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William M. Leary Collection on H. Alexander Smith


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

Leary, William M. (William Matthew), 1934-2006

William M. Leary (1934-2006) was a historian who specialized in the history of aviation. He earned his doctorate in history from Princeton University in 1966, working under the historian Arthur S. Link. Leary's doctoral thesis on the politician H. Alexander Smith, titled Smith of New Jersey: A Biography of H. Alexander Smith, United States Senator From New Jersey, 1944-1959, was published as a book in 1976. During his career, Leary taught at Princeton, San Diego University, the University of Victoria in Canada, and finally at the University of Georgia at Athens, where he worked for thirty-two years.

The collection is composed of materials that William Leary consulted in the process of writing his doctoral thesis on H. Alexander Smith, along with a manuscript of his thesis and materials related to Leary himself. The consulted materials include a small amount of Smith's correspondence and writings and a syllabus from a politics class he taught at Princeton University in 1929. Other materials pertaining to Smith include recollections of Smith written by his family members and his executive assistant; date books from the years 1918 and 1919, kept by an unidentified associate of Smith's in the Commission for Relief in Belgium and the Food Administration; printed materials from some of the World War I-era relief organizations Smith was involved with; and four photographs of Smith, including one inscribed to Leary. Some of the materials created by or related to Smith were given to Leary by members of Smith's family via his professor, Arthur S. Link.

In addition to a manuscript of his doctoral thesis, other documents in the collection pertaining to William Leary include correspondence written to him between 1976-1979, mostly but not exclusively related to his Smith biography, and publicity materials for his published book, Smith of New Jersey (1976).

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

This collection was donated by Margaret Leary, William M. Leary's wife, in 2016. The accession number associated with this donation is ML.2016.013.

This collection was processed by Rachel Van Unen in 2016 at the time of accessioning. Some materials were placed into archival housing and all materials were described in a collection-level finding aid.

No materials were separated from this collection.

Public Policy Papers
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

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, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Collection Inventory

William M. Leary Collection on H. Alexander Smith, 1918-1979. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

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