letters, reports, memoranda, and clippings, all related to the journals.

Biographical / Historical

Phillips was an American diplomat, born in Beverly, Mass. His career included assignments with both the Foreign Service and the State Department. He was minister to the Netherlands (1920-1922), minister to Luxembourg, (1920-1922, 1924-1927), ambassador to Belgium (1924-1927), minister to Canada (1927-1929), ambassador to Italy (1936-1940), wartime ambassador to India (1942-1944), and a member of the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine (1946). He was married in 1910 to Caroline Astor Drayton.


Organized into 9 series:

  1. I. Undersecretary of State, 1917-1924
  2. II. Undersecretary of State, 1933-1936
  3. III. Ambassador to Italy, 1936-1941
  4. IV. Strategic Services, 1942
  5. V. Political Advisor, 1943-1944
  6. VI. India, 1942-1943
  7. VII. Conversations, 1935-1939
  8. VIII. Franco-Siamese Commission, 1947
  9. IX. Palestine, 1946

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

55M-69. Gift of William Phillips, Highover, North Beverly, Mass.; received: 1955 October.

Phillips, William, 1878-1968. William Phillips diaries, 1917-1947: Guide.
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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