European and Soviet Affairs Directorate, NSC: Senior Director, July 1983-December 1986

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This collection is available in whole for research use. Some folders may still have withdrawn material due to Freedom of Information Act restrictions. Most frequently withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc.



Jack Foust Matlock, Jr. earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Duke and Columbia Universities. He began his career at Dartmouth University teaching Russian language and literature. After three years of teaching, Matlock joined the United States Foreign Service. Matlock spent the major portion of his working life as a United States Foreign Service officer. Ambassador Matlock’s wide-ranging, versatile Foreign Service career includes assignments in Vienna (1958-1960), Oberammergau (1960-1961), Moscow (1961-1963), Accra (1963-1967), Zanzibar (1967-1969), and Dar es Salaam (1969-1970). From 1971-1974, Matlock worked in Washington DC, first as Country Director for Soviet Affairs and then as Director of the Office of Soviet Affairs. In 1974, Matlock moved back to Moscow as Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister-Counselor. Four years later, Matlock returned to the United States and served as diplomat in residence at Vanderbilt University and Deputy Director at the Foreign Service Institute.

In 1981, President Reagan appointed Matlock to be U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Matlock served as ambassador through July 1983. He returned to the United States and served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council. In December 1986, Matlock left the NSC to become U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. In 1991, he witnessed the historic dissolution of the United Soviet Socialist Republic, thus becoming the last U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Matlock is most noted for his time in Russia. For nearly one-third of his distinguished 35-year career with the American Foreign Service, he served as a United States representative in the Soviet Union.

After his retirement from the State Department, Jack Matlock returned to teaching. He currently holds the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professorship in the Practice of International Diplomacy at Columbia University and the George F. Kennan Professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. As a professor, he has written numerous articles and books on Russian literature and history and United States-Russian relations, including Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador’s Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1995) and Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended (2004).



The Jack Matlock Collection consists of memos, letters, reports, cables, articles, resolutions, petitions, invitations, agendas, memoranda of conversations, transcripts of speeches, and copies of treaties. The pre-1983 materials include a small amount of correspondence from his service as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. Also included are copies of the work product of Richard Pipes, Matlock’s predecessor at the NSC, and Norman Bailey’s work as chairman of the Sanctions Monitoring Group. The material is arranged into nine series: Chronological File, 1980-1986; USSR Subject File, 1981-1986; US-USSR Summits, 1985-1986; Meetings with USSR Officials, 1983-1986; Head of State Correspondence, 1977-1986; Arms Control File, 1984-1986; Sanctions Monitoring Group, 1981-1983; Appointment Books, Document and Telephone Logs, 1979-1985; and Computer Diskettes and Printouts, 1984-1986.


SERIES I: CHRONOLOGICAL FILE, 1980-1986 (7.6 l.ft., Boxes 1-19)

The chronological file consists of memos, letters, reports, cables, articles, invitations and transcripts of speeches. There is a small amount of pre-1983 material, consisting of two groups of items. The smallest amount is letters relating to Matlock’s work as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. The majority of the pre-1983 materials are copies of the work product of Richard Pipes, Matlock’s predecessor at the NSC. It appears that Matlock used these copies as reference material for on-going business. This series is arranged chronologically.

SERIES II: USSR SUBJECT FILE, 1981-1986 (10 l.ft., Boxes 20-44)

This series consists of memos, letters, reports, cables, articles, resolutions, petitions, invitations, agendas, transcripts of speeches, and copies of treaties. It is the largest series within this collection. The pre-1983 material consists mostly of copies of Richard Pipes’ work and appears to have been used by Matlock as reference material for on-going business. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

SERIES III: US-USSR SUMMITS, 1985-1986 (5.2 l.ft., Boxes 45-57)

This series consists of memos, letters, reports, cables, agendas, and memoranda of conversations relating to US-USSR summits from 1985-1986. The vast majority of this series focuses on the Geneva summit. The first few boxes of this series are arranged by Matlock’s own “Geneva File Index.” The remainder of the material is arranged chronologically by summit.


(2.4 l.ft., Boxes 58-63)

This series consists of cables, letters, memorandum of conversations, memos, reports, and briefing papers about Ronald Reagan, George Shultz, Ambassador Hartman, or other US officials meeting with various USSR officials. It is arranged chronologically by meeting date.


(1.2 l.ft., Boxes 64-66)

This series consists of cables, letters, memos, reports, translations, and press questions and answers. It largely relates to correspondence between the United States President and the Head of the USSR. However, there is one file for correspondence between the United Kingdom and the United States. The pre-1983 material appears to be copies used by Matlock as reference material. This series is arranged alphabetically by country and then chronologically.

SERIES VI: ARMS CONTROL FILE, 1984-1986 (1.4 l.ft., Boxes 67-70)

This series consists of press statements, press releases, agendas, cables, charts, letters, memos, national security decision directives, briefing papers, and reports relating to arms control issues and talks. It is arranged alphabetically by subject and has three main topics: arms control in general, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Talks (INF), and Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START).


(.8 l.ft., Boxes 70-72)

This series consists of memos, reports, letters, and cables relating to the Polish/Soviet Sanctions Monitoring Group. This group was established by a decision of the Special Situation Group at their meeting of January 2, 1982. Chaired by the NSC and including the heads of the Departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Maritime Administration, and Customs, the Group received and processed inquiries from agencies concerning the application and scope of sanctions. The Group was headed by Norman Bailey from its first meeting January 13, 1982 until June 15, 1983, at which point Matlock took over. Since the Group’s last meeting was less than one week after Matlock was Chair, there is very little Matlock in this material. This series is arranged chronologically by meeting date with some background material pre-dating the Group.


(.6 l.ft., Boxes 72-73)

This series consists of document logs, appointment books, and telephone logs used by the entire European and Soviet Affairs office, not just Matlock. The appointment books, which date back to 1979, were kept by the office secretary, Francesca B. Lapinski, who had worked at the NSC since the Carter Administration. The telephone logs include information about calls coming into the European and Soviet Affairs office. The Classified Actions Logs or Document Logs record each NSC document number, date received, document description, action officer, and disposition information for each NSC document that came through the European and Soviet Affairs office. The material is arranged with Telephone Logs as the first subject, Classified Action Logs as the second, and Appointment Books as the last. Each subject is arranged chronologically.


(.8 l.ft., Boxes 74-75)

This series consists of diskettes, indexes of the diskettes, and printouts of the diskettes contents. Also included are some program diskettes for Textpack 4, and Displaywriter Reportback. Diskettes which were kept together in disk boxes come first in the arrangement, otherwise the series is arranged in alphabetical order by diskette title.

Last Updated: 10/06/2023 03:04PM

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