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Special Collections & Archives

Manuscript Group 400


Scope and Content

The papers of James A. McClure span the years 1961 to 1995, with the majority of the material dating from the years 1967 through 1990 when he served first in the United States House of Representatives and then in the United States Senate from Idaho. The overwhelming bulk of the collection comprises the records of McClure's Congressional and Senatorial office staffs, including, in the Senatorial period, records of his Idaho offices. The is little relating to McClure's life outside of politics and public service.

Among record types are correspondence; newspaper clippings; photographs; sound and video recordings; speeches, including many drafts; memoranda; mailing lists; legislative material such as bills sponsored by McClure and by others, reports, and related documents; Congressional Record inserts; news releases; invitations and responses; and other records, including associated printed materials. Correspondents include the presidents and vice presidents of the United States during McClure's terms in office, as well as other senators and congressmen, governors of Idaho, other federal and state officials, and members of the public, who were overwhelmingly his constituents in Idaho. There is also a significant amount of material relating to McClure's campaigns for election and his participation in the elections of others. Topics include virtually every matter of public interest in Idaho during McClure's terms, as well as a significant volume of material reflecting national and international affairs, especially in regard to energy resources. The collection is particularly strong concerning politics in Idaho and concerning management of federal lands and natural resource policies, nationally, but especially as they affect Idaho. Well represented are policies concerning mining, timber, grazing, energy, water and irrigation, and wilderness and outdoor recreation, as well as other natural resource and environmental matters. There are also small quantities of material reflecting McClure's service in the Idaho state senate, 1961-1966, and some of his public service activities after leaving the United States Senate in 1990.

The arrangement of the collection reflects, to the extent practicable, the filing systems employed over a quarter century in McClure's office. Thus, very prominent are the evolutions in the original subject arrangement which McClure adopted soon after opening his Congressional office and the partial revolution that took place when a computerized correspondence system was adopted midway in his Senatorial career.

Senator McClure donated this collection to the University of Idaho by deed of gift dated July 13, 1990 and the material was shipped by United States mail from each of his offices and received between July 1990 and January 1991. A very small amount of material, mostly concerning McClure's post-senatorial activities, was forwarded from the Washington, D.C., office of McClure, Gerard and Neuenschwander, Inc., in 1995. While title transferred to the university, Senator McClure retained copyright during his lifetime to materials written by himself or his staff.