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Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Carl Kaysen records

Scope and Contents

This collection contains professional and personal files of former Institute for Advanced Study Director Carl Kaysen. The files include correspondence, speeches, publications, and subject files created and accumulated by Kaysen during his tenure as Director. The materials date from approximately 1948 to 1976.


  • 1946-1976

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are welcome to publish, reproduce, and use the Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center’s holdings in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law. Under the Fair Use doctrine, users may freely reproduce materials for personal research, teaching, and/or scholarship. Under the same doctrine, users may cite or publish selected passages and/or quotations for comment and criticism. In accordance to U.S. Copyright Law, researchers seeking to reproduce and/or publish materials in the entirety and/or for commercial purposes will require the permission of the copyright holder.

The Institute for Advanced Study holds the copyright to materials generated by Institute employees over the course of their work for the Institute. Where the Institute for Advanced Study holds the copyright, researchers are free to reproduce materials for one-time, non-commercial purposes. For all other cases, researchers are responsible for contacting the Archives Center to request permission at: For all materials for which the Institute is not the copyright holder, researchers that choose to pursue publication and/or reproduction are responsible for determining the individual who does hold the copyright and requesting permission directly from that individual. Researchers with questions regarding the reproduction or use of archival materials can contact the Archives Center to request help at:

Biographical / Historical

Carl Kaysen (1920-2010) served as the Institute for Advanced Study’s fourth Director from 1966 to 1976, overseeing a decade of growth and change.Kaysen, born in 1920 in Philadelphia, earned his M.S. in 1947 and Ph.D. in 1954 from Harvard University, where he became Professor of Economics in 1957.

Kaysen became a member of the White House Staff in January, 1961. On November 30, 1961 he was appointed assistant to McGeorge Bundy for military and strategic matters with the official titles Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. As a specialist on nuclear disarmament and European policy Dr. Kaysen was included in the July, 1963 Harriman mission to the Moscow three power (United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union) talks on banning nuclear weapons testing. Dr. Kaysen provided analysis and advice on many of the crucial national and international issues facing the Kennedy Administration including Berlin, the Congo, the China/India border clash and civil defense. He was often called upon for economic advice.

Kaysen was hired by the Institute for Advanced Study in 1966 to help broaden its academic scope to include topics relevant to contemporary society. One of the ways Kaysen fulfilled this mandate was to create the School of Social Science, which began as the Program for Social Change in 1968 and was formalized in 1973 as the Institute’s fourth School, in addition to the Schools of Historical Studies, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences. In 1970, Kaysen appointed the Program’s first Professor, the anthropologist Clifford Geertz, who influenced generations of scholars in interpretive social science. Kaysen himself served as a Professor in the School, along with Albert O. Hirschman, a development economist appointed in 1974.

During his tenure, Kaysen sought to strengthen the institution’s financial standing and independence and enhanced the Institute’s endowment by $8 million. Major enhancements were made to the Institute’s campus during Kaysen’s tenure, including the construction of the Dining Hall, which continues to serve as an important daily gathering place for the entire Institute community, and the West Building, which houses the School of Social Science, as well as scholars affiliated with the School of Historical Studies. While Director, Kaysen served as a Professor in the School of Historical Studies from 1966-73, before becoming Professor in the School of Social Science.

In 1976, Kaysen joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as director of MIT's Program in Science, Technology and Society from 1981 until his death in 2010.


47 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Carl Kaysen records contain the administrative files of former Director Carl Kaysen. Materials date from 1946-1976.


These records are arranged into the following five subgroups: Speeches, Correspondence, Subject Files, Writing and Publications, and Appointment Diaries and Calendars.

Processing Information

Upon reciept, archivists rehoused materials into acid-free containers for long-term storage and preservation. During processing, archivists arranged materials into subgroups according to format.

Guide to the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). Director's Office. Carl Kaysen records
Casey Westerman compiled this finding aid.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
This finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2022-01-14: Caitlin Rizzo revised this finding aid to comply with DACS standards and revised the record group title.