Special Collections & University Archives at UMass Amherst Libraries acquired Ellsberg’s expansive personal and professional archive in 2019, under the visionary leadership of the late SCUA head Robert S. Cox. Made possible through the generous support of Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, an anonymous donor, and the Libraries, the arrival of these historic materials was the essential first step toward the realization of The Ellsberg Archive Project.

A year-long special seminar “Truth, Dissent, & the Life of Daniel Ellsberg,” taught by Professor Christian G. Appy (History, lead instructor) and Professor Kathy Roberts Forde (Journalism), with support from Ellsberg archivist Jeremy Smith ’94, in academic year 2020-21. Advanced undergraduate and graduate students studied the life and times of Daniel Ellsberg, worked in the Ellsberg archive, and conducted oral histories with Ellsberg, his wife Patricia Marx Ellsberg, and a dozen other distinguished guests.

A five-episode podcast series The Whistleblower about Daniel Ellsberg’s life and its meanings in our present moment, produced by UMass alumnus ’84 Charles M. Sennott and The GroundTruth Project, the nonprofit news organization Sennott founded and directs, in collaboration with GBH. See how The Whistleblower was produced in this behind the scenes video.

The papers – Along with the sampling of digital material collected here, there are tens of thousands more items contained in the physical Ellsberg collection, housed at the W. E. B. Du Bois Library in Amherst. In the coming years, we will be processing the collection and digitizing select items. Visit the Daniel Ellsberg Papers research page to find more Ellsberg-related material and check the status of organization of the collection. Visit our digital repository Credo to access digital items as they become available.

A free online conference
 “Truth, Dissent & the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg: A 50th Anniversary Conference Commemorating the Release of the Pentagon Papers,” that occurred on Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, 2021, featuring Ellsberg and Edward Snowden in conversation with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and the Ellsberg seminar students, among many other special guests. Professor Christian G. Appy, recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal and author of three celebrated books about the Vietnam War, organized the conference. Recordings of all the sessions are available on the conference recordings page.

This websiteThe Ellsberg Archive Project—which tells the story of Ellsberg’s life, illustrated with significant artifacts the seminar students found in their year-long examination of the 500-box treasure trove that is the Ellsberg collection.

The Students

Photographs by Zada Forde