Guide to the Harold Saunders papers, 1976-2014 C0259 Harold Saunders papers

Guide to the Harold Saunders papers, 1976-2014 C0259

Harold Saunders papers


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George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center

Fenwick Library, MS2FL
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
speccoll@gmu.edu
URL: https://scrc.gmu.edu

Amanda Brent

Repository
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center
Identification
C0259
Title
Harold Saunders papers1976-2014
URL:
http://sca.gmu.edu/finding_aids/saunders.html
Quantity
15 Linear Feet (40 boxes)
Creator
Saunders, Harold H.
Language
English .
Abstract
Collection consists largely of speeches, meeting transcripts, peace conference documents, newsclippings about Saunders, photographs, and approximately 150 pocket notebooks that he carried with him that include insights from conversations and other experiences that were important to him.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Harold Saunders papers must be obtained from Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions.

Alternate Format Available

Digial versions are available from box 4, folders 1-23, and Box 5, folders 1-14, 16-19, 21-24, and 27-28.

Preferred Citation

Harold Saunders papers, #C0259, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Harold Saunders in 2015.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Amanda Brent in 2017. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in 2017.


Biographical Information

Harold Henry "Hal" Saunders, born in Philadelphia, PA, was founder and Chairman of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) and Director of International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation. For twenty years he worked at the National Security Council (NSC) Staff in the White House (1961 - 1974) and the State Department (1974 - 1981), serving as the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (1975 - 1978) and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs (1978 - 1981.) Saunders was at the center of U.S. policymaking in the Middle East and South Asia, and played major roles in the Camp David Accords and the Iran Hostage Crisis. After leaving his government career in 1981, he developed and practiced the process of Sustained Dialogue, a "public peace process" to transform racial and ethnic conflicts. Saunders was a graduate of both Princeton and Yale Universities, and was a veteran of the United States Air Force. Saunders passed away in 2016.

Scope and Content

The Harold Saunders papers consists largely of speeches, meeting transcripts, newsclippings, photographs, and approximately 150 pocket notebooks that he carried with him that include insights from conversations and other experiences that were important to him. The most unique document is a declassified copy of the key pages of a memo he co-authored with his close colleague Ambassador Alfred LeRoy "Roy" Atherton for Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to send to President Jimmy Carter to begin his preparatory reading for the summit with Egyptian President Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem being held at Camp David in September 1978.

The most revealing sections are those focused on how Carter might have proceeded in bringing Sadat and begin the human dialogue planned for Camp David. There are also professional files includng speeches and congressional testimony from 1976 to 1983, materials on the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979, chapters for an unpublished book on presidential decision-making toward the Middle East, and speeches from 1974-1983. The collection also includes substantial documentation of international meetings, such as 37 analytical memos written after each meeting of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue (1993-2005) which was conducted by three Russian and three American members of the Dartmouth Conference Task Force on Regional Conflicts. Documentation on other meetings include records of twelve meetings over five years of a sustained dialogue involving participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh. This includes records of what was called the Arab-American-European Dialogue, which included five senior Americans government officials, five senior European government officials, and a dozen political reformers from the Arab Islamic heartland (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt). The question of Western democracy and Islam's compatibiltiy was the main focus during this dialogue. Also included are records of a dialogue among Iraqis across the political spectrum on national reconciliation, as well as near verbatim transcripts of meetings of the Dartmouth Conference Regional Conflicts Task Force and - its successor since 2008 - the Task Force on the Russian-U.S. Relationship which began in 1982.

Series 1: Government Career (1930s - 1985) documents Saunder's government career during the 1970s and 1980s, which includes speeches, memoranda, photos, newspaper clippings, and other documents from his tenure on the National Security Council and as a high-ranking offical in the White House during multiple presidential administrations. Topics range from the Camp David Accords, the Iran Hostage Crisis, to Saunders thoughts, opinions, experiences, and actions as an American diplomat.

Series 2: Dartmouth Conference, Peace Dialogues, and Post-Government Career (1970s - 2014) documents Saunders involvement in numerous peace dialogues and experiences after his government career, and is divided into four subseries. Series 2.1: Dartmouth Conference, which includes multiple documents on the annual peace dialogue conference. Series 2.2: Peace Dialogues - Tajikistan, which includes multiple documents on Saunders involvement in the Inter-Tajik Dialogues. Series 2.3: Peace Dialogues - Other, which includes documents on Saunders involvement in other peace dialogues, most notably on the Middle East. Series 2.4: Post-Government Career Work, includes documents and reflections from Saunders on his work after his career in government.

Series 3: Notebooks, Media, and Miscellaneous (1970s - 1990s) includes multiple notebooks and recordings on cassette date on experiences during and after his career in government. Most notable are his plethora of notebooks created during and after both the Camp David Accords and the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically within each series, which is accordingly arranged by series subject.

Missing Title Series 1: Government Career, 1930s - 1985 (Boxes 1 - 8) Series 2: Dartmouth Conference, Peace Dialogues, and Post-Government Career, 1970s - 2014 (Boxes 8 - 27) Series 3: Notebooks, Media, and Miscellaneous, 1970s - 1990s (Boxes 28 - 36)

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center holds several other notable collections on conflict analysis and resolution including the Louise Diamond papers, the James Laue papers, and the John Burton papers. The Kettering Foundation archives also holds Harold Saunders material.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Camp David (Md.)
  • Carter, James Earl, Jr., 1924-
  • Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
  • Conflict management
  • Dartmouth Conference. Dartmouth Conference task forces
  • International relations
  • Iran
  • Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979-1981
  • Iraq
  • Islam
  • Kissinger, Henry, 1923-
  • Middle East
  • Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan).
  • Nixon, Richard
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Reconciliation
  • Saunders, Harold H.
  • Tajikistan

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
  • Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Saunders, Harold H.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Camp David (Md.)
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Middle East
  • Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan).
  • Tajikistan

Container List

An electronic box inventory is unavailable. Please contact speccoll@gmu.edu for more information.
Scope and Content

B04F01-F23 Some items in these folders are available in digital format. B05F01-F14 Some items in these folders are available in digital format. B05F16-F19 Some items in these folders are available in digital format. B05F21-F24 Some items in these folders are available in digital format. B05F27 & F28 Some times in these folders are available in digital format.