The Robert H. Michel Collection, first acquired by The Center in 1989 and supplemented over the years, is currently being processed.
The basic organization follows:
Series [to be processed]
20 linear feet. "Green" copies of outgoing correspondence organized alphabetically by recipient's name.
Audio Tapes [to be processed]
Approximately 258 items in varying formats, many in BETA or broadcast and not viewable at Center. [Preliminary inventory]
Photographs [to be processed]
5 linear feet. See also Scrapbook Series
Slides [to be processed]
6 linear feet
and Politics Series, 1956-94
40 linear feet. Documents electoral activities, combining files originally located in a variety of Michel's offices. The series is organized into a chronological and a subject series.
Jacksonville Office Files, 1983-94
7.5 linear feet. Two sections deal with routine office matters and public works projects respectively.
Peoria Office Files [to be processed]
2.5 linear feet
General Series [to
29 linear feet
Interfile Series [to be processed and integrated into other series]
Dear Colleague Letters, 1981-94
The series consists of 625 letters amounting to 3,817 pages. The topics include housekeeping details for House Republicans, notices of meetings and events, briefing materials for pending legislation, complaints about treatment by Democrats, and requests for votes. In most cases, the file consists simply of a copy of the letter. In other cases, however, the file includes drafts and reference materials. The best-documented subjects include the budget, federal spending and the economy; House rules; health care reform; the Republican Conference; and Republican proposals for House reform.
Dear Republican Colleague Letters, 1989-94
The series consists of 394 letters totaling 1,007 pages. This file consists of letters written on behalf of the Republican leadership to Republicans in the House of Representatives. There are occasional letters signed by both Democratic and Republican leaders—a mark in the “Rep. Only” column signifies letters signed only by Republicans. Topics range from invitations to Republican organizational matters to legislation to legislative procedures.
Joint Letters, 1983-94
The letters number 461, totaling 1,669 pages. The “”Joint Letters” series consists of letters signed by members of the House of Representatives—sometimes just Republicans, other times members of both parties. Most of the letters are directed to members of the executive branch, including the president. Others were sent to colleagues in the House and Senate. A few of the files contain responses. The subjects run from procedural matters in the chamber to issues of the day.
Leadership Files, 1963-96
15 linear feet. Consists of documents relating to Michel's service as Republican Whip (1975-80) and Minority Leader (1981-94) in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Membership Contacts, 1980-92
One linear foot. Topics include campaigns and campaign funding, committee assignments, resignations from the House, appointments to commissions and boards, and administrative issues in the House.
Hearings, 1953-87 [bound volumes; to be processed]
Illinois Delegation Letters, 1983-94
Less than one linear foot. This series contains copies of letters stating positions or requesting action on behalf of the Republicans and Democrats representing Illinois in the US House and Senate.
Legislative Files, 1957-94
80 liner feet. Consists of several different groupings of records organized by Congress or congressional session. These files apparently served as the reference source for bills that Rep. Michel sponsored, cosponsored, amended, or had a special interest in.
1.5 linear feet. Budget statistics, Member correspondence, staff analysis of options, and Senate actions concerning budget negotiations, 1981-82.
Health Care Reform [to be processed]
Legal Cases, 1980-93 [RESTRICTED]
Legal filings, committee reports, and occasional memoranda and research materials chiefly dealing with cases about prerogatives of the House.
Motor Voter, 1989-93
Staff memoranda, drafts and comparisons of legislation, reference materials, correspondence, and information related to HR 2190 and S 250 regarding voter registration.
October Surprise, 1987-93
Less than one linear foot. This file, apparently collected by Ted Van Der Meid, relates to Democrat-inspired efforts to establish a link between Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and the Iran hostage crisis.
Other Special Subjects, 1987-94
6 linear feet. This series consists of files related to topics of particular interest to Michel and his staff. Major topics include campaign reform, the organization and reform of Congress, and the House Post Office scandal.
2.5 linear feet. Robert H. Michel's voting record in the US House of Representatives is documented in a chronological series (1957-72) organized by Congress and in a subject series (1957-80) organized alphabetically.
