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Special Collections: Primary Resources in Politics, Policy and Government Research Guide

Overview of politics, policy and government collections

Manuscripts refers to a range of unpublished materials--such as handwritten and typed letters, documents, photographs, drawings, rough drafts, or maps--that are of personal, historical, political, and cultural importance to individuals or families.

Archival collections are records created or received by a person, family, or organization and preserved because of their continuing value. These primary sources are available in various formats, from documents to scrapbooks to contemporary digital images or email.

The politics, policy, and government manuscript and archival collections found in Special Collections represent a range of individuals and organizations who serve in elected positions at the local, state, and national level. The collections listed in this guide represent current and former members of Congress, Delawareans in elected positions (domestic and foreign), and organizations concerned with public policy and civic affairs.

This research guide is not exhaustive and is not intended to be a complete index to manuscripts related to politics, public policy, and government, but suggests some areas of research. It presents a selected list of manuscripts and archives with brief descriptions of the materials. More detailed information about each collection listed here is available through links to collection descriptions, known as "finding aids." Researchers may also search and browse all archival collections through this catalog:

Use Suggested Search Terms available in the Finding Resources section of this research guide. The archival finding aids will provide biographical notes about the creator of the collection, scope notes about the research topics in the collection, information about how the collection is arranged (usually organized in sections called "series"), and detailed inventories of items in the collection. For assistance of any kind with manuscripts and archives, please contact a Librarian in Special Collections.