You are here

H. Freeman Matthews Papers

The H. Freeman Matthews Papers contain correspondence, photographs, miscellaneous papers and family films, as well as a draft of the memoirs that Matthews wrote after his retirement and published privately under the title “Memoirs of a Passing Era” (circa 1972). The majority of the papers were kept for personal reasons, including the correspondence between Matthews and his first wife Elizabeth “Frisk” Matthews (1900-1955) and his sons Freeman (“Free”) and Thomas (“Tim”) Matthews.When Matthews was approached by Boston University Libraries in 1964 he declined to deposit his papers, writing that they would only be of interest to his family but not to historians or research students. “I kept no diary or journal during my forty years in the Foreign Service, and all my reports whether in the form of official dispatches, memoranda, telegrams or personal letters to individuals officials (sic) on subjects of possible “national” interest or bearing are in the archives of the Department of State and in very rare cases have I retained any copies.” (Matthews to Richard Gotlieb, Boston University Libraries, 10 December 1964)When writing his memoirs, however, Matthews was aware of their historical value. He used his correspondence with his wife, sons, his father-in-law Thomas Luke, friends, and superiors for reference in his memoirs. In addition, the correspondence series includes exchanges with researchers and students who sought Matthew's help and recollections for research about World War II, as well as the Cold War.