Memorabilia Series [to be processed]
Judicial Appointment Files
2.5 linear feet. Materials assembled in preparing recommendations for federal judgeships.
References Files, 1980-91
2.5 linear feet. Files on individual recommended by Michel for positions on boards, commissions, and agencies.
Statutory and Ad Hoc Appointments
4.0 linear feet. Materials relating to appointments by the Minority Leader to boards; commissions; select, special, and joint committee; councils, delegations, and conferences.
Personal Files, 1948-2001 [RESTRICTED]
18 linear feet.
President's Commission on Olympic Sports, 1973-76
3 linear feet. On June 19, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford, by Executive Order, established the President's Commission on Olympic Sports to determine what factors impede or prevent the US from fielding its best amateur athletes for participation in the Olympic Games and other international amateur sporting events. He appointed Rep. Michel to serve on the commission. This series consists of hearings transcripts, interim reports to the President, and related materials. The commission staff generated the vast majority of documents – very little originated with Michel or his staff, although there are occasional underlinings in commission materials. Virtually all the information dates from mid-1975 through 1976; earlier records consist of reference information.
30 linear feet accumulates clippings, memoranda, newsletters, constituent questionnaires, remarks and releases, files of the Republican Press Secretary, and an extensive subject file. See also the Speech and Trip File.
District Project Files
16 linear feet. Project Files contain reference materials, memoranda, appeals to departments and agencies on behalf of public works projects in the 18th congressional district. Included are copies of project proposals and grant applications, news releases, notes, news clippings, award notifications, and correspondence. The projects concern subjects such as waste treatment; housing for elderly, low income, and handicapped individuals; bridge and road construction; river flooding; early childhood education; and health care and medical research. Generating significant interest in the late 1970s and early 1980s were the locks and dam 26 project (relating to the safety of dam 26 on the Illinois River), the proposed Sheffield nuclear waste site; various community development block grant proposals; and the development of airline routes from Peoria to other cities.
Percy Project Files [to be processed]
Series [to be processed]
13 linear feet.
Presidential Scrapbooks [on deposit, RESTRICTED]
Scrapbooks, 1945-94 [to be processed]
10 linear feet. Overwhelmingly photographs.
Congressional Record, 1957-94 [bound volumes]
Volumes containing only references to Michel.
Speech and Trip Files, 1956-2001
15.5 linear feet. Documents 1,200 of Michel's speeches. See also the Press Series.
Karen Buttaro Files, 1979-93
20 linear feet. The majority of files date from 1991-93 and concern budget, tax, and economic issues.
William F. Gavin Files, 1977-90
3.0 linear feet. A chronological section contains materials used in preparing remarks for Michel. The second, a subject section, contains reference materials, clippings, and occasional memos and correspondence related to legislative topics such as Contra aid, flag desecration, the nuclear freeze, and the October Surprise investigation.
David Kehl Files, 1977-92 [additions to be processed]
Michel statements and drafts, staff memoranda, copies of proposed legislation, information about legislative strategy, and occasional notes of meetings about budget, continuing resolutions, and House-Senate conference committee sessions.
William Pitts Files, 1971-90
Information about the federal budget and, to a lesser extent, House Republican operations and House procedures.
Ted Van Der Meid Files, 1978-94 [additions to be processed]
23 linear feet, contain reference materials, notes and memoranda, and occasional correspondence about such issues as banking, campaign finance reform, the Civil Rights Bill of 1991, crime legislation, congressional ethics, the Independent Counsel Act, franking reform, redistricting, and White House scandals. Van Der Meid was General Counsel to Michel.
Charlotte Vanlier Files, 1988-90Shelly White Files, 1993
Legislative working papers on Americans with Disabilities Act, drug abuse legislation, and flag desecration.
Less than 1 linear foot. Shelly White monitored the effort to secure passage of the North American Free Trade Act in late 1993. These files document the lobbying and vote counting that took place within Congress and on the part of outside interest groups in October and November of that year. Included are whip counts, meeting notes, and lobbying assignments.