An American Political Archives Reader by Glenn Gray, Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Karen D. Paul

By Glenn Gray, Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Karen D. Paul

This publication brings jointly in a single quantity the easiest and latest scholarship on congressional collections, delivering worthwhile info for associations constructing their political documentary assets and dealing towards better accessibility of political data.

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HISTORY MADE AND PRESERVED The congressional office tends to focus on tomorrow’s headline and the next election. From time to time, someone with a historical perspective must remind the staff that history is being made—and recorded in the documents produced in the office. The systematic transfer of records to a federal records center or a repository can promote orderliness. Stafford’s records were in better shape than Leahy’s because of the centralized office and the larger clerical staff. It was more important for me to spend time with each record producer in Leahy’s office to encourage them to list files at the end of each session, box them, and transfer them to storage.

There are obvious advantages in being in an active mode rather than agreeing to accept a congressional collection and then passively waiting to see what arrives at your archival doorstep. By securing access to the office and actively assembling the collection on the Hill, you are assured that the accession will have a low ratio of dross material. You have an opportunity to get acquainted with the staff that has created the files you are collecting. Questions about holes in the documentation can be addressed to that staff, and series within the collection can be well established and defined by the time the boxes arrive at your repository.

What are the processing and accessioning procedures for legislators’ collections? 11. What are the common series titles for these collections? 12. What is the most popular series requested by researchers? 13. Are there examples of finding aids for legislators’ collections available online? 14. What other types of collections do you receive from the Legislature? Legislative Committee Records For the sake of comparison, please answer these questions about legislative committee. 1. Is there a different policy for the records of legislative committees?

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