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Scope and Content Note
Title: David Benjamin Bolen papers
Date (inclusive): 1944-2001
Collection Number: 2003C94
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
Language of Material:
41 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box
(18.0 Linear Feet)
Abstract: Speeches and writings, correspondence, dispatches, memoranda, reports, clippings, and photographs, relating to American relations
with South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and East Germany.
Bolen, David Benjamin, 1923-
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives
Originals closed. Microfilm use only; materials must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
[Identification of item], David Benjamin Bolen papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Alternative Form Available
Also available on microfilm (32 reels).
||Born, Heflin, Louisiana
||Member of United States Olympic Team, participates in London games
||M.S., University of Colorado
||Vice Consul, U.S. Embassy, Monrovia, Liberia
||Economic Assistant, U.S. Embassy, Karachi, Pakistan
||International Economist, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
||Afghanistan Desk Officer, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
||M.P.A., Harvard University
||Chief of Economic Section, U.S. Embassy, Accra, Ghana
||Staff Assistant, Secretary of State for African Affairs, Washington, D.C.
||Officer-in-Charge, Nigerian Affairs, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
||Economic Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Bonn, West Germany
||Economic/Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
||U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland
||Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Washington, D.C.
||U.S. Ambassador to the German Democratic Republic, East Berlin
||Associate Director, International Affairs, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.
||International business consultant
||Distinguished Business Service Award, University of Colorado, Boulder
Scope and Content Note
Acquired in 2003, the David B. Bolen collection in the Hoover Institution Library & 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.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Diplomats -- United States
South Africa -- Foreign relations -- United States
United States -- Foreign relations -- South Africa
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