The boston.com headline reads “JFK Archives Open to the World.” Read the article here describing how the Kennedy Library in Boston did it.
UMass Lowell wants to do the same with the Martin T. Meehan Papers, Paul E. Tsongas Papers, and other documents and materials associated with the members of Congress who have represented Lowell and its Congressional District through the decades. The UMass Lowell Center for Lowell History has an in-progress project called The Fifth Congressional District Archives Project, which is focused on digitizing the papers of now-Chancellor Meehan from his 14 years in Congress as well as the Paul E. Tsongas Papers (US Rep. and Senate archives, 1991-92 Presidental Primary Campaign materials, and private/family papers—UMass Lowell has Paul’s personal library of books from the Mansur Street home. All the materials were donated to the University by US Rep. Niki Tsongas). The Meehan Collection includes all legislative documents, correspondence, and more, including an extensive archive of media materials from print and electronic sources.
Plans include gathering papers from other former US Reps. such as Jim Shannon, Chet Atkins, and Paul Cronin, and linking the Lowell research site to exisiting collections of papers of F. Bradford Morse and Edith Nourse Rogers at Boston University and Harvard/Radcliffe. Eventually, the archive will cover all members of Congress from the area since the establishment of Lowell in the 1820s and even into the pre-Lowell era.
Given Lowell’s central place in American and world history and status as a National Historical Park, these political history materials are essential to understanding the federal role in the community’s distinguished urban history.