Samuel P. Huntington personal archive, 1905-2008
Harvard University records in this collection are restricted for 50 years from the date of creation.
Restricted items are noted in the folder lists.
Restricted items for accessions 10232,14116,14175,and 18243 have been separated into boxes 137-150 and are closed to researchers.
Fragile records have been moved to boxes 151-174 and are closed due to their physical condition.
Extent183.70 cubic feet (176 record cartons, 21 document boxes, 1 flat box)
The largest component of this collection is the Reference and resource files comprised of printed materials from 1905 to 2006 on a wide variety of subjects related to foreign policy, military policy and strategy, American politics, civil-military relations, international relations, political development, and comparative politics. Generally used by Huntington to support his teaching, speaking, and writing activities; these files document Huntington’s evolving study of various subjects related to global politics and international affairs. Included among these files are Huntington’s lecture notes from his political science and government courses at Harvard, speeches given at various academic conferences, discussion papers presented at seminars and meetings of professional and learned societies, and fragments of manuscript drafts and other publications written by Huntington. Derived from a broad range of sources, the reference and resource files provide a wealth of information about the institutions, individuals and groups that influenced world politics and governance in the twentieth century. Additionally, the reference and resource files reveal important patterns and insights into Huntington’s thinking process, illustrate his data collection methods and highlight the source materials used by Huntington to develop his theories and ideas.
The writings in this collection reflect Huntington’s research interests and echo the concepts that informed and shaped American national security from the 1950s to 2000s. Focusing chiefly on American foreign policy, civil-military relations, American political development and change, American national identity, and post-Cold War civilizational clashes, Huntington’s writings illuminate his analytical skills, reveal his ability to clarify major issues and policy implications, and demonstrate his ability to acquire evidence from a broad knowledge of theories and data. Huntington’s writings also illustrate his ability to define and attract attention to important political, social, and cultural questions, challenge prevailing assumptions and arguments, and reveal his responses to the domestic and foreign policy dilemmas of his time.
Huntington’s interaction with notable figures in the fields of international relations and global politics including academics, military personnel, government policy makers, scholars and business people, as well as professional organizations and learned societies can be found in the correspondence in this collection. Huntington’s correspondence illuminates his research interests and his leadership role in the study of the nature of government, politics, and society. The correspondence includes commentary on and analysis of the ideas and theories presented in his many writings from colleagues, as well as more routine correspondence on matters related to Huntington’s travels, conference arrangements and speaking engagements. Researchers should note that although many of the letters in this collection were written from Huntington’s office, they do not consistently address Harvard related issues.
Huntington’s teaching activities in American government, comparative politics and international relations at Harvard from 1945 to 2006 are illustrated in the lecture notes, reading lists, bibliographies, class readings, and examinations found in this collection. These records reveal Huntington as a thinker and scholar, illustrate his classroom teaching methods and instruction, and offer a glimpse into the political science and government instruction that students received at Harvard University. In addition, scattered throughout these records are a small number of reading lists and examinations used by Huntington for his government course at Columbia University in the early 1960s.
Huntington’s efforts as a policy analyst and advocate are documented in the Vietnam War files in this collection. Serving as chairman of the Council of Vietnamese Studies of the Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group from 1966 to 1969, an advisory group to the United States Department of State, Agency for International Development, these files illustrate Huntington’s attempts to promote scholarly research on Vietnamese politics and society and provide a forum for the interchange of ideas among Asian specialists. Of particular interest in this group of files is a report written by Huntington for the Department of State entitled, Getting Ready for Political Competition in Vietnam (1969), in which he supports the United States’ basic objective of defeating the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong insurgency but rejects the government’s policy of military pacification, arguing instead for the establishment of a decentralized political system that would encourage political competition among local religious and political organizations, including the Viet Cong. These files also include discussion papers on topics related to the political and administrative development of South Vietnam and Southeast Asia; meeting minutes and conference materials documenting the program activities of the Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group; and news clippings, reprints, articles and reports on the political, cultural, religious, economic and military aspects of the Vietnam War.
