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Armstrong (Winifred) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Related Collection(s)

  • Title: Winifred Armstrong papers
    Date (inclusive): 1920-2019
    Collection Number: 2012C52
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 99 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 1 sound recording reel, 1 oversize folder (42.5 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, memoranda, reports, studies, bulletins, and printed matter, relating to political, social and economic conditions in Africa; mining and mineral resources in Africa; American and international business investment in Africa; American foreign policy and developmental assistance in Africa; and environmental issues in Africa.
    Creator: Armstrong, Winifred
    Creator: AMAX, Inc
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2012 with increments in 2015 and 2018.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Winifred Armstrong papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Winifred Armstrong, an American economist, had a longstanding interest in Africa. She was a staff member on the United States Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Africa, chaired by Senator John F. Kennedy, from 1959 to 1960. Subsequently she was employed from 1966 to 1975 as international economist by AMAX, Inc., an international mining corporation with headquarters in New York. There her work focused on AMAX operations in Africa. She is co-author with Theodore Geiger of The Development of African Private Enterprise (New York: National Planning Association, 1964).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Winifred Armstrong Papers in the Hoover Institution Archives are drawn from her work as international economist for AMAX from 1966 to 1975. AMAX (formerly American Metal Climax Corporation) carried out copper mining operations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. Several other corporations were linked with AMAX as associates or subsidiaries. These included the Roan Selection Trust (of which AMAX was part owner, and which operated in Zambia), Botswana RST (its subsidiary in Botswana), the Newmont Mining Corporation and its subsidiaries, the Tsumeb Corporation (in Namibia) and the O'okiep Copper Company (in Namibia and South Africa). The Anglo American Corporation of South Africa partnered with AMAX in ownership of the Roan Selection Trust. In 1969 the Zambian government initiated nationalization of its mineral resources, taking over a 51% interest in the Roan Selection Trust, with AMAX remaining as a minority shareholder. Copper mining operations in Zambia were carried out by the government-controlled Roan Consolidated Mines, Mindeco, and Nchanga Consolidated Mines from 1970 on.
    The 1966-1975 period of Winifred Armstrong's employment with AMAX coincided with the early years of independence of Zambia and Botswana, achieved in 1964 and 1966 respectively. The status of Namibia (then South West Africa) was in dispute throughout this period, with efforts in the United Nations to revoke the governance mandate granted to South Africa in the aftermath of World War I. South Africa itself was under increasing international pressure due to its apartheid policies, as was Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
    The Winifred Armstrong Papers document not only mining industry activities within Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, but also the larger diplomatic, political, economic, and social contexts within which they took place, including issues of foreign investment in newly independent countries, their development strategies, and advocacy of divestment from apartheid regimes. They include numerous bulletins and memoranda written by Winifred Armstrong to keep AMAX officers abreast of changing situations, and notes and memoranda on corporate decisions and deliberations. There is also a large quantity of collected reports, studies and statistics, published and unpublished, from governmental and nongovernmental sources, on political, social and economic conditions in these four countries and also in other countries of Africa during the late colonial and early national periods. A small number of items date after 1975.
    A smaller but significant portion of the collection deals with the AMAX response to growing concerns in the late 1960s and early 1970s regarding the environmental impact of mining operations. It includes documentation of the work of AMAX's Environmental Planning and Protection Committee and its interactions with governmental environmental agencies and nongovernmental environmental advocacy groups.
    The papers of Winifred Armstrong are dispersed. She donated her AMAX papers to the Hoover Institution Archives in 2012. Her papers regarding her work with John F. Kennedy on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Other papers on Africa are in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. Other papers on environmental issues are at the Pace University School of Law. Other papers on economic issues are at the Special Collections Research Center of Temple University. Still other smaller files on these and New York City neighborhood issues are located elsewhere.


    The collection has been arranged in three series: AMAX Office File, 1961-1975, Subject File, 1920-1995, and Audiovisual File, 1969-1973.

    Related Collection(s)

    Winifred Armstrong Personal Papers, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
    Armstrong, Winifred/South Africa, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Sound recordings
    Africa -- Politics and government
    Africa -- Economic conditions
    Africa -- Social conditions
    Economic assistance -- Africa
    Mines and mineral resources -- Zambia
    Environmental protection
    United States -- Foreign relations -- Africa
    Africa -- Foreign relations -- United States
    Mines and mineral resources -- Africa
    Mines and mineral resources -- Botswana
    Mines and mineral resources -- Namibia
    Mines and mineral resources -- South Africa
    Business enterprises -- Africa