This record unit consists mostly of files maintained by Benjamin H. Read and James H. Billington during their service as directors of WWICS. A small amount of records were created by Albert Meisel as Acting Director of WWICS. The records document the early history of WWICS and concern fund raising; recruitment of fellows and scholars; the development of WWICS programs; conferences and symposia sponsored by WWICS; and national and international affairs. The record unit includes general correspondence, 1969-1975; outgoing correspondence, 1970-1979; program files, including records dealing with WWICS programs in International Affairs, Environmental Studies, Ocean Studies, and State and Local Government; and voluminous files regarding the WWICS Sustainable Growth Program.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS) was established by Act of Congress on 24 October 1968 to be a "living memorial expressing the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson ... symbolizing and strengthening the fruitful relations between the world of learning and the world of public affairs." The Center was placed within the Smithsonian Institution under the independent administration of a fifteen member Board of Trustees appointed by the President, eight chosen from private life and seven from public positions. Chairmen of the Board of Trustees have included Hubert H. Humphrey, 1969-1972; William J. Baroody, Sr., 1972-1979; and Max M. Kampelman, 1980- . Funding of the Center was derived from both private support and public appropriation. The Center began operations on 19 October 1970, with the opening of its fellowship and guest scholar programs.
Benjamin H. Read was appointed Acting Director of WWICS in March 1969. His title was changed to Director in September 1969, a position which he retained until February 1973. Albert Meisel (Deputy Director of WWICS since 1970) served as Acting Director from February until September 1973, when James H. Billington was appointed Director.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 275, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Office of the Director, Records
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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