Scope and arrangement
This collection is primarily made up of correspondence and memoranda from James Reston's time as The New York Times' executive editor (1968-1969) and vice president (1969-1974) These documents came from Reston's New York City office and include communications with Arthur Ochs Sulzberger concerning Washington operations and editorial decisions, administrative memos that Reston was copied on, business correspondence handled by Reston's New York assistant Herbert Andree, and some personal correspondence. Also present are a few files of correspondence dated from the 1950s and 1960s between Reston in Washington, D.C., and various staff members in New York. Of note are copies of Reston's speeches and writings, and photographs of Reston and his wife Sarah Fulton Reston. The collection does not contain any papers from Reston's (primary) Washington, D.C., office, which he donated to the University Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The collection is divided into three series: I. People, II. Subjects, and III. Additions. The People files consist of records pertaining to individuals, while the Subjects files contain items on specific topics, institutions, or document types (speeches, photographs, etc.). Items germane to two or more people or subjects are often cross-referenced in the finding aid; documents related to specific issues are generally located in subject files rather than the people folders of those involved. Of note are the letters and memoranda from Arthur Ochs Sulzberger that are collected in the Sulzberger file and also scattered throughout both the People and Subject series. Additions are a few letters from Arthur Hays Sulzberger, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, and Cyrus Sulzberger to Reston, and Reston's copies of monthly staff budget and expense reports, with accompanying memoranda, spanning 1967 to 1970.
The New York Times Company records. James Reston papers are arranged in three series:
This series is made up of files that contain items to, from, or concerning various individuals, such as New York Times publishers and staff members and Reston's personal and professional contacts outside of The Times. Present are letters to Reston and carbon copy responses from either Reston or his personal assistant in New York, Herbert Andree, written on his behalf. Additional items include memoranda that Reston was copied on. Letters typically concern Reston's columns, administrative and operational matters related to the News Department in New York and the Washington Bureau, or feature discussions of news events, politics, and journalism. The majority of these records are from Reston's tenure as vice president (1969-1974). A small amount of items are personal in nature.
Files are arranged alphabetically by name. Entries without box and folder numbers cross-reference related material in other files. These files do not necessarily collect every letter, memorandum, or document related to the individual; subject files should also be consulted. Miscellaneous Correspondence files are organized by last name within each folder and contain a contributor, recipient, or subject list.
This series is made up of alphabetical subject files that are organized (and titled) by topical keywords, events, institution, or document type. These records include letters and memoranda relating to various administrative topics at The Times, primarily concerning Reston's responsibilities as vice president, as well as communications with outside organizations with which Reston worked. Other items include speech drafts and personal financial documents. Of note are the Pictures files that hold portraits of Reston, images of Reston in Times offices, and photographs of Reston's travels in Vietnam (1965) and China (1971). Also of interest is the Acupuncture file that collects reader responses to Reston's influential 1971 article on that topic.
Files are arranged alphabetically by file title. Entries without box and folder numbers cross-reference related material in other files.
The additions consist of a few personal letters between Reston and Arthur Hays Sulzberger (1960), Arthur Ochs Sulzberger (1965), and Cyrus Sulzberger (1977), and Reston's copies of budget and expense reports, with accompanying memoranda, spanning 1967 to 1970. The reports, which were circulated to all of the department heads and executives, document the monthly expenses for each major department at The Times as well as general Times expenses. The additions were transferred from the James B. Reston papers at the University Archives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999.