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William Pfaff Papers

Identifier: MSN/MN 10026

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the personal and professional papers of journalist William Pfaff. Pfaff’s professional materials include his writings from each stage of the writing process, such as research notes, drafts, proofs, and published materials. The collection also contains conference materials and speeches, financial records, and materials from Pfaff’s work at the Hudson Institute, a non-profit research center on public policy. Also included are Pfaff’s personal papers which consist of correspondence, agendas, photographs, and Notre Dame memorabilia. Significant topics include journalism, American foreign policy, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, terrorism, communism, Soviet relations, and American and European history. Materials include clippings, newspapers, magazines, drafts, manuscripts, research, pamphlets, speeches, lectures, journals, reports, correspondence, financial records, contracts, agendas, address books, photographs, and electronic records.


  • Creation: 1942-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1965-2015


Conditions Governing Access

Folders 132, 702-704, and 707-709 are restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply, please consult the appropriate curator.

Biographical / Historical

William Pfaff (1928-2015) was a foreign affairs journalist and author. Pfaff was born in Iowa and earned a B.A. in English literature and political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1949. He travelled extensively through southeast Asia while serving in the Special Forces during the Korean War before eventually settling permanently in Paris, France. Pfaff was the Assistant Editor of Commonweal Magazine (1949-1955), writer at ABC News (1955-1957), and Deputy Director of the Hudson Institute’s European Affiliate (1971-1978). As a freelance journalist, Pfaff wrote for the International Herald Tribune, New Yorker Magazine, Harper’s, and others. Pfaff is also the author of seven books and co-author of three books with Edmund Stillman.


25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials




This collection is arranged into seven series: I. Writings; II. Conference Materials, Speeches, and Course Materials; III. The Hudson Institute; IV. Correspondence; V. Financial Records; VI. Personal Papers; and VII. Electronic Resources. Series I, II, III, V, and VI are arranged chronologically. Series IV is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

William Pfaff Papers
Under Revision
Hannah E. Sabal
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556