WASHINGTON (AP) _ Henry Kissinger felt so strongly about keeping control over who saw his papers, he once complained that the National Archives wanted even his underwear. He followed up by contributing a suitably inscribed pair of shorts to the historical record.

The story came to light in Roll Call, a weekly newspaper published on Capitol Hill. The newspaper said an archives official, Richard Jacobs, had lost the garment after keeping it in his office for years.

Kissinger got into a dispute with the archives in 1977 over possession of his papers, which eventually went to the Library of Congress. According to archives spokeswoman Jill Brett, Kissinger told Jacobs, ''I understand you archivists want the underwear I wore as secretary of state.'' The reply, Mrs. Brett said, was ''it depends on what you wrote on them.''

The following year, she said, Jacobs received a package, postmarked Paris, containing shorts on which was written: ''Worn for 10 days straight from May 1 to 10, 1978.'' The shorts were signed, she said, not by Kissinger but by Hyman Bress. She didn't know who Bress was.

Mrs. Brett said Jacobs kept the shorts in his office as a joke but lost track.