Session 19. Archiving the Also-Rans: The Value of Defeated Presidential Candidate Papers

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When it comes to the race for the White House, have you ever wondered what becomes of those who finished behind the victor? Even those who did not have a successful campaign–regardless of party–still constitute an important, yet often-overlooked body of archival records in most cases. The diversity of candidates and where their manuscript collections ultimately end up is an interesting study in how their respective legacies are preserved. This panel will explore various aspects of political records, including the topic's background, acquisition stories, and examples of research use. An emphasis will be placed on advocating for resources needed to process and make these collections complete and dynamic. Individual examples will include Bill Bradley, Thomas E. Dewey, George McGovern, and Adlai Stevenson among others whose legacies have lived on past Election Day.