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Selwa Roosevelt Papers

Identifier: GTM-981201

Scope and Contents note

Collection primarily of photographs of state occasions and visits organized by Selwa Roosevelt as U.S. Chief of Protocol. A generous accumulation of formal invitation cards is included, as well as souvenir programs for events.


  • 1954 - 1988

Conditions Governing Access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Ambassador Selwa S. “Lucky” Roosevelt (b. 1929) is best known for being the Chief of Protocol of the United States of America from 1982 to 1989. The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Ambassador Roosevelt was born in Kingsport, Tennessee. In 1950, she married Archibald B. Roosevelt, Jr., who was the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt. Archibald died in 1990. After graduating from Vassar College, Ambassador Roosevelt was a journalist for The Washington Post. In addition, she wrote a social column for the Washington Evening Star. She also contributed to various magazines and was as a contributing editor for Town and Country. President Ronald Reagan appointed Ambassador Roosevelt Chief of Protocol in 1982. In her job, she coordinated visits of world leaders to the U.S. It is estimated that she organized more than 1,000 such visits. Ambassador Roosevelt set a record for longevity in the position of Chief of Protocol as she served in that post for nearly seven years. She also successfully managed the restoration of Blair House, the President’s guest house. Ambassador Roosevelt is a long-time member of the Georgetown University Library board of directors.

[Source: “Selwa S. Roosevelt.” Council of American Ambassadors Online.]


39.75 Linear Feet (33 boxes)

Language of Materials


Selwa Roosevelt Papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository