October 30, 2018, marks the tenth anniversary of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, UT’s public policy center named for the US senator from Tennessee who was famous for his civility and nonpartisanship. It is also the tenth anniversary of the Modern Political Archives (MPA).
The papers of a number of Tennessee’s twentieth-century political leaders reside with the University of Tennessee Libraries. The late Howard H. Baker Jr., for instance, deposited hundreds of boxes of his political records with the UT Libraries to ensure that the annals of his public service would be available to posterity.
When the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy opened on the UT campus in 2008, the libraries’ twentieth-century political collections were rehoused in a state-of-the-art archival storage area in the new facility. These important collections form the basis of the MPA.
The archives are central to the Baker Center’s mission of promoting research, education, and discourse on government and public policy issues. The collections housed in the Baker Center are curated by an archivist and made available to students and scholars in the MPA’s reading room.
Howard Baker’s political career is particularly well documented in the MPA, and his papers are in steady use by researchers studying public policy during his terms in the Senate as well as Baker’s contributions to public life.
New Digital Collection: Howard Baker Speeches
“The Modern Political Archives receives many inquiries about Senator Baker’s papers, especially his speeches and remarks given before the Senate,” said Kris Bronstad, the MPA archivist. “This past year, we digitized transcripts of a selection of his speeches and made them available online.”
The fully-searchable Senator Howard Baker Speeches and Remarks, 1966-1985, is available at digital.lib.utk.edu/bakerspeeches. The new collection is a nice complement to another of the Libraries’ digital collections gathered from the political archives, Photographs from the Life and Career of Howard Baker (digital.lib.utk.edu/baker).
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