The Orrin G. Hatch Congressional Papers Collection will be a rich repository of the most critical legislative developments in modern American history.
Senator Hatch’s official and personal records have significant practical and historical value. Under the direction of a professional archivist, Senator Hatch’s staff has worked to preserve these records by following high-standard archival procedures. The Orrin G. Hatch Congressional Papers Collection is the culmination of this effort.
The Collection presents a comprehensive history of Senator Hatch’s legislative achievements over nearly four decades of public service. It includes thousands of documents in all formats and media. These records will serve as an invaluable resource to historians, biographers, political scientists, economists, sociologists, the legal community and the general public.
Of special note is the Foundation’s vast compilation of legislative records. These materials include bills, amendments, memoranda, letters and speeches related to some of the most critical legislative undertakings of the last half-century. Researchers will have unprecedented access to investigate Congress’s role in significant historical developments, such as the Iran-Contra investigation, the Clinton impeachment proceedings and the confirmation proceedings of 12 Supreme Court Justices.
Of equal value are documents from the Senator’s service on various Senate committees, including: the Judiciary Committee; the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; the Finance Committee; the Select Committee on Intelligence; and the Special Committee on Aging. These records will offer scholars an unparalleled view into the legislative proceedings that led to the passage of historic laws.
In addition to legislative records, the collection will also offer access to Senator Hatch’s personal letters, press documents, campaign materials, and other effects. Some representative items found among the Senator’s personal memorabilia include:
- Personal notes, meeting minutes, and internal memoranda relating to the confirmation hearings for Robert Bork, Justice Clarence Thomas, and virtually every judicial nominee over the past 40 years;
- Correspondence between Senator Hatch and President Clinton regarding a variety of legal and constitutional issues, as well as nominations to key positions in the Department of Justice;
- A copy of H. Res. 611, the Resolution of Impeachment of President Clinton, signed by all of the House Impeachment Managers;
- An original copy of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s first draft and handwritten notes from the dissenting opinion in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the 2012 Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of Obamacare;
- A telegram from Ronald Reagan endorsing Senator Hatch in the 1976 Utah Republican Senate primary—Reagan’s only known pre-primary endorsement throughout his entire public career;
- Private correspondence between Senator Hatch and Senator Ted Kennedy on issues arising during negotiations over landmark legislation to address children’s health;
- A painting by the late Senator Ted Kennedy of the Hyannis Port seascape, one of many personal gifts from Senator Kennedy, a close friend and colleague of Senator Hatch;
- Artifacts from Senator Hatch’s mission to Angola in 1986, including metal plates with Cyrillic lettering taken by UNITA fighters from captured artillery pieces and rocket launchers, proving that the Soviet Union was providing weapons to the Marxist faction in the country’s civil war; and
- A personal letter from former First Lady Nancy Reagan expressing her support for stem cell research, the content of which was influential in encouraging Senator Hatch’s own support for funding stem cell research.
Access to this vast array of materials will be granted to both scholars and the general public. Thanks to Senator Hatch’s critical role in so many of the pivotal events of the last forty years, the Collection will be a crowning feature of the Hatch Center—one of its enduring contributions to historical scholarship and popular memory of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.