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Collection Robert Lansing Papers

About this Collection

The private memoranda, desk diaries, and notes, 1915-1922, of diplomat and lawyer Robert Lansing (1864-1928) consist of 22 volumes (3,090 images) located in containers 63-67 of a larger collection of Lansing papers available for research use onsite in the Library of Congress Manuscript Reading Room. They were digitized from 3 reels of previously produced microfilm. The entire collection spans the years 1831-1935, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1914-1920, when Lansing served as counsellor for the Department of State (1914-1915) and as secretary of state (1915-1920), with a focus on World War I and Lansing's participation in the American commission to negotiate peace. The collection also documents the gradual rift between him and President Woodrow Wilson which eventually culminated in his resignation in 1920, the Lusitania affair, the Mexican crisis, the arming of merchant shipping, the Irish rebellion, the purchase of the Danish West Indies, relations with Japan and China, and Latin America and the proposed Pan American Pact. Many of these subjects are also found in this digitized subset of Lansing's papers.

The Private Memoranda, 1915-1922, consisting of both originals handwritten in journals and typescripts of the originals, include personal accounts of cabinet meetings, character sketches and impressions of people with whom he dealt, and detailed descriptions of the peace conference negotiations in 1919 in Paris. Topical indexes to the memoranda can be found at the front of each folder of typescripts (1915, Apr. 15-1918, Dec. 30; 1919, Jan. 2-Dec. 27; and 1920, Jan. 1-1922, May 23). The page numbers in the indexes refer to the typescript copies.

The Desk Diaries and Notes, 1914-1920, contain notations and descriptions of Lansing's daily activities. During periods when he was abroad, the entries tend to be more descriptive and personal in nature.

A current finding aid (PDF and HTML) to the Robert Lansing Papers is available online with links to the digital content on this site.