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Modern Congressional and Political Papers Collection

Collections at WVU

The Modern Congressional and Political Papers Collection focuses primarily on documentation of national and state policy and politics since about World War II to the present. Strengths of the collecting area include the papers of Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II, Harley O. Staggers, Harley Martin Kilgore, and Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. 

Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV papers

Senator John Davison (Jay) Rockefeller IV served the people and state of West Virginia for more than half a century. In 2014, he donated his papers documenting his 30-year career in the United States Senate to the WVU Libraries’ West Virginia and Regional History Center. Rockefeller came to West Virginia in 1964 as a 27-year-old VISTA volunteer in the small community of Emmons, an experience that shaped his extensive career in public service. He served in the West Virginia House of Delegates (1966-1968); as Secretary of State of West Virginia (1968-1972); President of West Virginia Wesleyan College (1973-1976); and Governor of West Virginia (1977-1985). In 1984 he was elected to the United States Senate and was reelected four times, in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008, before retiring in 2015. 

The Rockefeller papers finding aid describes materials in the collection related to his career in the United States Senate, with additional materials related to his earlier political career and personal life. The records were maintained by Senator Rockefeller’s Washington, DC, office and West Virginia state offices in Charleston, Beckley, Fairmont, and Martinsburg. Record formats include papers, audiovisual materials, born-digital resources, photographs, and memorabilia. The collection consists of approximately 2011 linear feet of paper records and two terabytes of electronic records.

The majority of the Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV papers are closed until 2035. Permission to access materials prior to 2035 may be given at the donor’s discretion. Materials previously made publicly available, such as speeches, press releases, photographs, press interviews, clippings, and publications are open for research. The collection is stored off-site. Researchers should contact the West Virginia & Regional History Center prior to visiting to ensure materials are available.

Some materials, such as selected photographs and legacy memos, are available online at https://rockefeller.lib.wvu.edu/.

Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II papers

Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II served the people and state of West Virginia for 38 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2015, he donated his papers to the WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center. He began his political service in the early 1970s working in the cloak room of the U.S. Senate; as a staff member in the Senate Office of the Majority Whip from 1971-1974; and as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1972 and 1976. He was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 to represent West Virginia’s Third District and was re-elected for nineteen terms, serving from January 3, 1977-January 2, 2015.

The Rahall papers finding aid describes materials in the collection, which mostly relate to his career in the House of Representatives. The collection consists of 2089 linear feet of papers and more than 100 Gigabytes of electronic records. The majority of the papers are unprocessed and closed until 2030. Permission to access materials may be given at the donor’s discretion. Materials previously made publicly available, such as speeches, press releases, photographs, press interviews, clippings, and publications are open for research. The collection is stored off-site. Researchers should contact the West Virginia & Regional History Center prior to visiting to ensure materials are available.

Some materials, such as selected photographs, are available online at https://rahall.lib.wvu.edu/.

Governor Arch A. Moore Jr. papers

undefinedArch Moore Jr. and Shelley Riley Moore served the people of West Virginia for more than 30 years. The archives at the WVU Libraries’ West Virginia and Regional History Center document Arch Moore’s career as a congressman and West Virginia’s only three-term governor, as well as Shelley Moore’s contributions as First Lady of West Virginia. Arch Moore served three terms as Governor of West Virginia (1969-1977, 1985-1989). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection for governor in 1988. Previously, he was elected as a Republican to five terms in the United States House of Representatives, serving from January 3, 1957-January 3, 1969. He was not a candidate for reelection to the Ninety-first Congress in 1968. He died on January 7, 2015, in Charleston, WV.

The Moore papers finding aid describes materials related to both his congressional and gubernatorial careers, as well as a small number of records related to his personal law practice. The congressional papers (1957-1969) are processed and open for research. The gubernatorial papers are largely unprocessed, but permission to access materials may be given at the Assistant Curator's discretion. The collection is stored off-site. Researchers should contact the West Virginia & Regional History Center prior to visiting to ensure materials are available.

Some materials, such as selected photographs, are available at https://moore.lib.wvu.edu/.