This collection also contains a limited amount of biographical records pertaining to Huntington including curriculum vitae, biographical sketches, and interviews and articles; news clippings, meeting programs and notes regarding the arrangements for two conferences held by the Harvard Academy on International and Area Studies (Huntington served as chairman of the Academy from 1996 to 2004); event and travel files documenting Huntington’s participation at conferences, roundtable discussions, workshops and seminars on topics primarily related to global politics and international affairs; and subject files that largely document Huntington’s involvement with the American Political Science Association, Brookings Institution, and Council of Foreign Relations.
Born on April 18, 1927, in New York City, Huntington received his BA from Yale University in 1946, his MA from the University of Chicago in 1949, and his PhD from Harvard University in 1951. He taught at Harvard from 1950 through 1958, and then was Associate Director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University from 1959 to 1962, when he returned to Harvard. During his tenure at Harvard, Huntington served as Chairman of the Harvard Department of Government from 1967 to 1971 and Director of the Center for International Affairs from 1978 to 1989 (renamed the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in 1998). Huntington also served as Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies from 1989 to 2000 and as Chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies from 1996 to 2004.
A prolific writer and researcher, Huntington was the author or editor of over a dozen books and seventy scholarly articles. During the 1950s, Huntington’s research centered on civil-military relations and military policy, helping to create a new field of academic study. In the 1960s, Huntington’s work primarily concerned problems related to political development and political stability in less developed countries undergoing rapid socio-economic modernization. Huntington’s study of the problems of developing countries redirected the focus of scholarly research away from the establishment of ideal governmental systems to the creation of more viable government institutions capable of producing order in society. The violent challenges to the existing political order in the United States in the late 1960s shifted Huntington’s research back to American politics where he focused on the problems of political change in more complex and industrialized societies. Placing events in the context of earlier challenges to American institutions, Huntington discussed the threat of persistent antiauthority trends to American political culture. Huntington’s attention in the 1970s and 1980s shifted back to examinations of the problems facing American national security. In the post-Cold War world in the 1990s, Huntington’s emphasis shifted again to investigations of the global expansion of democracy and to the threats posed to world peace by clashes between the world’s major civilizations. In later years, Huntington’s interests focused on the sources of American political culture and threats to a unified American national identity.
Although Huntington’s main contributions were as a writer and teacher he did play a limited role as a policy analyst and advocate at the highest levels of government. As chairman of the Council of Vietnamese Studies of the Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group (1966-1969), an advisory group to the United States Department of State, Agency for International Development, Huntington supported a negotiated political settlement to end the Vietnam War. Huntington served in the Carter administration as the White House Coordinator of Security Planning for the National Security Council (1977); in the Reagan administration on the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy (1986-1988); and during the Clinton administration on the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy (1995-1997). Additionally, Huntington was a consultant to the Brazilian military government in the 1970s, advising it to liberalize its domestic policies; and was an advisor to the Botha regime in South Africa, supporting the reform of apartheid in the 1980s.
Huntington married Nancy Alice Arkelyan (born 1927) in 1957. The couple had two sons: Timothy Mayo (born 1961) and Nicholas Phillips (born 1965). Huntington died on December 24, 2008.
