Morison, Harvard Historian, Aids Roosevelt to Form Plans for President's New Home Library
Frankfurter, MacLeish Also On Committee to Care For FDR's Papers
Samuel E. Morison '08, professor of History and Harvard's official historian, returns from Washington today after seeing the fruition of a plan on which he and President Roosevelt '04 collaborated for several weeks.
The plan, revealed Saturday and described at the President's press conference as "the greatest human interest story in the last six years," calls for the turning over to the Federal Government of the Roosevelt Hyde Park estate and the construction of a building to house the President's papers for the use of posterity's scholars.
Two other members of the Harvard Faculty, besides Morison, have been chosen to serve on the committee dealing with the plan. They are Felix Frankfurter, Byrne Professor of Administrative Law, and Archibald M. MacLeish, Curator of the Nieman Journalism Collection. The committee in all consists of 18 historians, writors, and friends of the President.
Morison at Press Conference
In giving out his "greatest human interest story in the last six years" (or at least since last Monday's announcement that James Roosevelt will assist Samuel Goldwyn in the movies), the President called on Harvard's Morison to give his opinion of the plan.
"It will be the first complete and intact collection of records ever available to historians as it has been the custom of Presidents to take their papers with them," Morison told the newsmen (who were eagerly awaiting the human interest). He added that "the Roosevelt papers will pass under the control of the committee, the archivist of the United States, and the Librarian of Congress, and would be available to historians and scholars immediately."
Widener Not Unhappy
President Roosevelt himself said, "Because these papers relate to so many periods and activities which are not connected with my service in the Federal Government, I do not wish to break them up, leaving a portion of them to the National Archives and dividing the rest between the State of New York Archives, the New York State Historical Society, the Harvard College Library, the Duchess County Historical Society, etc."
The President mentioned that Harvard University and other historical societies would "probably be glad to have the whole collection intact" but declared that he had definitely resolved on his Hyde Park plan.
Widener officials last night were not perturbed that they were coming out on the short end of the stick by the President's plan. Robert H. Haynes, Director of Circulation, told the CRIMSON that he had always expected the whole collection of Roosevelt papers to go to the Library of Congress.