|1||Dirksen, Everett McKinley (1896-1969),
4 Linear Shelf Feet
The Notebooks, numbering over 12,500 pages, contain outlines and texts of remarks, reference materials, and other documents collected by Dirksen and kept in a set of personal notebooks. According to his staff and family, Dirksen referred to these records frequently in composing speeches, preparing radio and television programs for constituents, and developing his thinking on issues.
For the most part, the Notebooks consist of speech outlines of varying detail. Many are preliminary drafts of remarks that may be found in more complete form in the Remarks and Releases file. There are numberous remarks, however, that have been preserved only in the Notebook series, particularly those prepared before 1952.
Topic coverage varies widely from campaigns and politics to legislation and foreign policy. Notebook Sixteen, for example, contains Dirksen's trip diary documenting impressions gained during his 1945 world trip.
The Notebooks are arranged in two major divisions. The Notebook Documents section (f. 1-25) contains material that was filed with the Notebooks but not actually stored in ring binders. Much of this information was completely unsorted, and the processing staff arranged it in chronological order.
The numbered Notebook series (f . 26-236) comprises the bulk of the record group. Apparently, Dirksen did not keep the notebooks in a particular order, nor were the individual contents organized in a systematic fashion. Processors arranged the notebooks in chronological order by the earliest date in a notebook and assigned each an arbitrary number to distinquish it from the others. In order to preserve the notebooks as Dirksen collected and used them, the contents were not rearranged despite the lack of organization. A detailed finding aid listing each item in every notebook attempts to compensate for this weakness in organization.
The Notebooks provide a unique opportunity to explore Dirksen's thoughts and actions. Of all the collection's record groups, this series is most directly Dirksen's own creation. The early documents also compensate partially for the loss of Dirksen's House of Representatives records in 1949.
Index to the two major divisions of the Notebook documents:
Section (f. 1-25) - material that was filed with the Notebooks but not actually stored in ring binders
Section f. 26-236 - the numbered series comprised of the record group
f. 56-58 continued: Notebook Twelve (1943-45), 153 pages
f. 59-61: Notebook Thirteen (1943, 1946), 138 pages
f. 62-63: Notebook Fourteen (1943-48), 122 pages
f. 64-65: Notebook Fifteen (1944-46), 71 pages
f. 66-69: Notebook Sixteen (1945), 258 pages
f. 70-71: Notebook Seventeen (1945), 83 pages
f. 72: Notebook Eighteen (1945), 75 pages
f. 73: Notebook Nineteen (1945), 48 pages
f. 74-75: Notebook Twenty (1945-46), 116 pages
f. 76: Notebook Twenty-One (1945-48), 55 pages
f. 77-78: Notebook Twenty-Two (ca. 1946-47), 151 pages
f. 79-80: Notebook Twenty-Three (1946-47), 106 pages
f. 81-82: Notebook Twenty-Four (1946-47), 86 pages
The Everett McKinley Dirksen Collection consists of five major groups of material: reference volumes, still photographs, audiovisual items, memorabilia, and papers. Each group is described individually in finding aids housed at The Center. Arrangement varies according to type of record.
The Dirksen Papers, the largest of the five divisions, consist predominately of files accumulated during Everett Dirksen's years as a U.S. Senator, 1951-69. Several smaller additions to the main collection include material spanning other years of Dirksen's life.
Major file groups encompass campaigns and politics, public works, legislation, constituent correspondence and casework, patronage, congressional leadership activities, remarks and releases, and clippings. Each of these sections, and smaller ones as well, are described in more detail in The Center's finding aids.
List of Collection Series
4.0 linear shelf feet
Office and personal appointment books and office guest sign-in books.
Chicago Office File, 1880-1972
99.0 linear shelf feet
Constituent casework, Illinois patronage, inter-office memoranda, and, notably, political and campaign files for Dirksen's four Senate campaigns and his other political activities. Includes personal files of the office's director, Harold E. Rainville.
Clippings File, 1930-70
7 linear shelf feet
Dirksen Information file, 1933-present
1 linear shelf foot
Created by Center staff, this file contains copies of articles about Dirksen, the Congressional Record index to his remarks, the New York Times Index of references to him, and the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature citations to Dirksen. For more information about Dirksen, click here for an online version of the bibliographical essay that appears in his memoir, The Education of a Senator.
