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Paul R. Sweet Papers


Held at: Princeton University Library: Public Policy Papers [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Public Policy Papers. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections


Paul Robinson Sweet (1907-2003) was born in 1907 in Willow Grove, PA. His family moved to Greencastle, IN in 1913. Sweet continued to reside in Indiana until he graduated from DePauw University in 1929, after which time he studied as a rector fellow at universities in Goettingen and Munich. Sweet initially enrolled as a graduate student in the history department at the University of Chicago, but would eventually receive his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1934. His thesis was later published as the book Friedrich Von Gentz, Defender of the Old Order (1941). Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Sweet taught European history at Bates College, Birmingham-Southern College, Colby College, and the University of Chicago.

From 1943-1945, Sweet was a political intelligence officer for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Research and Analysis (R and A) branch. Sweet served with the OSS in London, Salzburg, Paris, Italy, and Washington, D.C. For much of Sweet's service with the OSS, he worked on intelligence concerning Austria, at one point serving as the head of the R and A's Central European section in London. Sweet also worked for the Psychological Warfare Branch of the Twelfth Army Group, where his main duty was to create a series of political intelligence reports based on interviews with German civilians.

From 1952-1958, Sweet worked for the U.S. State Department as editor-in-chief on the 19-volume Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, a historical editing project sponsored jointly by the British and French governments. From February 1959-November 1963, he served at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, and from 1963-1967 he was U.S. Consul General in Stuttgart. From 1968 until at least 1974, he taught history at Michigan State University. Sweet's other publications include The Tragedy of Austria (1948) and Wilhelm von Humboldt: a Biography, 1767-1808 (1978).

Sweet died on November 5, 2003 in Philadelphia at the age of 96.

The majority of the collection relates to Paul R. Sweet's professional life, especially his service in the Research and Analysis (R and A) branch of the OSS during World War II. News clippings on Sweet's work, typescripts of his diaries, correspondence, declassified personnel files, and official reports and drafts Sweet authored or co-wrote for the OSS provide insights into the specifics of Sweet's work and the work of his colleagues. These documents also speak more broadly to the attitudes of the German population during the war. Many of the materials related to Sweet's OSS service are annotated with Sweet's commentary on the documents, written sometime after the war. Sweet's application for federal employment is also included.

To a lesser extent, the collection contains correspondence and Sweet's typewritten memoir from his tenure serving as U.S. Consul General in Stuttgart in the 1960s, as well as interviews he gave on his teaching career. Correspondence between Sweet and numerous friends and colleagues from the late 1970s-1990s is also included. Most of the correspondence pertains to Sweet's work as a historian and to German philosophy and history more generally, though Sweet's correspondence with several authors and historians details Sweet's service in the OSS.

The collection also contains materials that document Sweet's relationships with his family. These materials include correspondence from Paul R. Sweet to his brother and sister-in-law, JoAnne and William W. Sweet, Jr., and correspondence from historian William W. Sweet, son of Paul R. and Kathryn Sweet, to his parents and his sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and Gerald Rosen. In these letters, Paul and William Sweet comment on U.S. and world politics in the 1970s-1990s and give accounts of their personal lives. There are also a small number of photographs of the Sweets and their various homes.

The order in which these materials came to Princeton has been maintained.

This collection was donated by Gerald Rosen, Paul R. Sweet's son-in-law, in 2014. The accession number associated with this donation is ML.2014.016.

This collection was processed by Rachel Van Unen in 2014 at the time of accessioning. Some materials were placed into archival housing and all materials were described in a collection-level finding aid.

Materials related to the genealogy of the Sweet family were separated from the collection.

Public Policy Papers
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to Princeton University and researchers are free to move forward with use of materials without anything further from Mudd Library. For materials not created by the donor, where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. In these instances, researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Paul R. Sweet Papers, 1944-1999. 2 boxes.
Physical Description

2 boxes

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