The Olive Tree
James Russell Wiggins Papers
Fogler Library is pleased to announce that the papers of James Russell Wiggins (1903-2000) are now available for public use. Wiggins, best known as a managing editor and executive for the Washington Post (1947-1968), had a distinguished career in journalism even before he began his tenure at the Post, having previously worked as an editor at the New York Times (1946), and the St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press (1924-1942, 1945). Wiggins worked as an Army intelligence officer during World War II. After retiring from the Post, Wiggins was the owner and editor of the Ellsworth American.
Because he was a prominent journalist and editor, Wiggins developed relationships with people in many areas of public life, including those formed with the intelligence community during his tenure in Army intelligence. Consequently, his papers contain primary source materials for research on a wide spectrum of political issues, from the Cold War, to the Civil Rights Movement, and Indian Land Claims. He carried on correspondence with presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon; Secretaries of State, Acheson, Dulles, and Rusk; OSS/CIA-Chief, Allen Dulles; Presidential advisors, Clark Clifford, John Mitchell and George McBundy; Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes; and many other prominent figures in domestic politics and foreign policy. He also corresponded with people who were far outside these political circles, such as philosopher, Eric Hoffer, and civil rights activist, Stokely Carmichael. Thus, his papers provide a rich source of documentation on numerous national issues of the twentieth century that are likely to be used by generations of scholars.
Fogler Library received some of the papers from Wiggins in 1984, and received three more shipments of them in subsequent years, collectively totalling 105 cubic feet of papers. These were not fully processed, however, until Fogler Library received a gift from the Wiggins' estate, which enabled it to hire free-lance archivist, Martha Harman, to complete the work on the collection.
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