Nelson A. Rockefeller work
Collection Information

Henry A. Kissinger papers, part II

Call Number

MS 1981

Repository Information

Manuscripts and Archives
Yale University Library

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Nelson A. Rockefeller work
Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open with permission.

Ownership & Copyright

Copyright is retained by Henry A. Kissinger for works he has authored and provided during his lifetime to the Yale University Library. After the lifetime of Dr. Kissinger, all intellectual property rights, including without limitation all copyrights, in and to the works authored by Dr. Kissinger pass to Yale University, with the exception of all intellectual property rights, including without limitation all copyrights, motion picture and/or audio rights in and to his books, interviews and any films that will be retained by Dr. Kissinger’s heirs and assigns. Copyright status for collection materials other than those authored by Dr. Kissinger is unknown.

Except for the limited purposes allowed by the Yale University Library Guide to Using Special Collections, exploitation, including without limitation the reproduction, distribution, adaption, or display of Dr. Kissinger’s works protected by the U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. §101 et seq.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain shall not be commercially exploited without permission of Dr. Kissinger, the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Nelson A. Rockefeller work, 1954–1968. Henry A. Kissinger Papers, Part II (MS 1981). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.
Existence and Location of Originals

Originals of documents marked with an [LC] in the upper right-hand corner are at the Library of Congress.

Scope and Contents

The Rockefeller files document Kissinger’s work for Nelson A. Rockefeller between 1955 and 1968, most notably on the Special Studies Project and as a foreign policy consultant. The Special Studies Project was organized and funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 1956. The project was composed of a number of different of panels, each of which studied a specific area of national policy: foreign policy, international security, foreign economic policy, domestic economic policy, education or the social aspects of democracy. The project published the findings of its panels in 1961 as a book titled Prospect for America. Kissinger served as director of the project until his resignation in June 1958, after which he served as a consultant for the project. Nelson A. Rockefeller was the chairman of the project until May 1958. Most of the materials in this section are dated between 1955 and 1958. The administrative files include memoranda, correspondence, meeting notes, reports, outlines of the report and its panels and lists of participants. There are also background papers, which were used as the foundation of the panel reports.

The two gubernatorial papers sections span Rockefeller’s first three terms as governor of New York and his failed presidential nomination bids in 1964 and 1968. During this period, Kissinger worked as a foreign policy consultant for Rockefeller. Although most of the foreign policy consulting Kissinger did for Rockefeller concerned Rockefeller’s presidential campaigns, some of the material was used for speeches or other work not clearly associated with the presidential contests. No attempt has been made to distinguish Rockefeller’s gubernatorial papers and campaign materials from presidential campaign materials (nor is it clear that Rockefeller’s staff did so).

For the papers dated between 1959 and 1964, administrative files include Rockefeller’s calendars, Kissinger’s expense reports and reimbursements and other materials pertaining to the running of the research unit responsible for creating much of Rockefeller’s foreign policy background material. The correspondence files primarily consist of Kissinger’s correspondence with Rockefeller and other members of Rockefeller’s staff, but they also include copies of letters Kissinger drafted for Rockefeller. The position papers document the evolution of Rockefeller’s position on a variety of domestic and foreign issues over the course of his first term as governor of New York. The speeches document Rockefeller’s speaking engagements during his first term. They include correspondence about Rockefeller’s speeches and other public appearances, speech transcripts and drafts, as well as background material Kissinger or others may have used while writing Rockefeller’s speeches and public statements. The study papers heading contains the papers commissioned by Kissinger for Nelson A. Rockefeller after he became governor of New York in 1959. Commissioned from subject experts on a wide variety of foreign and domestic policy issues, these files contain both the papers themselves and correspondence with the authors and Rockefeller staff involved in the project. The subject binders consist of background material that was originally housed in a run of numbered binders created by Rockefeller’s research staff. They mainly cover foreign affairs and national defense topics, and they are arranged in their original number order. The subject files contain background papers, reports and memoranda prepared by Kissinger and Rockefeller’s research unit staff.

Most of the materials in the section for the years 1965 to 1968 date from 1967 and 1968. The correspondence files primarily consist of Kissinger’s correspondence with Rockefeller, members of his staff, other Rockefeller consultants and Kissinger’s research assistants. They also contain copies of letters Kissinger drafted for Rockefeller, as well as copies of Rockefeller’s correspondence with others that were given to Kissinger for either reply or general information. The Kennedy family files contain press clippings and copies of public statements made by members of the Kennedy family, primarily John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. Many of the clippings pertain to Robert F. Kennedy’s successful New York Senate campaign in 1964, and seem to have been compiled by the incumbent Kenneth Keating’s staff, although there are also materials that are dated after the race. These files are included here, even though the John F. Kennedy materials are dated from the early 1960s, because the materials were all filed together at the time of donation. The meetings files contain background material, correspondence and summaries pertaining to Rockefeller’s meetings with various foreign policy experts and foreign dignitaries during his 1968 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The platform comparison files consist of comparisons of Rockefeller’s platforms on a variety of issues with the other possible 1968 Republican nominees, including Hubert Humphrey, Robert F. Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, as well as with those of the Republican Party. In addition, there are also comparisons of Rockefeller’s Vietnam platform with the policies of Robert McNamara and Dean Rusk.