Dirksen, Louella Carver, 1933-76
2 linear shelf feet
Information regarding Mrs.Dirksen's participation in various service and political organizations, letters of condolence upon Senator Dirksen's death, notes and drafts for The Honorable Mr. Marigold.
Bulk of films are Your Senator Reports, Dirksen's weekly television broadcast. Also documentaries and miscellany. Selected films have been converted to videotape.
Financial Records, 1928-62
2.5 linear shelf feet
Bank statements, canceled checks, invoices, and ledger pages for the most part dealing with political campaigns.
Form Letters, 1951-69
In order to reply to constituents, the Dirksen office created a library of responses arranged alphabetically by subject within each year. Having these online will give viewers a quick snapshot of the legislative workload and, in a sense, Dirksen's style of representation and constituent service. The folder numbers in the list below designate the folders of the Chicago Office File in which the originals are located.
Legislative File, 1933-70
24 linear shelf feet
Copies of bills introduced, co-sponsored, or amended by Dirksen and his voting records.
ca. 1,500 items
Newsletters: Congressional Front, 1933-46
From his first week in office in the House of Representatives through 1946, Congressman Everett Dirksen personally composed and typed weekly newsletters (while Congress was in session) to his constituents in central Illinois. Congressional Front, as it was called, covered the personalities, politics, and policies of Congress and the federal government.
4 linear shelf feet
More than 12,500 pages of outlines and texts, reference materials, and other documents collected by Dirksen and kept in a set of personal notebooks.
Pamphlets and Periodicals, 1916-69
1 linear shelf foot
Patronage, 1939-70 RESTRICTED
4.5 linear shelf feet
Material related to applicants for federal jobs and judicial appointments. Closed to research.
2 linear shelf feet
Scattered correspondence and information about Dirksen's medical condition, memoir, and recordings.
Photographs, ca. 1860-1975
10 linear shelf feet
11 linear shelf feet
Correspondence and material related to Dirksen's campaigns and political activities, including his participation in Republican National Conventions.
Public Works File, 1931-70
55.5 linear shelf feet
The record of federally-funded projects (community projects, depressed areas, highways, and rivers and harbors) in Illinois and Dirksen's involvement in them.
Remarks and Releases, 1941-69
6.0 linear shelf feet
Drafts and transcripts of speeches; selected remarks in Congress (The Center does not have copies of the Congressional Record featuring Dirksen speeches on the floor), interviews of radio and television; Republican leadership press releases; weekly constituent newsletters; transcripts of Your Senator Reports; and, Dirksen's newspaper column. Unfortunately, Dirksen rarely composed his remarks in advance; in many cases no record of them survives.
Republican Leadership File, 1916-69
4.0 linear shelf feet
The Joint Senate-House Republican Leadership Minutes and Statements section documents the meetings of Republican congressional leaders, 1961-68. A second section pertains to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, 1949-59, which Dirksen chaired, 1952-54.
Joint Senate-House Republican Leadership Minutes, 1961-68
The minutes of the Republican leadership during the presidential administrations of John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. In their original state, each session’s minutes generally include attendance, brief summaries of topics discussed, and background “fact sheets” for statements at press conferences following the meetings. The digitized document presented here include only the formal minutes. The press conferences following the leadership meetings achieved fame as the “Ev and Charlie” and “Ev and Jerry” shows. For audio samples and curricular materials associated with a small sample of these minutes, please visit “The 1960s: A Multi-Media View from Capitol Hill” http://www.dirksencenter.org/emd_audio/index.htm.
Working Papers, 1857-1969
41 linear shelf feet
Topically arranged reference file for legislation, selected constituent cases, speeches, and other matters. The bulk contains information concerning legislation between 1964 and 1969. Topics receiving relatively substantial attention include civil rights, foreign trade, Internal Revenue Code amendments, attempts to repeal Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, Dirksen's prayer amendment and reapportionment amendment, and the activities of the Trading With the Enemy Act subcommittee.