Collection MF293-MF320 - EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D: US President's diaries, 1953-1961

Key Information

Reference code



EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D: US President's diaries, 1953-1961


  • 1986 (Creation)
  • 1953-1961 (Creation)

Level of description



28 reels and one published guide

Scope and content

The Diaries of Dwight D Eisenhower, 1953-1961, consists of a varied body of microfilmed manuscripts that contain several categories of material, arranged chronologically by month and year. Diary entries and dictated correspondence are filed in folders entitled 'DDE Diary'; 'DDE Personal Diary'; or 'DDE Dictation'. The bulk of actual diary entries falls into the years 1953-1956. Another prominent category is memoranda of telephone conversations with the more detailed conversations dating prior to 1959. The largest body of material is the official White House staff memoranda, reports, correspondence, and summaries of congressional correspondence. These types of documents are found in folders labelled 'Miscellaneous', 'Goodpaster', 'Staff Memos', and after 1957, 'Staff Notes'. Herein are the memoranda of conversations, or 'memcons', prepared by Gen Andrew Jackson Goodpaster, Defense Liaison Officer and Staff Secretary to the President of the United States. From 1956 to the end of the administration, 'Toner Notes' were produced, so named for White House staff member Albert Toner, who with fellow White House Research Group member Christopher Russell, prepared daily intelligence briefings for the President. Material in the collection includes entries relating to Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy and the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg; correspondence with Vice President Richard Milhous Nixon; Prisoners of War exchanges in Korea; rapprochement between Argentina and the US; military aid to Yugoslavia; Eisenhower's 'Atoms for Peace' speech 1953; the situation in Indochina, 1954; the use of psychological warfare in the Third World; relations between the US and the People's Republic of China; France and the European Defence Community; waning British and French colonial ties; the Baghdad Pact, 1955; the Suez Crisis, 1956; US Joint Chiefs of Staff strategic planning in Europe; the Soviet invasion of Hungary, 1956; plans for mutual security arrangements with favoured nations; the Military Assistance Program; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; the African- American civil rights movement; military officer exchanges between Israel and the US; the American, British and Canadian Army Standardization Program; US Department of Defense budgetary matters; the 'Vanguard' satellite program, 1957; nuclear weapons, nuclear strategy and the US-Soviet 'missile gap'. Correspondents include HM King George V; Gen Juan Domingo Peron, president of Argentina; Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy; Rt Hon Sir Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill; Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India; Dr Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; Gen Douglas MacArthur; Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr; Special Assistant to the President Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller; Gen Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle, President of France; Rt Hon (Maurice) Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister of Great Britain; Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers; (David) Dean Rusk, President of the Rockefeller Foundation; John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, 1953-1959; Herbert Hoover, Jr, Under Secretary of State, 1954-1957; Christian Archibald Herter, Under Secretary of State, 1957-1959.

System of arrangement

The series contains a number of different records arranged chronologically by month and year. The nature of the records kept changing over the course of the Eisenhower administration, and the titles of the file folders for each month varied considerably over the eight-year span. There is only one folder, however, that is arranged by subject: the Bricker Amendment folder, which is filed with material from Mar-Apr 1954, contains memoranda and communications dating from Apr 1953-Feb 1957. Within the Eisenhower Diaries file is a sub-section containing documents with which Eisenhower was personally involved as drafter or dictator. These folders were given the various titles 'DDE Diary'; 'DDE Personal Diary'; or 'DDE Dictation'. The 'Diary' and 'Dictation' folders contain letters as well as journal entries. These letters, Eisenhower personally dictated, are to friends, family members, public figures, and members of his administration. Another sub-series in the Eisenhower Diaries file contains records of telephone calls, monitored by his personal secretary, Ann Whitman. Memcons, or memoranda of conversations, are located in files with titles of 'Goodpaster'; 'Staff Notes'; 'Memo on Appointments'; 'Diary Staff Memos'; and 'Miscellaneous'. These files also contain staff memoranda and reports, including minutes of cabinet meetings and conferences; State Department memoranda; appointment schedules; and other incoming correspondence. For the period 1953- 1955 many of these records may be found in the 'DDE Diary' folders. Three other sets of files exists: 'Goodpaster Briefings' or simply 'Briefings'; 'Signatures'; and 'Schedules'. These categories of material are divided into folders that are arranged chronologically. The contents of each folder are arranged in reverse chronological order.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

The Diaries of Dwight D Eisenhower, 1953-1961, are microfilmed copies of US President Dwight David Eisenhower's diaries, 1953-1961. The original diaries were maintained by Ann C Whitman, Eisenhower's personal secretary and principal record keeper for the White House and were part of Eisenhower's personal papers, which were kept separately from the White House Official Files maintained by the permanent White House staff. The entire Ann Whitman file contains aproximately 250,000 pages of documents and records, of which the Eisenhower Diaries file accounts for about 11 percent of that total. The Eisenhower Diaries file is essentially a distillation of the Ann Whitman file and serves as a running account of Eisenhower's actions from 1953-1961. It was designed to serve as the basis for historical accounts both during and after the Eisenhower administration and provided the framework for Eisenhower's memoirs, The White House Years (Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 1963-65).

Custodial history

University Publications of America, Inc., Bethesda, MD, with fully indexed guide co-ordinated by Robert Lester and compiled by Douglas D Newman.

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies may be printed off the microfilm/microfiche for research purposes and are charged at cost.

Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America Inc.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

This collection level description. The following published guide is available in the Reading Room: Robert Lester and Douglas D Newman (ed.), The Diaries of Dwight D Eisenhower, 1953-1961 (University Publications of America, Inc, Bethesda, MD, 1986)

Existence and location of originals

Dwight D Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas, USA

Related descriptions


Compiled Jun 1999

Alternative identifier(s)

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Accession area

Related genres