Thomas S. Foley Congressional Papers
WSU Libraries is honored to serve as the depository for the congressional papers of Thomas S. Foley. This impressive collection of papers, videotapes, and other visual and recorded materials serves as a testament to a long and outstanding record of public service. In addition, the collection offers a unique insight into the leadership of the House of Representatives and the workings of a majority party. Needless to say, the Foley collection has already become an invaluable resource for current and future researchers.
Typical of most congressional papers, the Foley papers contain a large body of constituent correspondence about legislation under consideration. There are reports and correspondence from various government agencies, along with records of election campaigns and invitations to public events. Unlike the papers of most representatives, the Foley collection offers a rare look at the career of an influential congressional figure and his path through the positions of caucus chairman, majority whip, majority leader, and speaker of the house.
Another distinguishing feature of the Foley collection is the inclusion of significant numbers of visual and recorded materials. By far, the largest of these is in videotape, chiefly dating from the years when Foley served as speaker of the House of Representatives. The press files are similar in nature to those of most representatives.
These files begin as a lengthy series of press clippings and scrapbooks, dating from Foley's first election campaign. However, the post–1989 press files are unique in congressional papers, consisting of many types of working documents used with the press and broadcast media. Furthermore, there are transcripts of the frequent—almost daily—press conferences that were a characteristic of Foley's term as speaker.
Rounding out this exceptional collection are the records from the district offices in Spokane and Walla Walla, documenting the congressman's trips to the district, details and reports of meetings and events throughout eastern Washington, and information on a variety of public concerns to the people of the Fifth Congressional District. With the addition of the Foley collection, WSU Libraries becomes a depository for more than 60 years of Washington state congressional history east of the Cascades.
A complete inventory of Mr. Foley's papers is available on-line from the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections unit of the WSU Libraries.