HYDE PARK, NY — On December 15, 2014, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum added over 400,000 newly digitized documents to FRANKLIN — the Library’s virtual research room and digital repository ( — more than doubling its online digital resources. FRANKLIN now provides free online access to an amazing collection documenting the life, career, and accomplishments of Henry Morgenthau, Jr. — one of the most significant figures of the Roosevelt Administration — including the Holocaust-era records of the War Refugee Board.


As Eleanor Roosevelt once observed, the Library’s Henry Morgenthau collections “will provide material of an essential kind for future historians…. From [them] emerges the existence of basic trust and respect between two men who lived in strenuous and exciting times which required great qualities and, I think, fostered great friendships.”


Morgenthau Diaries and Press Conferences
The Morgenthau Diaries and Press Conferences are some of the most unique resources in the Roosevelt Library. No other Cabinet official kept as complete a record of his official activities and his relationship to the President than Henry Morgenthau, Jr. During Morgenthau’s nearly 12 years as FDR’s Secretary of the Treasury, he compiled more than 860 diary volumes. These are not your typical diaries. Rather, they are Morgenthau’s daily record of his official activities, including transcripts of his meetings and telephone conversations as well as copies and originals of the most important correspondence and memoranda that passed over his desk. These diaries were then expertly indexed by Morgenthau’s trusted secretary, Henrietta Klotz.
Morgenthau also maintained a private “Presidential Diary.” These diaries contain memoranda of his meetings with FDR, recollections of Cabinet meetings, and handwritten notes or chits passed between the two men. They provide a unique window into the personal and professional relationship of FDR and Morgenthau. During his Secretaryship, Morgenthau also delivered hundreds of press conferences which were transcribed and then microfilmed. These press conferences cover subjects ranging from New Deal monetary policy and war loan drives to refugee issues and post-war planning.
Records of the War Refugee Board
There was, perhaps, no greater contribution made by Henry Morgenthau, Jr., during his time as Secretary of the Treasury than his advocacy and commitment to the issue of rescuing Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. Morgenthau’s investigations into the State Department’s obstruction of rescue efforts and his presentation of the evidence to the President resulted in FDR’s creation in January 1944 of the War Refugee Board. As Treasury Secretary, Morgenthau served on the War Refugee Board, and the Board is credited with saving the lives of some 200,000 refugees.
The Records of the War Refugee Board, significant portions of which are now available in FRANKLIN, are housed at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. These records contain correspondence, telegrams, petitions, and press materials pertaining to policies, programs, and operations of the Board. This significant Holocaust-era collection includes insider’s descriptions of extermination camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka, documentation of rescue efforts made by citizens and government agents alike, and correspondence with several major figures in international Jewish history.
This recent addition of over 400,000 newly digitized documents to FRANKLIN was made possible by Roosevelt Institute Chair Emeritus William J. vanden Heuvel and a group of generous donors. Visit FRANKLIN ( for more information on these invaluable online resources and the organizations and individuals who helped make them available online.
FRANKLIN is a virtual research room and digital repository that provides free and open access to the digitized collections of the Roosevelt Library ( The FDR Presidential Library and its parent agency, the National Archives, work with nonprofit partner the Roosevelt Institute to digitize archival documents to add to the online repository. The Library’s digital partner and web host, Marist College, manages FRANKLIN’s underlying database infrastructure based on the Archon platform. Marist runs the system using powerful servers manufactured by Marist and Roosevelt Library corporate partner, IBM.


For more information about Franklin and its offerings visit or call Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745.


Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
As generations of Americans that have no personal memory of the Roosevelt Era emerge, it is more critical than ever that the lives and legacies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt be preserved and presented to new generations. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum stands ready to serve as a visible and valuable resource for children and families, educators and students, and an international audience seeking to understand the past to make a better tomorrow. With a newly renovated building and new permanent museum exhibits, the Library seeks to honor President Roosevelt’s vision in dedicating his Library to the American people. The Roosevelt Library is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. For more information about the Library or its programs call (800) 337-8474 or visit

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