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Senator Jacob K. Javits Collection  

Collection Number
SC 285


The Senator Jacob K. Javits Collection includes: 2,460 document boxes; 3,006 photographs, slides and cartoons; 601 reels of audio and video tape recordings; 969 items of memorabilia, and 233 reels of microfilm. The total estimated number of items is 1,810,000, which occupy 1,220 linear feet.


Statement of Senator Jacob K. Javits - January 2, 1986 

"The collection represents 34 years of public office, with eight of these years spent in the House of Representatives (1947-1955) and 24 years spent in the U.S. Senate (1957-1981). The interim years, 1955 and 1956, were spent as Attorney General of the State of New York.

The whole period represents the post-World War II sweep of our history, including the reconstruction of devastated Western Europe, the establishment of the USSR as an empire behind the Iron Curtain, and the liquidation of the colonial empires of the United States and its Western European allies. It marked, also, the emergence of the Pacific basin as a critical force and the advent of the atomic weapon as a major threat to the very survival of mankind.

These portentous events have transformed the world and its society, and the establishment of the United Nations has forecast a change in the very organization of governments.

In the coming century, the fruit of these developments will mature. We have every right to expect that greater units of governance will come forward to deal with the responsibilities that regional and global problems have created, and that we will see the sunset of nationalism. Regional structures like the European Common Market, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, and the Soviet Bloc already anticipate this trend. In view of the awesome threat of the atomic weapon, we also have every reason to expect that peace-keeping measures will be increasingly implemented and collective in character.

It is my hope and expectation that this collection of my official papers will be a stimulus for enterprising minds and a source of creativity in human and governmental endeavors. The lessons of both experience and moderation may be made to serve effectively for the solution of problems already crystallized or indicated in my time."


New York State Legislative Resolution S.416, A.423, adopted in March 1981, states:

Resolved, That the Legislature memorializes the State University of New York to create a Senator Jacob K. Javits Collection within the Department of Special Collections in the Frank Melville, Jr., Memorial Library, State University of New York at Stony Brook so that this important collection of public papers may be preserved and made accessible to all who seek to study this unique period in New York State and American history and the unmatched contributions rendered thereto by Senator Jacob K. Javits.

The AGREEMENT AND DEED OF GIFT, signed May 1, 1981, lists Senator Jacob K. Javits' donation as including his ". . . papers, manuscripts, printed materials, photographs, memorabilia and other items related to [his] political career . . . ."

In the AGREEMENT AND DEED OF GIFT, Senator Javits " . . . gives, assigns, transfers and sets over to State University, all his rights, title and interest, including copyright interests and literary property rights, in the Collection. . ."

It further stipulates that:

The Collection shall be made available, in accordance with general University rules and policies, to qualified researchers and scholars, who may procure single-copy reproductions of unpublished materials in the Collection (subject to the fair use provisions of the Copyright Law). Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, in the case of materials which are security-classified pursuant to Law or Executive Order, access shall be subject to the procedures established by Law or Executive Order governing the availability of such information. Permission to quote from any unpublished materials in the Collection shall be obtained from Donor or his authorized representatives for a period of ten years following January 2, 1981 and thereafter from State University . . .

Collection History

In the spring of 1982, the Special Collections received nearly 2,000 record center cartons from the Federal Records Centers in Suitland, Maryland, and Bayonne, New Jersey. Materials were also received from Senator Javits' residence and law office in New York City. In addition, author Rafael Steinberg contributed materials accumulated in the preparation of "Javits: The Autobiography of a Public Man."

Government documents and publications not specific to the collection were transferred to the University Libraries' government documents section. Books were added to the Special Collection's book collection. 

Initial processing, arrangement, and draft descriptions of the collection were prepared under the direction of archivist Mary Boccaccio between December 1982 and June 1985. Her staff during this period included assistant archivists David W. Carmicheal and Kathleen Kirwan; technical assistant Philip J. Burns; secretaries Frances Arnetta, Evelyn F. Rudnik, and Lillian Trombetta; graduate assistant Lee R. Hiltzik, and student assistants Keith Kubarek, Elvira Leon, Nova Lewis, Beverly Magee, Sonja Mains, and Dwayne A. Taylor.

Staff involved with processing of the post-Senate material subsequently included archivist Roxane Ah Kao, and graduate assistants Mary Rogers, Margaret Schrage, and Robert Tyman. With the financial support of Mrs. Javits, Alan H. Haeberle processed additional materials from March to September, 1992. These additions had been deposited subsequent to completion of the original collection arrangement and description.

Special Collections staff who contributed to the overall planning, organizing, and housing of the collection, and who participated in the preparation of the Preliminary Series Guide through the early 1990s include Rose C. Brown, Timothy D. Cary, Lee R. Hiltzik, Peggy L. McMullen, Susan C. Rose, and Arthur F. Sniffin. Additional staff members who assisted in arranging, processing, and preparing the collection for research access since the publication of the original preliminary series guide include Rose C. Brown, Timothy C. Cary, Diane E. Englot, Lee R. Hiltzik, Audrey C. Koppos, and Susan C. Rose.