Inventory of the Richard T. Davies papers

Finding aid prepared by Maciej Siekierski and Zbigniew Stanczyk
Hoover Institution Library and Archives
© 2007
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6003

Title: Richard T. Davies papers
Date (inclusive): 1952-2004
Collection Number: 2006C16
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 17 manuscript boxes (6.8 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Speeches and writings, interview transcripts, correspondence, printed matter, and photographs, relating to American foreign policy and especially to relations between the United States and Poland.
Creator: Davies, Richard T. (Richard Townsend), 1920-2005
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & 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 Library & Archives.

Acquisition Information

The collection was acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2005.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Richard T. Davies Papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

Biography / Administrative History

Richard T. Davies was U.S. ambassador to Poland from 1973 to 1978. Davies, who joined the Foreign Service in 1947, spent his first two years in Poland as a consular and political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw. His later assignments included counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, director of the U.S. Information Agency for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs from 1970 to 1972.
During his five years as ambassador to Poland, Davies worked on trade issues and helped arrange state visits by Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. He also met frequently with members of the nascent democratic opposition movement against the communist-led Polish government, as well as with Catholic cardinals Stefan Wyszynski and Karol Wojtyla. The special relationship with Cardinal Wojtyla of Cracow, the future pope John Paul II, that Ambassador Davies helped establish turned out to be particularly valuable for the United States in the waning years of the cold war, during President Reagan's showdown with the Soviets. Ambassador Davies's tenure in Warsaw also coincided with a successful penetration of Soviet defenses by U.S. intelligence, the result of the services rendered the United States, the West, and NATO by Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, who during 1972-81 turned over to the Central Intelligence Agency some 30,000 Soviet documents containing the plans of the Warsaw Pact for the invasion of Western Europe and, in 1980-1981, its plans for the invasion of Poland to suppress Solidarity. Richard Davies retired as director of the State Department's human intelligence office in Washington in 1980.
After retirement, Ambassador Davies chaired the Solidarity Endowment, a U.S. group supporting the Polish workers' movement. From 1990 to 1998, he participated in Partners for Democratic Change, an international organization founded to foster civil societies and institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. He also contributed frequently to op-ed pages. Davies died in Washington in 2005.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Richard T. Davies Papers contain speeches and writings, interview transcripts, correspondence, printed matter, and photographs, relating to American foreign policy and especially to relations between the United States and Poland.
Included among the papers is an extensive transcript of an oral history interview that covers Davies' entire Foreign Service career. The papers also document Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski's achievements and Davies' efforts to assist him after his escape to the United States. Kuklinski turned thousands of critical Soviet documents over to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

United States -- Foreign relations -- Poland
Poland -- Foreign relations -- United States
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989
Diplomats -- United States
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1989-
United States. Department of State


General 1952-1996

box 1


box 2


box 3


box 4


box 5


box 6


box 7


box 8

Back to the Future Seminars

box 8

Oral history transcripts 1947-1980

box 9

Kuklinski, Ryszard

box 10

Kuklinski, Ryszard


Religion in Communist Dominated Areas 1982-1992

box 11


box 12



Subject File

box 13

Cold war

box 13

Cuban missile crisis

box 13

Ethics in government seminar

box 13

Evergreen Society 1980-1991

box 13

Galanskov, case of

box 14

Gore, Albert

box 14

Kronstadt thesis

box 14

NATO expansion

box 15

Polish crisis 1980-1982

box 15


box 15

Soviet Jewish emigration

box 16

State and party

box 16

Warsaw 1977-1978

box 16


box 17


box 17