Handlin Ends Work on Oral JFK History
The project to make an oral history of the Kennedy Administration has been transferred to Washington and its director will no longer be a member of the Harvard faculty.
Last spring, the Carnegie Corporation gave $300,000 for the project and named Oscar Handlin, Winthrop Professor of History, to head a committee which would direct interviews with the late President's intimate friends, advisors, and selected public officials.
The Handlin committee was to oversee the first phase of the oral history, which would be a series of spontaneous interviews with those close to the President The committee was then to write a report, detailing the project's second phase, which was to be a more systematic account of the Kennedy years.
After several months of interviewing, the Handlin committee wrote its report, recommending that the whole project be transferred to Washington to be near the majority of its subjects. As a result, the Carnegie funds have recently been real-located to the Federal government, the project has been moved to the National Archives in Washington, and Charles T. Morrissey, former staff member of the Harry S. Truman Library, has replaced Handlin as director of the oral record.
Despite the changes, Harvard will still be connected with the project. Handlin, Dean Ford, and Richard E. Neustadt, Director of the Kennedy Institute, will be on a committee to oversee the oral history.
In an interview yesterday, Handlin said that Phase I of the project had gone more slowly than planned but was nearly finished. The entire project should be complete in four or five years, and will be permanently located in the Kennedy Library