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Americans With Disabilities Act, 1990-1992

 File — Box: 6

Scope and Contents

From the Series:

The largest group of materials in the collection, the Legislation Files, span Bennett's career in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1949-1993. A handful of documents, such as government reports and published committee hearings, date from 1944 to 1949. The files are arranged alphabetically, and often contain drafts and final versions of legislation, correspondence and memoranda, floor proceedings, news clippings and reference or background materials. Folder titles typically reflect legislative subjects, but also may refer to branches of government or congressional committees.

Because of the length of his service in Congress, Bennett's legislative files cover numerous, diverse subjects. There are several files pertaining to his "pet" issues, including ethics, defense, environmental conservation, animal rights (including veal calves), religion (including the "In God We Trust" motto), historical preservation, veterans, and physically disabled people. There are also files pertaining to important national and international events and issues, including Vietnam, segregation and Civil Rights, Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, communism and the Soviet Union, Israel and the Middle East, and Cuba.

Over his several decades in office, Bennett's staff filed his legislative papers using three different filing schemes. The earliest legislative materials were filed alphabetically and interfiled with constituent mail referencing both legislative and other non-legislative issues. Using the second and third filing schemes, materials were grouped and filed according to file types: files pertaining to departments in the federal government, files pertaining to legislation, constituent files, press files, etc. Under these later filing schemes, staff segregated most of the constituent mail that was unrelated to legislative issues (e.g., letters asking for assistance with Social Security or immigration matters). At some point, folders from the first filing scheme were interfiled alphabetically with folders from the second scheme and the original order of the records was lost. The folders in the third filing scheme, which primarily date from the late-1980s through Bennett's retirement in 1993, were small in number and they too were interfiled alphabetically in the new, artificial filing scheme. Many of the folders are not dated.

It should be noted that there are two other groups of files, the Florida Files and the General Files, which are closely related to the Legislative Files and there is a great deal of overlap between the three series of files. The Florida and General Files were maintained separately from the Legislative files by Bennett's staff and all folders were marked as "Florida" or "General" on the labels. This arrangement has been retained, although there are folders in both the Florida and General files that certainly are legislative materials. Likewise, the Legislative Files includes folders specifically related to Florida (e.g., Mayport Naval Station and the Jacksonville Naval Air Station). In conducting research in any of these areas, it is advisable to review all three groups to identify relevant materials.

Bennett's staff also maintained a separate group of files documenting his voting record, the bills he introduced or co-sponsored, and his ideas that were enacted into law. Researchers should consult the Voting Record and Bills series to examine these files.

Dates

  • Creation: 1990-1992

Creator

Access

The collection is open for research. The presence of constituent mail in this collection requires mediated access. Access to constituent mail is restricted for a period of 30 years from creation. Researchers must consult with Special Collections staff before using the collection and must agree in writing to the following conditions: Congressional constituent mail is considered a type of privileged correspondence. Reproduction of constituent mail in any format is prohibited. Further, researchers using constituent mail must agree not to divulge the names or addresses of constituents or provide information that could conceivably identify constituents.

Extent

From the Collection: 253.5 Linear feet (190 Boxes, 9 Volumes and 1 Oversize Folder)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

Contact:
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America
352-273-2755