By Glenn Gray, Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Karen D. Paul
This booklet brings jointly in a single quantity the simplest and latest scholarship on congressional collections, offering important details for associations constructing their political documentary assets and dealing towards higher accessibility of political files.
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Archivists from the states of Texas, Idaho, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota responded. This paper summarizes their responses, includes information found on the Internet, and incorporates information from the California State Archives legislators’ records program. CALIFORNIA The California State Archives was created by the legislature on January 5, 1850, and placed under the secretary of state’s office. Its holdings from the state legislature are by far the sources most frequently consulted by researchers due to the fact that “legislative intent” is permissible evidence in court.
Aronsson, “Appraisal,” 98–99. 4 Collection Policies at State Archives for Legislators’ Papers Sara Roberson Kuzak While professional standards and theory exist to guide archivists through basic archival processes, there remain stark differences in overall acquisition practices and collecting policies between similar types of archival institutions. The consequence is uneven documentation of broad subject areas and record types, and this is especially true for the papers of state legislators. A sample survey of collecting policies for legislators’ papers at state archives illustrates this point: Sara Roberson, Master’s Candidate, Public History California State University, Sacramento Questionnaire: State Archives’ Legislators’ Records Policies Please respond by July 15, 2005.
The files of the office manager included filing guides, procedure manuals, and documentation on office expenditures and routine personnel actions. These files were reviewed and selectively weeded. The press officer was responsible for clippings, tapes, position papers, some speeches, and press releases. Duplicates were weeded, but otherwise these files were kept in their entirety. Other administrative staff did not keep separate files but helped to maintain the large central office file. This file included series entitled “Blue Slips” (copies of all letters sent, 35 feet); “Federal Government” (files of contacts with the executive branch, 56 feet); “Committees” (83 feet); “Cases” (51 feet); “General Subjects” (33 feet); “Acknowledgments” (7 feet); “Requests” (20 feet); “Robos” (form letters, 19 feet); and “Vermont Issues” (29 feet).
An American Political Archives Reader by Glenn Gray, Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Karen D. Paul