- Accession 10232 (1984 September 24)
- ___Correspondence, 1958-1981
- ______Loose correspondence, 1959-1975, bulk dates, 1960-1969
- ______Named correspondence, 1958-1981
- ______Pre-1975 correspondence, circa 1950s-1970s
- ___Subject files, 1958-1979
- Accession 14116 (2000 March 7)
- ___Events and travel records, 1982-1989
- ___Agency correspondence, 1982-1989
- ___Correspondence, 1982-1989
- Accession 14175 (2000 July 3)
- ___Vietnam War files, 1958-1975
- Accession 18243 (2010 March 31)
- ___Biographical materials, 1978-2007
- ___Correspondence, 1961-2008
- ______Professional correspondence, 1984-2008
- ______Center for International Affairs, Director's correspondence, 1979-2008
- ______Letters of recommendation, 1961-2008
- ___Harvard University teaching materials, 1945-2006
- ___Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, 1997-2000
- ___Writings by Samuel P. Huntington, 1950-2006
- ___Vietnam War files, 1957-1970
- ___Events and travels, 1990-2008
- ___Reference and resource files, 1905-2006
- Accession 2019.079 (2018 November 27)
- ___General correspondence, 1959-1983
- ___Organizations, circa 1980-1999
- ___Classes, 1982-1991
- ___Personal Correspondence, 1952, 1972, circa 1980s-1990s
- ___Recommendations, circa 1960s-1980s
- ___SPH Early Papers, 1945-1972
- ___Conferences, Events, and Agendas, 1981-1989
- ___NSC [National Security Council] Files, circa 1970-1979
- ___Old Trips, 1959-2004
- ___Course Archives, 1992-1999
The acquisitions are as follows:
- Accession number: 10232; 1984 September 24
- Accession number: 14116; 2000 March 7
- Accession number: 14175; 2000 July 3
- Accession number: 18243; 2010 March 31
- Accession number: 2019.079; 2018 November 27
- Huntington, Samuel P. Samuel P. Huntington personal archive, 1905-2008. Biographical materials, 1978-2007, HUM 178, Box 23. Harvard University Archives.
- Huntington, Samuel P.
- Columbia University.
- Harvard University.
- Harvard University -- Center for International Affairs.
- Harvard University -- Curricula.
- Harvard University -- Government (Field of study)
- Harvard University -- International studies.
- Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group.
- Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
- Authoritarianism -- History -- 20th century.
- Civil supremacy over the military -- United States.
- Comparative government.
- Counterinsurgency -- Vietnam.
- Culture conflict.
- Democracy -- History -- 20th century.
- Democratization -- History -- 20th century.
- East and West.
- Economic development -- Political aspects.
- Idealism, American.
- International relations.
- Intervention (International law)
- Militarism -- United States.
- National characteristics, American.
- National security -- United States.
- Politics and culture.
- Political development.
- Political science.
- Political science -- Philosophy.
- Political stability.
- Security, International.
- September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.
- Social change -- Political aspects.
- Social classes -- United States.
- Soviet Union -- Relations -- United States.
- United States -- Armed Forces.
- United States -- Foreign relations -- Asia.
- United States -- Foreign relations.
- United States -- Foreign relations -- Vietnam.
- United States -- Military policy.
- United States -- Politics and government.
- United States -- Relations -- Soviet Union.
- Vietnam -- Foreign relations -- United States.
- Vietnam (Republic) -- Foreign relations -- United States.
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United States.
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Public opinion -- United States.
- World politics -- 20th century.
Formats and genres
- Black-and-white photographs.
- Color photographs.
- Compact disks.
- Conference proceedings.
- Curriculum vitae.
- Floppy disks.
- Letters of recommendation.
- Newspaper clippings.
- Reference sources.
- Résumés (personnel records)
Description of the Samuel P. Huntington personal archive was supported by the Harvard Library's Hidden Collection initiative.
In preparing this collection, the archivist strove to retain the original arrangement established by Huntington. Processing details are described at the series level below.
Various accessions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each accession is described separately, titled according to month and year of acquisition. Researchers should note that material within each accession overlaps with and/or relates to material found in other accessions.
Processing involved the rehousing of materials in appropriate archival containers, the establishment of series and subseries hierarchy, and the creation of this finding aid. Physical re-arrangement was minimal (restricted materials were placed at the end of the collection).
The container list includes a combination of box and folder level description.
Huntington's original folder titles were retained; any folder titles and dates supplied by the archivist appear in brackets. Huntington's original folders were chiefly retained throughout this collection and paper clips were not removed. In some cases, bound volumes and 3-ring binders stand alone and are not found in folders.
Processing for accession 2019.079 was completed in December 2019 by Dominic P. Grandinetti.
- Huntington, Samuel P. Samuel P. Huntington personal archive, 1905-2008 : an inventory
- EAD ID
Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository
Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA