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Manuscript Group 400

JAMES A. McCLURE

Notes on Appraisal and Processing

By Richard C. Davis, November 2000


Processing of the McClure collection reduced the total bulk from an initial 1,515 cubic feet, as received by mail from the Senator's offices, to a final 732 cubic feet, a reduction of 51.7 percent. This reduction reflects space savings due simply to arrangement as well as to appraisal and weeding.

The following notes on the appraisal process may interest archivists responsible for analyzing and processing Congressional collections as well as give insight to any researchers concerned with the quality of the evidence they use. These notes are offered as a partial antidote to a pernicious trend in the processing of recent congressional collections: the assumption that these collections are so largely interchangable in record types, filing structure, content, and value that, in their appraisal, the mindless following of prescriptive checklists can profitably be substituted for analysis of each individual collection. Of course there are similarities among modern congressional collections, in so far as the constitutional and to a lesser extent the political and social functions of each congressional member's office resemble those of the offices of other members of the same house, and to a more limited extent there are also resemblances in the records-keeping practices of congressional offices. Thus it is certainly essential to draw comparisons among collections, but the unique aspects of arrangement and content suggest that any failure to carefully study and analyze any collection before and during processing will very likely result only in the destruction of unique research value – the very justification for maintaining the collection in a library.

The appraisal and almost all of the processing of the McClure collection was completed prior to publication of Faye Phillips, Congressional Papers Management (1996), a book which is occasionally cited for comparative purposes in the discussion below. Phillips' work, which, like these notes, depends upon a broad exploration of the archival literature specific to congressional materials as well as on the author's own experience, is recommended for its occasional insights into the structure and value of Congressional papers, which at times differ from those offered below.

Series for which there is no specific appraisal note were generally weeded of unannotated published materials, exact duplicates, and so on, but otherwise kept intact.

2.0. Subject File


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: The Files Handbook, which existed in only slightly variant editions for House (1965) and Senate (1972) members – copies of both are in the McClure collection -- defined the structure of McClure's record keeping system for fifteen years. However, Files Handbook is barely mentioned in the archival literature and there appears to have been no significant discussion of the extent of its influence on either records-keeping practices or archival arrangement. Even Phillips (1996) mentions the Files Handbook only in passing, as the source for an outdated recommendation of a central files system.

Perhaps the most common of the many kinds of records in the Subject File is constituent correspondence of the sort characterized in the Records Management Handbook (1992) as "Issue Mail," of which the Records Management Handbook states, "opinion is divided concerning the long-term research value of this material." However the Handbook recommends for most of several varieties it identifies of issue mail that retention be "permanent, sample only or microfilm." Phillips, on the other hand, notes that in some collections, such as the Russell B. Long Papers, "original constituent letters were discarded at the end of each calendar year." McClure, it should be noted, sought a much more intimate and on-going relationship with his constituents: before preparing a response to an incoming constituent letter, legislative assistants were instructed to check the files for previous communications with the same person.

APPRAISAL: The Subject File contains both topical categories (e.g., "Agriculture," "Parks and Forests," "Social Security") and functional ones (e.g., "Administration," "Associations & Committees," etc.). In general the Subject File was maintained intact, weeded of the many published items not intimately related to the manuscript materials and of the many duplicate items. However, many categories and subcategories, particularly those representing functions, required individual appraisal plans, and generally such categories received more intensive weeding. A draft memorandum concerning the appraisal and weeding of specific categories is available in the repository.

2.2. Subject File Microfilm (House)


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Boccaccio and Carmichael (1989) specifically warn that "as a general rule, you should assume that most Congressional offices do not have sufficient control over their materials to insure that complete files were microfilmed." This proved true of the McClure papers. Earlier years' documents or entire files were often brought forward to make them available for reference, and hence were out of sequence at the time of filming. The index to the microfilm does not account for material in the wrong folders or filed with the wrong Congress. Thus, even apart from the effects of weeding of the paper records, after processing and arrangement of the House Subject File there remained major differences between the order of these records on film and the order of the paper copies.

There was also considerable inconsistency in the materials chosen by McClure's office for filming. At times, newspaper clippings, publications, brochures, maps, cross-reference forms, and divider/identifying sheets were filmed; at other times they were not. Sometimes numbered sheets of paper with the notation "on file" were filmed in lieu of printed items; but other printed items were neither microfilmed nor recorded as "on file." At least one entire box was filmed but left out of the index. Still, as a space-saving move, the repository briefly considered the implications in discarding the House paper subject file and keeping the microfilm in its place. Had this been done, the Microfilm Index would have had to have been largely redone to provide reasonably workable access to the film. Instead the decision was to retain the McClure microfilm and microfilm index only as a supplement to the paper files despite its sometimes awkward arrangement and index. The film includes some kinds of material that were discarded during processing of the paper files, such as rejected invitations, wedding congratulations, requests for yearbooks and flags.

2.4. Academy Nominations


{Description} {Inventory} Restricted

LITERATURE REVIEW: Most writings on Congressional collections express a low opinion of Academy files as research material. Aronsson (1984) thought "most archivists agree that the files of the rejected applicants contain little of value, but some archivists contend that files of successful applicants reveal data about political patronage and in some cases may contain information about future national leaders." Aronsson pointed out that such information could be found in the records of the academies themselves, however, and concluded that "Unless a congressional office closely follows the careers of the students the member recommended, these files need not be preserved" in Congressional collections. This advice was followed by the Records Management Handbook (1985), which prescribed that only the files of those "nominated and appointed" should be permanent, and added that "if the office maintains a register of applicants and appointees, and documents the process by which decisions were made together with any exceptions, the register should be sufficient for historical purposes." The recommendations of the Congressional Papers Project Report (1985) were generally similar, with the additional observation that "files of those rejected are clearly superfluous to the phenomena that the files best document and may be disposed of" – which seems to miss the obvious: what the Academy files "best document" is not the appointments but the nomination process. The Minnesota Historical Society goes even further, discarding all applicant files with the assertion that "Virtual unanimity exists in the archival world that these bulky [academy] files do not have long-term historical value. Moreover, the contents of the files raise serious questions concerning third-party privacy rights, and access to them prior to the death of the applicants probably violates Federal privacy legislation." Only "Summary lists, if any are compiled," should be retained, . . . as well as memos and/or form letters that illustrate the office's policy in responding to academy applications or queries" (Greene, 1994). Melvin (1992) in processing the John Williams Papers tallied "how many individuals sought nominations to which academies each year, and how many of them were recommended. We saved the general information file for each academy and a few files that demonstrated either the typical paperwork for such recommendations or the maintained files of a few servicemen with successful careers."

Judging by the inventories, actual practice in processed collections has varied widely, from Washington State University's apparently keeping all academy files of Catherine May (1972), The University of Delaware's "sampling" of the academy files of Senator John J. Williams (1990), Boise State University's saving "only the files of nominees who were appointed and accepted" in the papers of Frank Church (1988), and the University of Idaho's keeping in the papers of Gracie Pfost (1991), "only the records of those applicants accepted at the several service academies." The processors of the John G. Tower Papers similarly discarded "unsuccessful" applications and kept "successful" ones, along with "general files." Whether "successful" meant those who were nominated or appointed or those who accepted is not clear.

APPRAISAL: The literature generally confuses the distinction between the terms "nominated," "appointed," and "accepted"; yet this distinction is critical in determining whose decisions are being documented. There are two reasons to consider that academy files in congressional papers may have historical value: (1) these records document the nomination process as conducted by the senator or congressman and his staff; and (2) they document the aspirations and backgrounds of state or district residents seeking military careers. To keep only the files of the applicants appointed would document the decisions made by the academies, not the decisions made by the senator or representative. The academies' decisions would be better documented in the academies' records than in the papers of congressmen and senators spread across the country. And, the files of unsuccessful applicants would be equally useful in documenting the social, economic, political, educational, geographic, and ethnic backgrounds of those (in the case of the McClure Papers) expressing interest in military careers in the aftermath of the Viet Nam War and the first years of female acceptance at the military academies. There are summary cards and "Applicant File Records" in the individual folders and worksheets in the general folders, but they are usually incomplete. They record the progress of applications, but fall short of providing "a register of applicants and appointees . . . document[ing] the process by which decisions were made," which Records Management Handbook advises to accept as "sufficient for historical purposes," and reveal even less of the background of the applicants.

Academy files in the McClure Papers were weeded of printed materials (academy catalogs, brochures, and the like), duplicate copies of outgoing letters, and files of duplicate press releases, out of state applications, too-late applications, and incomplete applications. All completed applications, whether nominated or not, and withdrawn applications, were kept.

2.5. Administration


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Aronsson (1984), while making very limited comments on administrative records, points out the importance of identifying filing codes to avoid the need for massive rearrangement of records into a usable but arbitrary pattern. Aronsson also suggests that "personal files, may include information that has little if any historical value, such as office expense records . . ., invitations that have been rejected, and routine personnel matters."

Melvin (1992) says that in the John Williams papers what she calls "Miscellaneous Office Files" was reduced from 46 to 3 feet: "this series contains administrative details and personal office management information as well as miscellaneous requests from constituents for publications, tours, and other courtesies. All specific information about Williams was saved [presumably meaning about Williams, not about his office]. Only samples of the miscellaneous office details and requests files were saved . . . ."

APPRAISAL: Administration files document the organization of the office that created them, the structure and operation of the filing systems in use, and the ever changing personnel and their formal responsibilities. In general, McClure's office policy memoranda were kept while routine government announcements on employment, staff leave records, and overtime records were discarded. "Admin 1 Personnel" was weeded of routine termination notices for clerical employees, as well as all material relating to persons not actually hired by McClure. "Admin 2 Records (Files)" was kept intact because of its clues on records keeping practices in the McClure office. "Admin 3 Space" documents the physical context in which McClure and his staff did their work. Incidentally to the office layout and moves, this subseries provides information regarding the operations of McClure's office, relationships among the staff, and the relationship of McClure's office with other congressional offices. "Admin 4 Supplies--Equipment--Service" was weeded of orders and receipts for reproduction work, postage allowances, and telephone service; operating manuals for specific items of equipment; notices regarding books borrowed from the library of Congress; requests for assistance from the Sergeant at Arms for identification cards, for floor passes for staff, for visitors passes, and for routine maintenance of buildings; routing lists for various publications within the office; requests or orders for supplies and equipment; requests for assignment of parking space; stocks of brochures and other touristic publication kept for public distribution; requests for the temporary reservation of rooms; anything on the routine operations of the senate not specific to McClure's office; correspondence regarding subscriptions; and requests for recipes and greetings. Kept were summaries, schedules, and memoranda relating to McClure's travel; inventories of office equipment; and sufficient other records to give an impression of McClure's office operations. The presence of a series of looseleaf bookkeeping binders covering the years 1969-1983 justified the discard of most of the loose records in Admin 4, as well as financial documents filed under Admin 2-1, Personal.

2.5.2. Office Automation


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Records of Prime service calls, Prime Users Group notices and minutes, Legislative Pilot log sheets, "Do-It" reports (test searches), tracking reports, Senate Computer Center user notices, vendor notices, lists of approved vendors, software evaluation instructions, software instructions, training brochures, records of routine equipment purchases, and weekly evaluation forms were discarded. Kept were correspondence relating to the Legislative Pilot and reports of the Senate Computer Center,

2.5.3. Bookkeeping


{Description} {Inventory}Restricted

APPRAISAL: Appraisal followed that devised for Administration 4 (Series 2.5.1). Requests for supplies and maintenance from State Offices, abundant after 1974, were discarded, as were almost entirely the invoices, vouchers, bank statements, and photocopies of checks which comprised the bulk of the series. Retained were sets of McClure's revised travel schedules, the account books, and the "official ledger sheets." These records document the official office and travel expenses reimbursed by the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the McClure for U.S. Senate Committee. The several account books contain sufficient data to justify the discard of most of the loose vouchers, reimbursement requests, invoices, etc., from Admin 4 in the Subject File, as well as the similar loose later records from the present series, and the financial documents filed under Admin 2-1 Personal. The records retained preserved a broad overview, although not all the details, of the financial side of McClure's office operations.

2.5.4. Miscellaneous


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Even the Records Management Handbook does not seem to discuss anything quite equivalent to some of the records in this series, but the Handbook does regard what it calls the "Senator's personal telephone log" as "permanent."

APPRAISAL: If Congressional papers are seen not as the personal files of a politician but as the records of a public office, there are potentially significant evidential, as well as informational, values throughout the series. Thus, essentially the entire series was kept, weeded of duplicates. These minor administrative records contain information not available elsewhere on the operations of the office as well as on the opinions and activities of Senator McClure.

2.6. Associations & Committees (Committee Bills)


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Records Management Handbook (1985) regards a "committee file", consisting of "correspondence, information sheets, poll records, and related items pertaining to the member's work on committees and subcommittees" as "permanent." No mention is made of committee bill files, but under "Legislative/Bill Files" RMH directs that, for "bills in which the member is interested, but not involved" only a summary should be retained, and that only temporarily. It is not clear if that advice was meant to apply to committee bill files, or even if the author of RMH was aware of the existence of such a series.

The policy of the Minnesota Historical Society (Greene, 1994) is to dispose of bill files other than those "authored/coauthored by the congressperson." Again, it is not clear that Greene meant to refer here to committee bill files. He deals under another heading with "Committee and Subcommittee Files," where his listing of their typical contents does not mention bills. For such files, he thinks, "only those reflecting substantive activity by the member should be retained."

Although committee bill files bulk large in McClure's Papers, there is little or no direct reference to such material in archival literature. This anomaly perhaps has two explanations: during processing of congressional collections at other repositories, committee bills were confused with, and hence interfiled with, Member's Bills (a mistake even McClure's staff sometimes made, the evidence of this being preserved in the microfilm of the records of his House service); and committee bills were not recognized as the product of systematic activity and were discarded as "bills in which the member is interested, but not involved."

APPRAISAL: Committee Bill Files should be seen not simply as individual items "not authored by" McClure, but as a body of material which, taken as a whole, documents McClure's participation in the operations and deliberations of the committees on which he served, sometimes as chair and sometimes as senior minority member. Even without the many manuscript annotations they contain, these files are important in so far as McClure's committee work is important. The only logical conclusion is to keep them essentially intact. Generally, they were weeded in the same fashion as other series of mostly printed materials and duplicates. Postcards, if numerous, were discarded save for one example, and the number of discards recorded. Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 31 to a final 21 cubic feet.

2.7. Interns


{Description} {Inventory} Restricted in part

LITERATURE REVIEW: Records Management Handbook (1985) recommended that records for fellows and interns should be "destroy[ed] when no longer of administrative use." However, the 1992 edition of RMH revises this judgment and recommends instead that "records pertaining to the employment or detail of interns and fellows" should be "retain[ed] during the senator's lifetime and/or retain[ed] in the office as long as current - then repository archivist should appraise." There is no explanation provided as to why the records might possess value until the senator dies, and then suddenly lose it.

APPRAISAL: Interns and Congressional internships are a significant aspect of Congress and of a senator's office, and deserve to be documented. The objective is to document McClure's office's administration of its intern program and the ways it selected and utilized people in carrying out its conception of the program. The intention is to keep data on the programs generally and on individual participants to the extent that such data illuminates the program in McClure's office.

There may be historical significance even in the folders of individuals. For example David Leroy, an intern in McClure's office in 1987, went on to service as Idaho attorney general, lieutenant governor, and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate, and his trail crosses McClure's many times over the years. Other McClure interns became regular employees in varying capacities, i.e. secretaries (among them Elizabeth Ware), legislative assistants (Tom Hill, Alan Timothy), a bookkeeper (Margaret Lliteras), and one eventually became McClure's state director (Mike Field). Another, Brent Searle, later became legislative assistant for the Democratic representative from Idaho, Richard Stallings.

There are privacy issues involved. For example, there are summary sheets with evaluative comments on the candidates for internships, such as comments about family like "long time Republican," or the information that a previous intern or writer of a letter of recommendation says a new candidate is "kind of the 'dumb blonde' type" or "liberal and an opinionated troublemaker" or "smokes the weed" or "mixed up in the drug scene." These summary sheets show both the kinds of people McClure accepted and did not accept as interns.

In the Intern records for 1981-1990 (exclusive of the intern-related material in CMS Daily files and the Subject File), we discarded the applications but retained the prepared lists of interns, general information folders (which include summary sheets, early intern memos and procedure, press releases, etc.), and folders of program evaluations. Also discarded were the CMS form letters (as duplicative of those in the CMS Master File), folders of applicants rejected, or too late, or not completed, or out of state, lists of other internships (run by businesses, universities, or governments), advisory brochures on housing, and requests for issuance of identification badges and for memberships in the credit union, etc.

Kept were folders of applicants hired, general information on congressional interns (but weeded), lists of interns, intern evaluations of the program, summary sheets, and intern manuals and instructions.

For each year there were retained folders of work papers (including work charts, general correspondence and memoranda, and press releases), intern manual, interns accepted, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senior Citizen Intern program, BYU interns accepted, and intern evaluations.

Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 3 cubic feet to less than 1 cubic foot

2.8. Legislation 3-1 (Member's Bills)


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: There is no dispute over the value of Member's Bills files in the archival literature. The Congressional Papers Project Report (1986) says: "Among the files least susceptible to disposal on grounds of insufficient evidential value are the files of office involvement in legislation before Congress. . . . The transactions recorded in the files are essential to an understanding of one of the central purposes of the office, and the files should be retained in their totality." The Records Management Handbook considers members' bill files permanent and appears to intend this advice for files containing not only the bill but also related reports, memoranda, correspondence, speeches, press releases, and other documents "showing the nature and extent of the senator's participation in and the introduction and movement of bills."

APPRAISAL: This series was purged of the many duplicate printed bills and of any other duplicate material encountered. Because texts of the bills are available in the Personal Bill File and a brief description and status report for each measure can be found in Legislative Activities, for the period 1983-1990 Members Bills files were discarded except for those that contained more than just a copy of the bill and a Congressional Record page or news release. The original nineteen cubic feet for this period were thus reduced to just over one foot.

Despite the limitation of its coverage to one year, the Bill Digest (1971) seemed to contain such unique evidence in its comments on "purpose of bill" and "reasons for introducing" that the digest forms were kept in a preliminary folder in the 1971-1972 bill file, together with annotated bill texts.

2.9. Meetings


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: During the Conference on the Research Use and Disposition of Senators' Papers (1978), two archivists proposed that all invitations, both accepted and declined, should be weeded from collections. Similarly Lucas (1978) would consider all invitations for discard "if a sheet [is] appended to the collection's inventory, listing file types and quantities for each year, with perhaps brief comments on their character." McKay (1978) would keep accepted invitations, but equivocated on declines: "we may be tempted to discard all invitations declined . . . , yet a study of trends may reveal that changes in the acceptance of invitations from various special interest groups is significant." By the 1980s it seems to have been conventional wisdom to keep accepted invitations and discard declines. As stated by Aronsson (1984): "Accepted invitations reveal the activities of an individual member of Congress and also may help a researcher identify categories of social events attended by high-level officials." Rejected invitations lack similar value, Aronsson thought, because "reasons for turning down any given invitation would be almost impossible to determine." There is consistent advice in Records Management Handbook (1985, 1992), the Congressional Papers Project Report (1985), and elsewhere, with sometimes the additional suggestions that the senator's office should provide a summary of the declines or that the accepted invitations might be kept only in sample. Greene (1994) would discard all invitations, however, because "The principal information contained [therein] relates to where the Congressman was at a particular time and what he/she was doing, and this information is available in much more condensed form in the schedule files. Thus "only if the Speech Files were integrated into the Accepted Invitations files would [the invitations] be considered for retention."

There are a few published comments on the actual use of invitations files: Gentzler (1978) asserted there was "very limited usage of invitations"; and Greene (1994) says that "invitation files are among the least used according to a recent user survey." (That survey, reported in Documentation of Congress, actually says that of sixty-six researchers, only twelve ranked Accepted Invitations, and of these, eight thought them "somewhat useful" or "useful"; four found them "useless.")

APPRAISAL: In the McClure Papers, the Meetings files show far more than where the member was at a particular time. The process of managing invitations and appointments seems to have been one of the major functions of the office and was regarded as an important service to constituents. The resulting records reveal positions taken by and sometimes disagreements within the staff; how local communities celebrated or planned for events to which McClure was invited; what kind of events local communities thought it was important to ask a senator to attend; political decisions and how the senator went about choosing among competing demands for his time and political favors.

All accepted invitations and accepted requests for appointments were kept; so were all declined invitations with remarks written on them by McClure or his staff, all that were written on McClure's invitation/appointment forms, any with McClure's "OK" crossed out and "didn't attend" written in, any without evidence of whether accepted or not, any that have annotations indicating meeting reset for another date, all from other members of congress or other VIPs, and any from the Idaho State Society, whether annotated or not. Also kept were invitations where McClure declined to attend but agreed to the use of his name. Discarded were the bulk of the declined invitations and any brochures or other printed matter describing an organization or conference or program if the invitation was declined.

2.10. Voting Records


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Documentation of Congress reports the researchers rating "Voting and Attendance Records" as "somewhat useful or higher" as 94 percent. Records Management Handbook (1985) says: "Individualized reports prepared by Republican and Democratic Policy Committees" should be "permanent." "If time permits, staff may want to annotate the report by stating why the senator voted the way he did." There are no such annotations in McClure's Record Vote Analysis, but, for those time periods covered, the function is filled (possibly less self-consciously) by the Card File and the Floor File.

APPRAISAL:

(1) National Republican Congressional Committee "Voting Record": Discarded were scattered runs from 1969 through 1972, multiple copies, incomplete sets, and years in which McClure's vote had not been filled in. Only the two complete years, 1967 and 1968, were kept.

(2) "Voting Record" (typescript and scrapbook): While incomplete, this record provides frequent comment and opinion relating to legislation in those periods it does cover.

(3) "Member's Individual Voting Record": Kept, principally because of the paucity of voting records for the late House period, 1971-1972.

(4) "Floor File": The legislative measures included in the Floor File are not necessarily McClure's bills, so even the printed bills and reports cannot be expected to be duplicated elsewhere in the collection. However, the only unique value of this subseries is in recording McClure's opinion and activity on specific legislative measures at the moment that such measures came up for vote. Unannotated printed items were discarded, but if there were any memoranda or annotations, everything related to that bill was kept.

(5) "Voting Record" (card file): While the cards of the House period provide considerable unique information on McClure's position on particular bills, the Senate cards, September 1973-December 1975, contained no annotations or memoranda, and thus no information not provided by the Policy Committee Record Vote Analyses, and were discarded.

(6) Senate Republican Policy Committee, "Record Vote Analysis": For the Senate period, the RVA was intended as the permanent, formal record of the positions McClure took on each measure that became the subject of a recorded vote. All the RVA's were kept, although they would seem to provide less insight into McClure's positions than such informal records as the Floor File and the Card File for the House period.

As long as there is a printed topical index for that session, all the mimeographed category books (for 1973, 1974, and 1976) were discarded, as they add little to the information in the RVA.

Typed partial indexes, labeled as "temporary" (including any that did not cover a complete session), found in several RVA volumes were discarded if there was a final index for that session.

(7) "Voting Ratings": Printed items were discarded unless closely related to manuscript materials. (This alone reduced the volume by about 80 percent.) All correspondence that was more than a simple cover letter was kept. The occasional summary reports prepared by McClure's staff and the few newspaper clippings were kept.

Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 19 to a final 6.5 cubic feet

2.11. Alphabetical Name Index to the Subject File


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: For many years Richard Berner argued repeatedly that proper names offered the primary means used by researchers to access manuscript collections, even claiming that proper names were surrogates for subjects. Boise State University has reported that in the Frank Church Papers "typical inquiries included requests for copies of Senator Church's correspondence with a particular individual." It would not be possible to fill such a request in the McClure Subject File if the Name Index were discarded. The value of a name index is also suggested by the findings of a 1991 survey by an SAA committee of researchers using congressional collections, which reported that 52 percent "worked on topics focusing on specific individuals."

APPRAISAL: It required much soul searching to decide to keep the very bulky Name Index to a body of material that is otherwise accessible by subject. In part, the value of an index depends upon the disposition of the records indexed. For example, in the processing of the Senator John Williams Papers the University of Delaware entirely discarded the 80 feet of what they called the "Correspondence Master File," which seems to have been the equivalent of McClure's carbon-copy index. This was done "because the constituent correspondence was so heavily appraised [i.e., weeded]." Since McClure's Subject File has been retained intact, it appeared logical to keep the Name Index intact as well.

3.0. Computerized Correspondence and Related Records


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: The only discussion specifically of CMS files is by Cross (1988), who points out that "using the appraisal guidelines [of Records Management Handbook] most of this material should be disposed of as routine, or sampled, with only important constituent issues and cases kept in their entirety. Yet all of these files [at his repository] still sit on the shelves," because of ongoing use by the senator's staff.

APPRAISAL: CMS, designed to work efficiently (from the point of view of the records creator) in an electronic environment, produces a physical arrangement of paper records that may seem a nuisance for the archivist and will be awkward for the researcher. Nevertheless, any rearrangement or serious weeding of the CMS paper records would be a fruitless task, not so much because of their bulk as because the indexes that have come with the system would thereby be rendered useless. Furthermore, because of the fragmented arrangement of the material, any attempt to dispose of the bulk and "keep important constituent issues and cases in their entirety" would require an individual evaluation of each item.

The CMS files have been maintained intact except for the discarding of such short-run and often fragmentary records of production as "Daily History Reports" (1981-1990), topic/subtopic lists (1981, 1988-1990), "Staffer Reports" (1981-January 1983), "Weekly History Reports Sorted by Aide's Initials" (1981), "Office Management Weekly Reports" (1987-1990), "Abstract Reports (1987), "Production Reports" (1981-1990), and similar material.

4.0. McClure Personal Files


{Description} {Inventory}

Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 46 to a final 33 cubic feet

4.3. VIP Letters, 1982-1990


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Records Management Handbook (1985) prescribes for "VIP Correspondence" permanent retention. RMH noted that "this material may be filed by name of individual or agency, either in the personal secretary's files or in the files of the staff member responsible for handling these records." In the Henry Jackson Papers, correspondence with colleagues was filed under "U.S. House" and "U.S. Senate" and consisted "mainly of routine thank yous and birthday greetings, but a few letters do touch on the political maneuvering in Congress."

APPRAISAL: These letters were weeded of exact duplicates and arranged in one chronological sequence, regardless of whether by or to McClure, ribbon copy or photocopy. Thus we retained the original order of very roughly chronological, as the most practical.

4.4. Remarks in Congressional Record


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Records Management Handbook calls these "Congressional Record Inserts"; regards as permanent. Aronsson (1984) offered the observation that "all speeches a senator or representative delivered on the House or Senate Floor appear in the Congressional Record, which is fully indexed. While some archivists may be inclined to discard loose copies of these speeches, they should remember that juxtaposing them with the member's other speeches can facilitate research use."

APPRAISAL: The rather meticulous subject arrangement by McClure's staff suggested a continued usefulness for this series.

4.5. Speeches and Statements


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: The Congressional Handbook: Senate Edition notes that a task "most commonly performed by the press staff" is writing speeches; while the tasks "most commonly performed by the legislative staff" include "researching and writing statements, speeches, staff position papers, briefing memoranda, and other materials." Warner (1978) considered speech files and scrapbooks "of similar usefulness" to bill files. Gallagher (1991) observed that "speech files were heavily used." Records Management Handbook (1992) listed speech files among records considered "permanent."

Appraisal: Processing reduced this series from 3 to 1 cubic foot.

4.6. Personal Bill File


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Simply discarding the binders and refoldering the bills reduced this series from 6.25 to 2.5 cubic feet. It is the most complete run of the texts of McClure-sponsored legislation.

4.8. Foreign Travel


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Considering that travel is one of the most publicized, criticized, and regulated activities of members of Congress, archival literature is strangely silent about congressional travel records. Perhaps archivists have kept these records unaware of what they have: in McClure's papers, travel records are so scattered that it is hard to track them down or identify them, and this could be the case in other collections. According to Records Management Handbook, about the only kinds of material found in travel records are vouchers, itineraries, and "trip reports," and, of these, "trip reports" are to be permanently retained. The inventories of the Catherine May and Frank Church papers lumped travel into archivist-created series that included invitations and speeches.

APPRAISAL: Travel records were weeded of duplicate items, hotel and travel brochures, and printed material not directly related to the trip, and any published background materials, such as those compiled by the Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, and distributed to members of a delegation, if not marked or specifically related to the object of a trip. Delegation or committee reports, which are probably what Records Management Handbook referred to as "trip reports," were all kept, even if published as a GPO document, as their presence made it easy to compare the draft and the print. Processing reduced this series from 7 to 3 cubic feet.

4.9. Committees


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Records Management Handbook (1985) regards as permanent "correspondence, information sheets, poll records, and related items pertaining to the member's work on committees and subcommittees." Phillips (1996) thought "materials that should be appraised for retention from committee files are unpublished hearings, copies of official files, annotated announcements, notes, and correspondence." In the John Williams papers "this series pulled together scattered files of Senator Williams's committee work. The files are not very complete even though almost everything was saved." The only record type specifically mentioned was hearing transcripts.

APPRAISAL: Except as noted, records relating to committees were essentially kept in their entirety, but arranged as indicated

4.9.1. Senate Republican Conference


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Weeded of forms concerning hiring and termination of clerical staff, requests for staff ID cards, authorizations to sign vouchers, requests for assistance from the Sergeant at Arms for service, parking permits, supplies, and maintenance, requests for room assignments and building passes, receipts for services from General Services Administration, and authorizations for staff to borrow books from the Library of Congress. Of the materials retained, nearly half are thank-yous for participation or contributions to meetings or events sponsored by the Conference.

4.9.7. Iran-Contra Committee


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: The long and short versions of the "Chronology" were kept, although a preliminary "testimony chronology" (May 26, 1987) was discarded as redundant. Likewise, the typescripts were kept; the chronology seeming to make them more useful, perhaps, than the GPO printed version, which was unindexed, contained no annotations by McClure or Gerard, was duplicated among the holdings of the University of Idaho Library's Government Publications Department, and thus was discarded.

While the photocopied newspaper clippings were an apparently complete run of material relating to the investigation, they were all from national newspapers easily available, some of them indexed. This collection of news articles documented the work of the staff of a committee in which McClure was a minority member and which was only peripherally related to the work of McClure or his staff or the concerns of Idaho. Hence, clippings were discarded.

The "working papers" were the heart of this subseries, in so far as it concerned McClure, and were kept in their entirety save for the usual weeding of some unannotated printed materials.

The National Security Archive's Chronology was discarded as an unannotated publication.

5.0. Papers of Individual Staff Members


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Aronsson (1984) had a high opinion of legislative assistants' files: "Should be kept in their entirety unless the archivist has time to process them item by item. This is the only series that archivists should consider processing at the item or folder level." Boccaccio (1992) refers to administrative assistants – she means legislative assistants – as keeping "their own files in a system separate from the main office files. While much of this material is duplicative, it would take much time and effort to weed and would destroy any understanding of how the office and staff functioned."

APPRAISAL: For the most part, McClure's legislative assistants' files are so formless that they seem valuable chiefly for information on issues rather than evidence on how the legislative assistants operated. Generally, staff papers were kept intact and purged only of duplicates and printed matter not closely related to manuscript material.

5.11. Tod Neuenschwander


{Description} {Inventory} Restricted

LITERATURE REVIEW: Aronsson (1984) advised: "The administrative assistant's files should be preserved in their entirety." She noted that administrative assistants retain very few files because of the highly sensitive and largely verbal nature of their positions and that much of surviving administrative assistant records are routine administrative materials. While this would seem to conflict with her advice to preserve these records "in their entirety," it does not describe the materials left by Neuenschwander.

Records Management Handbook says administrative assistants' records should be regarded as permanent.

5.11.3. Nominations


{Description} {Inventory} Restricted

LITERATURE REVIEW: In contrast to patronage and general employment files, the literature has generally valued records of nominations to high offices greatly. Records Management Handbook: "VIP appointments, Judgeships and former staff" files should be permanently retained." Recommended Disposition Papers of Members of U.S. House of Representatives similarly suggested: "Retain (subject to access restrictions) recommendations for Cabinet, judicial, and other high level government appointments."

APPRAISAL: As evidence of the functioning of a congressional office there should be a clear distinction between (1) presidential nominations needing confirmation by the Senate, a constitutional or legal function, (2) patronage, or filling federal jobs within the influence of the member, and (3) simple recommendations or letters of endorsement, which may or may not carry any political implication. These distinctions have been obscured by the rather scant literature. Because of the way McClure's files were maintained, this meant a folder by folder evaluation.

Files relating to the Senatorial function of confirmation of presidential nominations were kept, as were other files relating to efforts by McClure to influence the filling of certain positions. The value of letters of recommendation McClure was asked to write seemed less certain. While there is precedent (in Records Management Handbook) for keeping letters on behalf of former staff, selecting them from McClure's files would have to be on an item by item basis. Even in cases where McClure was asked to write on behalf of persons unknown either to himself or his staff, his response may at times be of interest. We discarded only those requests for recommendations where there is no evidence of any activity by McClure, and discarded from other files any extensive resumes and other supporting documentation, as we assume that the main research value of these records is to document decisions of McClure's office rather than the backgrounds of the applicants. No attempt was made to identify and weed duplication between CMS and the Nomination files.

6.1. Newspaper Clippings


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Very sharply contrasting opinions have been expressed on the treatment of clipping files in congressional collections. Aronsson (1984) advised basing the decision to keep or discard on whether or not the archives had an indexed set of home state newspapers; the Records Management Handbook listed newspaper clippings among records that "should be retained permanently, either in their totality or a sample"; Gallagher (1991) advised that clippings are "heavily used" by researchers; but Greene (1994) prescribed entirely disposing of "Newspaper clippings (background)." While it is not entirely clear, all these authors are presumably referring to clippings file already given some sort of order in the member's office.

APPRAISAL: McClure subscribed to the Idaho Press Clipping Service, Boise, a division of the Idaho Newspaper Association, which cut and mailed a large body of material relating to McClure or to Idaho and national politics. When received at the repository, the records of the press office included 22 cubic feet of clippings either placed in monthly envelopes by McClure's staff (1983-1985) or still in the same envelopes in which they were mailed weekly (1985-1990), many of them never opened. Perhaps most clippings received no more than a cursory glance by McClure's staff, if that; they can hardly have evidential value in this collection and would have value as information only if an enormous effort were invested in organizing them. Thus all unarranged clippings were discarded as were a large scrapbook with no particular subject focus but in chronological order covering only a single year, 1985-1986. The only Press Office clipping files kept were those maintained by the office in subject folders; some of these clippings are photocopies.

6.2. Press Releases


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Considering the great effort a Congressional office devotes to preparing and distributing news releases, there seems to be little attention given such material in the archival literature. Aronsson (1984) thought that "Press files provide valuable information about the attitudes and opinions of the senator or representative and should be kept in their entirety. Archivists probably should not refolder this material, however, because of the wealth of information found on the folder labels -- title of speech or release, place and date of delivery, and sponsoring organization (if a speech)." Records Management Handbook considered press releases among the records that "should be retained permanently, either in their totality or a sample, depending on the file."

APPRAISAL: McClure's news releases until 1983 were filed one to a folder, with topics and dates indicated by labels. Most of the folders had, after merely some twenty years, already demonstrated their high acidity by discoloring their contents. Thus, Aronsson's advice to retain the original folders seemed, in this case, doubtful wisdom. Neither did the use of a separate new folder seem reasonable for each of several thousand sheets of paper. Therefore, duplicates were discarded and the releases refoldered in chronological order, from one to four months' worth per folder, as appropriate. While the topical access provided by McClure's folder headings was lost (until 1983 when indexing started), subject access to some of the same material is still available in the Statements series (6.3).

When files of Grants/Contracts, etc., consisted merely of announcements from agencies notifying McClure or his office, the file was discarded. While such files would document federal activity in the state, the papers of a congressman did not seem the place to do that. Such files did not contain extensive information on any project.

6.3. Statements


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Statements as such are not dealt with in the literature, but many of the types of records represented herein (such as newsletters, editorials, columns, and speeches) should, according to Records Management Handbook, "be retained permanently, either in their totality or in a random sample, depending on the file."

APPRAISAL: The series "Statements" initially consisted of several extensive runs of material apparently kept at various times and in various sequences, but chronologically overlapping, in folders and large manila envelopes identified often by ad hoc subjects, with similar items often duplicated under a variety of headings. Speeches were usually labeled by name of audience, place, or event of presentation; newsletters by title. Large numbers of duplicate copies, obviously kept on hand for distribution purposes, were discarded.

Galley proofs and paste-ups were discarded unless they happened to be the only copy of a particular newsletter. "Other Senators' Mailings," kept as such by McClure, were discarded. Copies of press releases among the Statements were not considered essential to keep, but neither was it considered worth spending the time to check against the Press Release series. Groups of photographs among the statements -- used for illustrations of newsletters -- were moved to the still photograph section (Series 6.8).

Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 24 cubic feet to something over 2 cubic feet.

6.8. Photographs


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Opinion is sharply divided on the value of photographs in Congressional collections. Aronsson (1984): "The photographs' historical value is negligible, particularly when they are not identified. . . . Some photographs, though, may be historically significant – candid shots of the member's official travels, her personal photographs, and shots of the senator or representative in action. . . . Public officials are accustomed to being photographed and even the most casual shot may be totally contrived. . . . Archivists must carefully evaluate their repositories' interest in photographs before deciding whether to keep them."

Leary (1985), the most comprehensive discussion of the appraisal of photographs in archives, accepts Schellenberg's reflection that the value in photographs is primarily informational, not evidential: "Photographs, like other audiovisual materials, possess minimal evidential value. . . . Indeed, photographs that show official activities and nothing else are likely to be very boring and insignificant images." However, Leary observes that "generally . . . publishers want pictures of the well-known person, place, or event." More useful is his reflection that "picture researchers usually want the opportunity to select from a large number of alternatives."

Caldwell and Lovett (1986): Lacking original order, the University of Oklahoma creates "artificial groupings of photographs" within a collection, "for ease of later access." "Negatives are housed in envelopes separate from prints." "Photographs are cataloged on an item-by-item basis," and assigned an average of two subject headings each. "The lack of identification (particularly persons) for the majority of the photographs . . . will to some degree inhibit research among the holdings."

Cross (1988): Photographs "may contain a wealth of information on the political culture and social milieu through which a politician's career moved." Cross sees political photographs as "a combination of personal and public relations photographs. In addition, they also share some of the characteristics of a newspaper archive. . . . Political photographs are very 'event driven,' documenting incidents such as campaign stops, trips, and visits by individuals to the politician's office, some of which are unique to political photograph collections. . . . There is usually a larger number of important or famous individuals represented in this type of collection than in others of comparable size." Cross mentions that even unidentifiable photographs "should be described as fully as possible, in the hope that more information will eventually be obtained."

Records Management Handbook (1992): "`Photographs/slides/negatives of the senator, guests, and family" were considered to be permanent records.

Greene (1994), separates "photographs, slides, and negatives" into three categories; for "identified events and activities he recommends "series probably needs to be appraised folder by folder"; for unidentified and duplicates, Greene recommends "dispose".

Phillips (1996): "many repositories will not accept [photographs] unless they are completely identified. Other archivists contend the photographs from congressional offices are worth the trouble to identify [citing Cross (1988)]." Identified photographs are archival; unidentified ones non-archival. "If photographs are identified they should be retained and the negatives acquired from congressional photographers." However, Phillips closes with a long quote from Aronsson to the effect that congressional photographs may be more trouble than they seem to be worth.

APPRAISAL: The small volume of this series meant that the effort required for an item-by-item appraisal would not be rewarded with much savings in storage space. Other than weeding of the massive volume of duplicate prints, all photographs were kept. If the series had been appraised, much of the arrangement work would have had to be done anyway, in order to make considered judgements possible. Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 11 to a final 3 cubic feet

6.9. Audio & Video Recordongs


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: The major works on preservation of audio-visual records, Harrison (1987), and Kula (1983) give little practical advice on the selection of recordings and films within a collection of personal papers or corporate archives for permanent retention. These works are primarily concerned with specialized archives which collect materials produced mainly with the intent of public viewing or distribution, in other words works of art rather than records. They muddle the distinction between (a) tapes produced commercially or otherwise, external to the person or corporate body that produced the collection, and acquired and kept for their informational content, and (b) tapes, whether for external distribution or otherwise, produced by the creator of the records collection (such as home movies, or their equivalent, which are more likely to be unique or have evidential value).

Greene (1994) unhelpfully prescribes for "TV and Radio Files," including audio-visual tapes, "selection and disposition," that is individual item selection, without explaining the basis for his prescription.

Records Management Handbook (1992) classified "TV and Radio Files" ("Audio and video tapes and transcripts, including campaign spots, commercials, and interviews – all cassettes, cartridges, and reels should be labeled with the name of the event or topic of the interview and the date recorded") as "permanent," and makes the point that these materials are more fragile than paper records and need storage in a humidity and temperature controlled environment, and recommends the making of duplicate copies for reference use and other ongoing conservation measures.

Phillips (1996) says in relation to sound and video recordings: "Many repositories will not accept these materials unless they are completely identified." Identified audio and video tapes and films are considered "archival," if "physical condition is good"; unidentified ones are non-archival. Phillips apparently endorses item-by-item appraisal, and makes less of the time-consuming nature of listening to individual tapes than of the cost of updating obsolete formats. Phillips provides the most extensive discussion of the issues involved in archival selection and preservation.

APPRAISAL: Under more ideal circumstances, video and audio materials produced externally to the creator of the collection would be evaluated much like printed items found in the collection, while those produced internally, or acquired in the course of carrying out the functions of the corporation, would be treated in a fashion parallel to the paper records. In fact, it seemed impractical to carry out any real appraisal in the archival sense. Discarded were unidentifiable video recordings, inaudible sound recordings, and many apparent duplicates, particularly among the video tapes. Most of the reduction in volume, however, resulted simply from the discard of mailing containers, in which many of the video cassettes and reels had been stored. Given the impermanent nature of the materials, which are already at or near the end of their expected lifetimes, and the unlikely prospect of transferring the content to other media, no attempt has been made to select individual tapes.

The University of Idaho library owns players for open reel sound recordings and cassettes, for 16 millimeter films, and for VHS video cassettes. The U of I Division of Educational Technologies and Services, Video Center, has available machines capable of playing ¾-inch video cassettes, Betamax cassettes, and 1-inch open reel video tapes. There seems to be no capability on the U of Idaho campus at present (1999) for playing 2-inch video tapes.

Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 15 to a final 11 cubic feet.

7.0. Idaho Offices


{Description} {Inventory}Restricted in part

APPRAISAL: In general, the treatment of records for each district office followed that given in Boise (see below), with discard of cases, requests, vouchers, and receipts, and keeping the issue files and travel and expense reports. In the instance of Coeur d'Alene, this meant disposal of the entire 15 cubic feet of material, but some records were kept for each of the other districts. Copies of invitations, press releases, and Highlights were discarded as duplicates of those in the Washington office or in Boise. Also discarded were files of background material not directly concerned with McClure's offices or relating to job applicants or inquirers not hired; and files of newspaper clippings probably duplicated elsewhere in the collection. The 21 cubic feet of Pocatello CMS files (which also contained material originating in Idaho Falls and Twin Falls) related to requests, cases, public relations (condolences, congratulations, etc.), and invitations. These records are in categories that either would be discarded if not in CMS, or are essentially duplicated elsewhere (such as the invitations). All were discarded. The cases may still be tracked in the CMS index.

Processing reduced the volume of this series from an initial 84 to less than 6 cubic feet

7.1.1. Boise Administration


{Description} {Inventory} Restricted in part

APPRAISAL: Of considerable value in documenting how Idaho staff members served as McClure's personal representatives to his constituents were the "Staff files," as were travel schedules and staff critiques, and priority lists for McClure's Idaho travel. The weeding of Boise Administration followed generally the same categories weeded from "Administration" records of the Washington, D.C. office (Series 2.5): tour requests, vouchers, airline coupons, handwritten notes of expenses, etc., for staff travel (but travel reports with itemized expenses were kept); staff leave records which recorded nothing except leave; staff overtime records; job applications from persons not actually hired by McClure; Republican National Committee legislative notices; copies of press releases; policy statements; copies of CMS form letters filed in Boise; training notes on CMS operation; mimeographed instructions on use of CMS and CTS; other computer instructions not specific to the Idaho offices; lists of auction items; news releases; public relations letters of "thank you's" and congratulations on retirements, anniversaries, and birthdays; and employment inquiries (mostly relating to filling of the Lewiston district office position in 1985). Also discarded were copies of invitations accepted and declined, essentially duplicated in Washington office records. Printed books, reports, and printed maps without annotations were withdrawn.

7.1.2. Boise CMS Daily Files


{Description} {Inventory} Restricted in part

APPRAISAL: CMS Library Form letters, 1985-1988, were discarded as they duplicated records in the D.C. office (Series 3.2).

7.1.3. Boise Case Files


{Description} {Inventory}

LITERATURE REVIEW: Because of their enormous bulk relative to their apparently thin content, the archival treatment of case files has been second only to the general category of constituent correspondence in provoking contributions to the literature. David Wigdor (1977) thought case files "the things least consulted and least valuable. Trying to follow how a Senate office helps constituents secure their social security checks, or veterans benefits, is really not the sort of thing that enters very much into the writing of American history."

The strongest defender of the preservation of case files, Frank H. Mackaman (1979), estimated that case files only "comprise ten to twenty percent of a modern congressional collection" and thus to "appraise them away . . . solely on the basis of bulk probably would not gain a repository much space. " Later (1985) he pointed out case files included "Items . . . in which the member or a staff official took an extraordinary interest" or "of special significance to the region represented."

There are several appraisal issues recurrent in the literature on case files:

(1) Although many cases may seem similar from collection to collection, some really do have special interest to the Senator or to the state or region because they deal with problems of local character (Aronsson, 1984; Mackaman, 1985; Records Management Handbook, 1985, 1992).

(2) Case files in Congressional collections are redundant sources of information, an opinion typified by Aronsson (1984) and Greene (1994), because the essential content of Congressional casework files could be obtained from records of the executive branch of government. This view was challenged by Mackaman, who insisted cases are not practically duplicated in agency files.

(3) Several commentators on case files emphasize the need to respect the privacy of constituents whose files may contain personal information. This privacy concern is usually expressed as a necessity for restrictive access policies (Mackaman, Aronsson, Boccaccio, Miller [1994]), or as a statement that many congressmen simply won't donate, or repositories shouldn't accept, such materials (Miller, Boccaccio). A few (Paul, Greene) have alleged the specific applicability of federal privacy law to case files, although Wigdor (1977) pointed out that Congressional collections are not federal records, and "the privacy act doesn't apply to private papers."

(4) Others have proposed sampling as a means of reducing bulk (Greene [1994]; Mackaman [1985]). Gallagher thought the objective of such sampling was to "retain only the flavor of the senator's casework together with a few 'fat files' on more important issues that may have consumed a lot of staff time and effort." Aronsson suggested sampling to retain "anecdotal value." Miller thought "if filed topically" case files could be sampled "or statistically described." Boccaccio (1992) reported on the results of a survey which found "thirty percent reported discarding some, twenty-five percent discarded all, five percent no longer accepted them, and five percent sampled. Twenty five percent kept all case files and five percent did not accession them. Specific sampling methods were not reported, although one respondent noted saving ten percent and another twenty percent."

(5) To some extent, the case file activities are summarized in documents created by the Senator's office. Even Mackaman (1985) noted, "The success of the Congressional office in meeting this constituent need . . . usually can be documented through summaries of aggregate activity and periodic reports."

APPRAISAL: Some writers have shown confusion between "case files," as the term is used in Congressional offices, and other kinds of records whose filing arrangement makes them resemble cases. For example, Mackaman (1979), in the most extended analysis of case files, claimed seven kinds of cases: Immigration, Social Security, Veterans, Selective Service, Academy appointments, Patronage, Public works. In McClure, "case files" included Mackaman's first four (although little of selective service, because the draft was suspended during most of the period for which cases existed). Public works projects were sometimes treated as cases, but important projects usually became "issues" and issues usually were mostly handled by higher level members of the staff than caseworkers. In McClure, "Academy" and "Patronage" were never maintained by caseworkers, but appear elsewhere in the collection. In McClure, most of the "cases" involved problems of individuals or small groups rather than communities and many relate to matters not even included in Mackaman's list: conflicts between constituents and agencies arising over either federal regulations, federal loans, or federal land uses, including leases, recreational uses, trespass, or boundary disputes. These additional categories pertain to subjects of distinct interest for local or regional history. Federal agencies highly represented included, among others, the EPA, USFS, BLM, and FmHA. Such documentation of regional or local interests in the McClure collection would seem to provide the strongest argument in favor of preserving case files. However, far from revealing the "characteristics of bureaucratic administration" (Mackaman's phrase), cases in congressional collections are actually abnormal as examples of citizen-bureaucratic relations, since they tend to concern instances where the citizen was going far beyond normal bureaucratic channels for a solution to his problem. Cases do, as Paul pointed out, mean "expanding contacts with constituents," but seldom contact with McClure. Cases are handled by clerical staff and the specific constituent problems involved in casework are not necessarily of any particular concern to the Senator, although they do show the staff acting in McClure's name and reflect on McClure's reputation for service.

In McClure the records in case files contain almost entirely "information" rather than "evidence" in Schellenbergian terms, since the activity shown on the part of McClure's staff was almost always marginal to the subject of the case. The focus of the cases was almost always the relationships between constituents and executive agencies. The role of McClure's office in casework was not to solve underlying problems, but to bring the constituent and the bureaucracy together in a constructive fashion.

Very often, perhaps usually, there was no indication of the resolution of the incident that prompted the case, which was a matter between the citizen and the agency, not involving McClure's office. The congressional office was only a facilitator, not a primary actor, and certainly not a judge or even an arbitrator. In this important respect, case files contrast with the Academy files, which have similar privacy concerns, but wherein the primary thing documented is an action of the congressman – i.e., the nomination.

Except for those indexed in CMS, there is only occasionally any subject or agency access for cases. Almost all the cases were filed alphabetically, usually chronologically by the year closed. They were usually by the name of the complainant (generally an obscure private individual), if they were filed in any order at all, rather than by the agency involved.

After considering all the above, the decision was based on bulk relative to content and the cost (not actually calculated) of any salvage method that could be thought of. The constituent case files from the state offices were discarded because (1) their enormous bulk (111 cubic feet, over 7 percent of the entire collection), (2) the diffuse and limited character of their informational content, and (3) confidentiality concerns (more prompted by the terms of the deed of gift than by federal privacy law) combined to make them seem not worth the effort that would be required in processing and the storage space they would, if kept, have taken up in perpetuity. Casework logs were kept for both Boise and Pocatello offices.

"Cases" in the Washington office Senate Subject File (Series 2.3) comprised photocopies of lists replicated in the "Boise Office Casework Log," together with case forms, sometimes with attached carbons of outgoing letters. All of them were discarded.

7.1.4. Boise Newspaper Clippings


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: The clippings relating to McClure (those in folders identified as "JAM Clips") were kept. Clippings in miscellaneous categories were discarded.

7.1.5. Boise Highlights


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: The Highlights do not duplicate the clippings, because of the brevity of the Highlight entries, and because the thoroughness of the district offices in the preparation of Highlights cannot be assumed. The Highlights only awkwardly serve as an index to the clippings because there is no easy way to move from the brief summary in the Highlights to the clipping of the article highlighted. The Highlights, however, should serve as a chronology of events in Idaho of potential interest to McClure. They may be useful as a very partial index to Idaho newspapers, almost all of which for this time period are held on microfilm by the University of Idaho Library.

7.1.6. Boise Subject File


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Material that appeared duplicative of Washington office Subject File were discarded, including press releases.

7.1.7. Boise Public Relations


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Initially this series consisted mostly of carbons of requests, which were discarded.

7.1.8. Boise Issue Files


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: Those materials showing involvement of McClure's office were kept , but a large volume of constituent (i.e., public protest) letters on topics not concerning McClure were discarded, as were files containing only general information on agency programs and industrial and citizens' groups. Files of newspaper clippings, news releases, printed books, and other published material were discarded.

8.0. Post-Senatorial Papers


{Description} {Inventory}

APPRAISAL: The evidential value in this series lies chiefly in documenting certain public service activities of Senator McClure. The informational value relates to the operations of the two non-profit organizations upon whose boards McClure served. This is clearly marginal to the main interest in the collection. Nevertheless, materials discarded were largely limited to reports, brochures, and other records relating to programs.


References Cited


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