By Christina Fitzpatrick, Processing Archivist
We are pleased to announce the opening of Series 15 in the Edward M. Kennedy Senate Files. This collection contains records that are principally connected with Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy’s career in government service, specifically material that was generated by his official duties as Senator from Massachusetts (1962-2009). The newly available series is titled Company, School and Organization Case Files (F-12), 1961-1974. It consists of 92 archival boxes of records.
Series 15 contains constituent case files pertaining to companies, schools, and other organizations. These files were created and maintained by the staff of Senator Kennedy’s office in Washington, D.C., and were assigned the central filing code F-12. Companies contacted the Senator for assistance with a variety of business issues. Common overarching topics in these files include banking and lending, labor and employment, trade and tariffs, taxes and tax status, pending or proposed legislation, defense and military contracts, and grant applications involving the Small Business Administration, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and other federal agencies. Some companies sent Senator Kennedy copies of their brochures and other advertising material. Schools, labor unions, non-profits, and other community organizations often wrote to inquire about funding sources, support or oppose legislation, request support for their endeavors, or invite Senator Kennedy to an event. Most case files relate to companies and organizations based in Massachusetts, but there are also files for out-of-state and foreign entities.
Types of material in this series include letters, telegrams, publications, reports, government forms, memoranda, notes, advertisements, catalogs, and photographs. Files from the early to mid 1960s are more likely to contain exchanges of correspondence, while later files are mostly comprised of tracking sheets for grants and contracts. The series also contains some material created by Senator Kennedy’s predecessor, Benjamin A. Smith. The files are arranged alphabetically by company or organization name. Companies named after an individual are filed alphabetically by their first name, except if the name begins with initials, in which case it is filed under their surname. For example: John Smith Company is filed under “J” while A. B. Smith Company is filed under “S.”
Because of the potentially sensitive nature of these files, most folders are subject to review by an archivist before use. Please contact the Research Room staff if you would like access to a folder that has not yet been reviewed. A sampling of files about well-known Massachusetts companies have been pre-screened and opened.
To give you a better sense of what this series contains, we wanted to highlight some of the interesting documents and letterhead that we found. Many prominent Massachusetts companies and organizations are represented here. Perhaps you will recognize some of them!
Massachusetts Food and Drink
Massachusetts Industry and Infrastructure
Massachusetts Sports and Recreation
Some of the company case files also contain photographs of Senator Kennedy, Joan Kennedy, and others. We even found images of then-Senator John F. Kennedy visiting Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1958.
Additional series from the Edward M. Kennedy Senate Files will be made available as they are processed. For the full collection finding aid, please see Guide to the Edward M. Kennedy Senate Files.