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Register of the David Benjamin Bolen Papers
2003C94  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: David Benjamin Bolen papers
    Date (inclusive): 1944-2001
    Collection number: 2003C94
    Creator: Bolen, David Benjamin, 1923-
    Extent: 41 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box (18 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Speeches and writings, correspondence, dispatches, memoranda, reports, clippings, and photographs, relating to American relations with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and East Germany.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Microfilm use only. Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], David Benjamin Bolen papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired.

    Alternative Form Available

    Also available on microfilm (32 reels).

    Accruals

    Increments may have been received since this finding aid was prepared. Please check Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat  to find the full extent of the collection.

    Biographical Note

    1923 Born, Heflin, Louisiana
    1948 Member of United States Olympic Team, participates in London games
    1950 M.S., University of Colorado
    1950-1952 Vice Consul, U.S. Embassy, Monrovia, Liberia
    1952-1954 Economic Assistant, U.S. Embassy, Karachi, Pakistan
    1955-1958 International Economist, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
    1958-1959 Afghanistan Desk Officer, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
    1960 M.P.A., Harvard University
    1960-1962 Chief of Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Accra, Ghana
    1962-1964 Staff Assistant, Secretary of State for African Affairs, Washington, D.C.
    1965-1966 Officer-in-Charge, Nigerian Affairs, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
    1967-1972 Economic Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Bonn, West Germany
    1972-1974 Economic/Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
    1974-1976 U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland
    1976-1977 Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Washington, D.C.
    1977-1980 U.S. Ambassador to the German Democratic Republic, East Berlin
    1981-1989 Associate Director, International Affairs, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.
    1989-1994 International business consultant
    1997 Distinguished Business Service Award, University of Colorado, Boulder

    Scope and Content Note

    Acquired in 2003, the David B. Bolen collection in the Hoover Institution Archives documents the long and distinguished career of an American diplomat whose service included ambassadorships in southern Africa and East Germany. The collection consists primarily of official correspondence and reports relating to these and other postings in Bolen's diplomatic career; it also includes materials pertaining to his subsequent work for the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.
    The collection has significant materials relating to bilateral diplomacy between the United States and the German Democratic Republic, and to East-West relations in general during the Carter administration, including tensions arising from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. There are reports and official correspondence concerning Bolen's conduct of negotiations leading to a consular agreement between the U.S. and GDR, and numerous documents regarding disputes and incidents stemming from the divided status of Berlin during the latter part of the Cold War. The collection also has extensive materials pertaining to internal developments within the GDR, including the East German government's treatment of dissident artists and writers.
    Expanding American exports to East Germany was a high priority of Bolen's ambassadorship, and economic issues figure prominently in the collection as a whole. In particular, there are accounts of American participation in trade fairs in Leipzig. There are also photographs and other materials relating to Bolen's meetings with East German leaders on such occasions, including the head of state, Erich Honecker.
    The Bolen collection is equally rich in documentation on political and economic affairs in southern Africa during the 1970s and 1980s. The collection includes correspondence and reports from Bolen's tenure as United States Ambassador to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, and extensive materials relating to South Africa from Bolen's career with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. The collection has extensive correspondence and reports on the implementation of the Sullivan principles by foreign companies doing business in South Africa, and on opposition inside that country, and internationally, to the apartheid system.
    The collection also contains a selection of speeches and remarks made by Ambassador Bolen over the course of his diplomatic and business careers, most of which deal with African and East German issues. There are also biographical materials, including accounts of Bolen's early prominence as an Olympic athlete. Throughout the collection are interspersed documents that record Bolen's own thoughts on American foreign policy, as well as his views on civil rights and his experiences as a prominent African-American official in the diplomatic service of the United States.
    As far as possible, the original arrangement of the collection, as established by Ambassador Bolen, has been preserved.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    United States--Foreign relations--South Africa.
    South Africa--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States--Foreign relations--Botswana.
    Botswana--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States--Foreign relations--Lesotho.
    Lesotho--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States--Foreign relations--Swaziland.
    Swaziland--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States--Foreign relations--Germany (East)
    Germany (East)--Foreign relations--United States.
    United States--Foreign relations.
    South Africa.
    Botswana.
    Lesotho.
    Swaziland.
    Africa.
    Germany.

    Occupations

    Diplomats--United States.