Public Policy Papers

Daniel Linke, Curator of Public Policy Papers

The Public Policy Papers grew out of the Manuscripts collection starting in the 1950s, as the library acquired the papers of many prominent alumni and other individuals and organizations involved in national politics, economics, and diplomacy. In 1974, the Seeley G. Mudd Foundation awarded the University $1.125 million toward building a dedicated library for the Policy Papers, which today totals over 300 collections.

The papers of John Doar, Class of 1944, document his career, particularly his service in the Civil Rights Division of the US Justice Department from 1960 to 1967. During those tumultuous years, he stood at the forefront of the government’s work with the civil rights movement, including the “Mississippi Burning” trial (U. S. v. Price); the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march; and James Meredith’s entry into the segregated University of Mississippi. Doar’s papers enhance the Public Policy Papers’ holdings related to civil rights, civil liberties, and jurisprudence, which includes the records of the American Civil Liberties Union, the most-used policy papers collection.

Kristen Timothy, Deputy Director, United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women coordinated the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), where Hillary Clinton proclaimed, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.” Women’s World Banking (WWB), whose records are found within the Public Policy Papers, also contributed to the Beijing conference’s planning. WWB developed from the 1975 United Nations World Conference on Women; today, it continues its work in microfinance, providing loans to women’s small businesses around the world. Both collections are growing parts of the Public Policy Papers related to women working in politics and economic development.

Public Policy Papers Collection Highlights