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Marshall MacDuffie Papers, 1945-1962 [Bulk: 1945-1953].

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Marshall MacDuffie Papers, 1945-1962 [Bulk: 1945-1953].
Physical description:5.9 linear feet (11 document boxes, 1 record storage carton)
Language(s):In English and Russian.


The collection has been arranged into two series:


Scope and Content

The collection documents Marshall MacDuffie's work as chief of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration's Mission to the Ukraine and his trip to the Soviet Union in 1953. It includes correspondence, manuscript drafts, publications, newspaper clippings, and a large collection of photographs, slides, and negatives.

Series I: UNRRA Mission to the Ukraine, 1945-1950

The series concerns Marshall MacDuffie's service as chief of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration's Mission to the Ukraine. It contains typed copies of correspondence between the mission members and government officials as well as several reports that offer thorough descriptions of the mission's activities, as well as criticism and suggestions for future relief work in Ukraine. It also contains a small number of clippings and biographical information on MacDuffie, including an article on his efforts to reunite Russian families.

Series II: 1953 Trip to the USSR, 1947-1962

This series documents MacDuffie's trip to the USSR through writings, publications, ephemera, photographs, and slides.

Series II.1: General, 1947-1962

This subseries holds a variety of materials relating to MacDuffie's visit to the USSR. It includes a detailed account of his experience in the report “Russia after Stalin,” several articles on Russian culture written for magazines, a copy of his book, The Red Carpet , and handwritten notes about trip, though it is unclear whether these were written while traveling or afterward. It also contains reports and clippings about the region and ephemera collected on the trip, such as tourist brochures, clothing catalogs, booklets on architecture, and newspapers.

Subseries II.2: Photographs and Slides, 1953

This subseries contains photographs and slides taken during MacDuffie's trip though the USSR and depict many aspects of Russian life, including fashion, houses, public architecture, Soviet iconography, entertainment, sports, and others, as well as rural and urban landscapes. They have been arranged by material type.

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 All records are open to researchers. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Marshall MacDuffie Papers, 1945-1962; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Finding Aid available in repository and online; folder level control.

Related Material

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Hugh R. Jackson Papers , Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University

Research Materials on Leo Szilard , Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

UNRRA Correspondence, reports, clippings Surveyed 05/--/87 Julie Miller

Trip to USSR Papers Accessioned 1954

Trip to USSR Papers Accessioned 1968

Trip to USSR Papers Processed 01/--/80

Trip USSR Papers Revised 11/--/81

UNRRA and Trip to USSR Papers Combined 2013

Reprocessed by Carolyn Smith, 2016

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 28, 2016

Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard

    2016-10-28 xml document instance created by Carolyn Smith

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Americans--Soviet Union.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Herbert H. Lehman Collections (Columbia University)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
International relief--Ukraine.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
MacDuffie, Marshall, 1909-1967.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Soviet Union--Politics and government--1945-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Soviet Union--Social conditions--1945-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ukraine--Economic conditions--1945-1991.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ukraine--Social conditions--1945-1991.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.--Ukraine Mission.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
White, Paul F.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief--Ukraine.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

Marshall MacDuffie was born in 1909 to Marshall and Wilhelmina Helmar MacDuffie. He attended Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, graduating in 1927. He attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1935, and then joined the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, where he practiced until 1941. MacDuffie married Rose Keane Shumlin in 1953.

MacDuffie moved to Washington, DC in 1941 and served on several wartime commissions and boards, including the Board of Economic Warfare in the Middle East. He also served as a director of the European branch of the Foreign Economic Administration Deputy Foreign Liquidation Commissioner (State Department).

In 1945, New York Governor Herbert Lehman appointed MacDuffie to the position of chief of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) Mission to the Ukraine. The region had been hit with heavy losses and destruction during the war, and was also facing drought. Along with deputy Paul F. White and reporter John S. Fischer, MacDuffie traveled to Kiev to oversee the oversee the distribution of $180 million worth of emergency relief supplies, primarily food, clothing, medicine, tools, and agricultural supplies such as seeds and refrigerating machinery. The program struggled with delays, but large numbers of supplies did reach their designated locations.

In June of 1946, a US congressman called for the end of UNRRA aid in Russia on the grounds that US officials were being censored and barred from access to key areas. MacDuffie challenged these claims, insisting that his staff was able to move freely throughout Ukraine to inspect living conditions and the need for rations, and that they were assisted, not hindered, by local authorities. He resigned in protest over the incident, but his statements were supported by UNRRA Director Fiorella LaGuardia, who insisted that the relief efforts would continue. Paul White succeeded MacDuffie as Chair and oversaw the Mission for another year, until its termination in July, 1947.

While involved in the mission, MacDuffie befriended Nikita Khrushchev, then Premier of the Ukraine. Several years later, he wrote to Khrushchev to request a travel visa for a private trip to the Soviet Union to see how the landscape had changed. Despite the tensions of the Cold War, which normally forbade US citizens from visiting the Soviet Union, the request was granted, and in 1953 MacDuffie traveled freely for two months, covering 10,000 miles between Leningrad and the Chinese border. He visited factories, farms, and slaughterhouses, met with many citizens, and kept extensive notes. MacDuffie was interviewed by a number of newspapers upon his return and wrote a book, The Red Carpet:10,000 Miles through Russia on a Visa from Khrushchev, about the experience. MacDuffie also conducted several interviews with Khrushchev, including a three-hour interview in 1956, and wrote other books and articles on Soviet life. He advocated the development of positive relations between the US and the USSR.

In 1955, MacDuffie served five months as chief counsel of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, but resigned after a dispute. Around the same time, he began receiving letters from US citizens with family members in Russia, who were unable to leave due to the country's anti-emigration policies. Using his connections to Khrushchev and others, as well as his skills as an attorney, MacDuffie helped obtain exit visas for several individuals. He established his own law firm in 1956 and continued to take on such cases, often waiving his attorney fee.

Marshall MacDuffie died in New York in 1967.