Henry M. (Henry Martin) Jackson Papers (access the collection guide/finding aid)
The Henry M. Jackson Papers (accession 3560) encompasses over 1200 cubic feet of archival records and papers, photographs, political cartoons, audio tapes, films and videos, political and personal ephemera, and other papers and artifacts, which richly document Jackson's public life and political career. The collection was opened to research in 1987; since that time it has been among the most frequently consulted archives in the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. Since the finding aid was first published on the internet, in 2005, the pace of use has increased by members of the University of Washington community, but also by researchers from around the world.
The main body of the Henry M. Jackson Papers was donated to the University of Washington Libraries by Jackson's widow, Helen Hardin Jackson, in 1983, shortly after Senator Jackson's death. Subsequent additions were received from the Jackson family, as well as from Jackson's aides and other sources.
Generous funding from the Washington State Legislature shortly after the collection was received underwrote the initial processing of the Jackson papers and the creation of a series of paper-based finding aids describing the various component accessions of the collection. Subsequently, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation funded projects that enabled the Libraries to establish an online finding aid for the Jackson's papers, and to convert the bulk of the existing paper-based box-and-folder inventories into a single, integrated online tool, accessible via the internet. A further grant from the Foundation enabled the library to describe in detail the rich, often unique media components of the collection, including photographs, audio recordings, films and videos, artifacts, and political cartoons, and to incorporate them fully into the online finding aid. This same grant also provided funding to digitize a representative sampling of the photographic prints in the collection and make them available via the internet. In addition, all of the archival analog audio tape recordings, films, and videos, were digitized to enhance researcher access to them, and to better ensure long-term preservation of their content.
Organization and Access to the Papers
The Henry M. Jackson Papers is organized into several accessions, or series, each of which is summarized in the Guide to the Henry M. Jackson Papers 1912-1987 and listed in detail, generally at the folder level. The Guide, or finding aid, helps researchers to identify boxes and folders of specific interest to them. Each series is prefaced with a narrative overview, which establishes biographical or historical context for the file-level inventory that follows.
Those most interested in the textual materials in the archive should consult the following series:
Visual media, artifacts, and audio recordings will be found in the following series:
Donald A. Schmechel Jackson Oral History Project
In 1985, Seattle-based attorney, and Jackson political supporter, Donald A. Schmechel undertook to interview over 100 of Jackson's friends, family members, and associates. Those interviewed included U.S. Senators, Washington State political leaders, public officials, former Jackson aides, members of the Jackson family, and political supporters. Lazlo Pal, a documentary film maker who had worked on Jackson's campaigns, conducted some of the interviews. The Schmechel collection of Oral History Interviews About Henry M. Jackson (accession 4056-003), which includes summaries and partial transcripts, as well as audio and video recordings, was transferred to the University of Washington Libraries in 1996.
A detailed Guide to the Schmecher Oral History Collection is available in Special Collections.
Interviews with the following individuals are open for research:
In a limited number of instances, material in the collection has been digitized and is accessible through links embedded in the online finding aid, where icons represent links to digital surrogates.
The camera icon is used to indicate the presence of a digitized photograph available for online viewing through UW Digital Collections. Selecting this icon will access photographs corresponding to the file level description in the finding aid.
The film reel icon is used to indicate the presence of a streaming video clip available for viewing through UW Digital Collections. The video clips have been digitized from the original films and videos, and are between three and six minutes in duration. Selecting this icon will access the video clip that is a sample of the larger work described in the Moving Images section of the online finding aid. Complete digital copies of all of these films are available on DVD for viewing in the Reading Room of the UW Libraries Special Collections Division.
The speaker icon is used to indicate the presence of a sound clip available for listening through UW Digital Collections. The audio clips have been digitized from the original sound recordings and are between three and six minutes in duration. Selecting this icon will access the audio clip that is a sample of the larger work described in the Sound Recordings section of the online finding aid. Complete digital copies of all of these audio recordings are available on CD in the Reading Room of the UW Libraries Special Collections Division.