Robert Shaplen papers, 1932-1988 (bulk 1941-1988)

Shaplen, Robert, 1917-1988

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Format Mixed Materials; Sound Recordings; Photos, Drawings, Prints
  • Physical Details
    • 38.0 c.f. (22 record center cartons, 30 archives boxes, 1 card box and 3 flat boxes)
    • 1 disc recording, and
    • 0.4 c.f. (301 photographs in 1 archives box)
  • OCLC ocn173705139, ocn173692793
  • Finding Aids
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  • COPYRIGHT RESTRICTION: Copyright is retained by the Shaplen Estate.


  • Papers, 1932-1988 (mainly 1941-1988), of Robert M. Shaplen, a foreign correspondent and writer for The New Yorker best known for his analytical reporting on the Vietnam War. The papers consist of general and family correspondence, drafts and printed articles, typed research notes, and reference material. Much of the foreign reporting concerns Vietnam, but there are also files about Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. These files include interviews, speeches, unclassified U.S. government documents, official English-language press releases issued by foreign governments, news stories, and academic papers. The papers also document Shaplen's involvement with American Friends of Vietnam, a Ford Foundation program for Southeast Asian writers, reporting for Newsweek during World War II, and draft and printed copies of freelance fiction and nonfiction.
  • Primary material of various types relates to foreign leaders such as Benigno Aquino, Bảo Đại, Kim Dae Jung, Ferdinand Marcos, Mao Zedong, Norodom Sihanouk, Souvanna Phouma, Abdul Razak, Nguyẽ̂n Văn Thiệu, and Lee Kuan Yew; prominent Americans include Henry Kissinger, Edward Lansdale, and Richard Nixon and journalists Bernard Krisher, Douglas Pike, and William Shawn. Other subjects of his non-fiction writing include Arthur Goldberg, Ivar Kreuger, and David Newsom and topics such as the Japanese Lockheed bribery scandal, the Peace Corps in the Philippines during the early 1960s, and the McKesson & Robbins financial scandal of the 1930s.
  • The photographs document post-Tet destruction in Hue and the Huk rebellion in the Philippines. Many of these photographs are available online as part of the Wisconsin Historical Images database. The disc is a recording of the Cambodian national anthem.
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