Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Vardaman, Elsey, and Hoying
August 7, 1945. The Naval Aide to President Harry S. Truman, Captain James K. Vardaman (center) and two members of the Map Room staff, Lieutenant George M. Elsey (left) and Ship's Clerk Edwin L. Hoying, aboard the U.S.S. Augusta on the return trip from the Potsdam Conference. Photo: U.S. Navy. Source: Truman Library Collection, The President's trip to Potsdam, Album #2.
 

Harry S. Truman Papers
Staff Member and Office Files:
Map Room File

Date Span: 1945 - 1946

The White House Map Room was established in January 1942, under the supervision of the Naval Aide to the President, as a military information center and communication office for the President. Security-classified military and diplomatic messages sent to the White House by the State, War and Navy Departments and by foreign governments were filed in the Map Room. The Truman Library's Map Room File, which completes the much larger file group at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, covers the period from April 12, 1945 through January 1946.

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ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: .8 linear feet (ca. 1,100 pages)
Access: Open
Copyright: Mr. Truman donated his copyright interest in any of his writings in this collection to the people of the United States. In addition, documents prepared by United States Government employees in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in documents outside of this category is presumed to remain with the writers of the documents.
Processed by: Dennis Bilger (1974)
Reprocessed by: Cynthia G. Edwards and David Clark (2001)

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The White House Map Room was established in January 1942, under the supervision of the Naval Aide, as a military information center and communication office for the President. Security-classified military and diplomatic messages sent to the White House by United States and foreign political and military leaders were filed in the Map Room. The military officers assigned to the Map Room were responsible for decoding messages addressed to the President as well as encoding messages from the White House to the President while the President was away from the White House. Officers assigned to the Map Room also maintained up-to-the-minute maps, charts and files concerning all the active theaters of combat. The Truman Library's Map Room File, which completes the much larger file group at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, covers the period from April 12, 1945 through January 1946.

The Map Room File contains messages between the White House; the State, War, and Navy Departments; and foreign governments pertaining to the latter stages World War II and post-war Europe and Asia. It consists of three series. The Incoming Messages series contains top secret, secret, and confidential messages sent to the White House by diplomatic and military officials. This series is arranged in Top Secret folders and in Secret and Confidential folders, and thereunder chronologically. The Outgoing Messages series contains top secret, secret, and confidential messages sent by the White House to diplomatic and military officials. This series is also arranged in Top Secret folders and in Secret and Confidential folders, and thereunder chronologically. The London Files series contains messages from the President to the British Prime Minister and the American Embassy, and is arranged chronologically. This entire collection is digitized and is available by clicking on the links in the folder title list below.

The officials whose exchanges of messages are documented in this collection include: President Harry S. Truman; Secretary of State James Byrnes; British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee; Generalissimo Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union; Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of China; W. Averell Harriman, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union; Patrick Hurley, U.S. Ambassador to China; and presidential aides Harry Hopkins and Edwin Locke, Jr.

Other materials at the Truman Library which relate to this collection include the following collections:
Naval Aide to the President Files, 1945-1953.
Clark M. Clifford Papers, 1900-1980, Bulk Date Span: 1946-1950.
Clark M. Clifford Files, 1946-1950.
George M. Elsey Papers, 1941-1953.
George M. Elsey Files, 1945-1949.
Edwin A. Locke, Jr., Files, 1941-1947.
Edwin A. Locke, Jr., Papers, 1941-1953.

In addition, the following transcripts of oral history interviews relate to this collection:
Clark M. Clifford, Oral History Interviews Nos. 276 & 440
George M. Elsey, Oral History Interviews Nos. 128 & 398
W. Averell Harriman, Oral History Interviews Nos. 301 & 364
Edwin A. Locke, Jr., Oral History Interview No. 33

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
Container Nos.Series
1INCOMING MESSAGES, 1945
Top secret, secret, and confidential messages sent to the White House by diplomatic and military leaders pertaining to World War II and post-war Europe and Asia. The messages are arranged in Top Secret folders and Secret and Confidential folders and thereunder chronologically. This series is digitized in its entirety, and is avaible online.
2OUTGOING MESSAGES, 1945
Contains top secret, secret and confidential messages sent by the White House to diplomatic and military leaders pertaining to World War II and post-war Europe and Asia. The messages are arranged in Top Secret folders and Secret and Confidential folders and thereunder chronologically. This series is digitized in its entirety, and is available online.
2LONDON FILES, 1945-1946
Contains messages to the British Prime Minister from the President as well as messages to the American Embassy in London pertaining to World War II and post-war Europe and Asia. Arranged chronologically. This series is digitized in its entirety, and is available online.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

    INCOMING MESSAGES (EXACT TRANSLATION)
Box 1
    OUTGOING MESSAGES
Box 2
    LONDON FILES

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