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Portrait of Fulbright

J. William Fulbright (1905-1995)

Papers, 1942-1990


Manuscript Collection MS/F956/144





The papers of J. William Fulbright consist of more than 1,400 linear feet of correspondence, speeches, legislative bills, photographs, and other records pertaining to the governmental, political, and diplomatic issues with which he was concerned. The papers document his thirty-two-year public career in the U.S. House and Senate, especially his tenure as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee for the years 1959-1975. Some of the files concern his one term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943 until 1945, and others pertain to the Fulbright family. The collection includes post-senatorial papers associated with Fulbright's activities and interests from 1975-1994. Also included is an addendum (circa 1944-1974) which consists of constituent, business, personal, and general correspondence; press releases; correspondence concerning legislation reviewed by Senatorial and Congressional Committees; and correspondence regarding Fulbright's senatorial speeches, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the issue of ethics in government.

Materials in the papers document the internal workings of Congress and its relationship with other branches and with government agencies; the work of U.S. Senate committees, particularly Foreign Relations and Banking and Currency; and Fulbright's relationship with his constituency. Significant portions of the collection relate to United States foreign relations and include such important episodes in mid-twentieth century history as the Cuban missile crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S. intervention in the Dominican Republic, and the Vietnam War. Other materials relate to the senator's major legislative interests and accomplishments and to his speechmaking in the Senate and elsewhere. The collection also provides information about the Democratic party and political activities and issues in Arkansas. The papers include materials on the Fulbright resolution of 1943 favoring U.S. participation in a postwar international peace-keeping organization; the origin and administration of the Fulbright program; the censure of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy; the Fulbright memorandum of 1961 on educational and propaganda activities of the military; U.S. policies toward the Middle East and the former Soviet Union; and the senator's political campaigns, including the first in 1944 for the House and the second in 1944 for the Senate.


The Fulbright papers are processed and open to researchers. Access is available through an unpublished twelve-volume finding aid consisting of file analyses supported by extensive indexes to file titles, correspondents, and subjects for the first accession (primarily 1942-1960) and series and subseries descriptions supported by container lists for the second accession (primarily 1960-1975). Finding aids for the most frequently used parts of the second accession are available online. Restrictions limit access to some files. To facilitate their work, researchers who wish to use the papers are advised to contact Special Collections in advance.


Vera Ekechukwu, Fulbright Papers Research Assistant
Special Collections Department
University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002

(479) 575-8447
FAX (479) 575-3472


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