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Sen. Tom Carper tours archival collections in Morris Library
Trevor A. Dawes, vice provost for libraries and museums and May Morris University Librarian at the University of Delaware, welcomed U.S. Sen. Thomas R. (“Tom”) Carper on a visit to Morris Library last month.
The senator will be adding archives from his tenure in the U.S. Senate to the papers from his five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-1993) that are already housed in the Library.
L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, librarian and head of the Manuscripts and Archives Department, hosted a tour during his Sept. 9 visit that included the archival stacks where Carper’s congressional papers are preserved, as well as the Special Collections reading room to demonstrate how electronic records that are part of archival collections are accessed.
Contemporary papers often include “born digital” data, documents, photographs and media — texts or recordings that originated in digital form rather than having been converted from print or analog equivalents. The Library provides on-site access to this material through a dedicated researcher workstation in Special Collections with secure access to electronic files that can be searched and browsed.
The first archival collection opened with this electronic content, in 2014, was the Edward E. (Ted) Kaufman papers. Kaufman served as U.S. senator from Delaware from 2009 to 2010.
Special Collections has significant primary sources relating to politics, policy and government in Delaware. In addition to Kaufman’s papers, the Library houses congressional papers from William F. Allen (1937-1938) and Michael N. Castle (1993-2011), and senatorial papers from Willard Saulsbury Jr. (1913-1919), John J. Williams (1947-1970), J. Allen Frear Jr. (1949-1960) and most recently Joseph R. Biden Jr. (1973-2009). Special Collections also collects papers of Delaware individuals who represent leadership in diplomatic or political arenas (domestic and foreign) at the local, state and national levels; and papers of institutions, organizations or groups concerned with public policy or civic affairs.
More information about these special collections is available from an online Library research guide.
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