Paul Drabbe Kennedy Collection

In 2015, Paul Drabbe donated his extensive collection of John F. Kennedy’s memorabilia to the Roosevelt Study Center. This collection contains a wide variety of objects connected in some way to the figure of JFK: books, stamps, newspapers and magazines, as well as numerous memorabilia in the form of merchandise or decorative pieces.  The size and variety of the collection (it contains more than 6000 individual items) make it  a fascinating  example on how the figure of this charismatic young president left a mark in popular culture. In this video interview (in Dutch), Paul Drabbe and his wife Nan talk about their collection: how it started, by what was inspired, how it is composed and how their network of Kennedy collectors looked like.

FINDING AID: Paul Drabbe Kennedy Collection

Jack van Eekelen Kennedy Collection

​Donated to the RIAS in 2017 by the family of Jack van Eekelen (1957-2017), this collection contains an extensive range of published material relating to the life, administration, and death of John F. Kennedy. It includes a complete report on the Warren Commission, which conducted the initial investigation into the assassination in 1963-1964, as well as a wide range of subsequent works from authors who, for various reasons, sought to challenge its conclusions. With over five hundred titles, it is one of the largest discreet collections on the JFK assassination in existence. Its books have been catalogued seperately.

FINDING AID: Jack van Eekelen Collection

The John F. Kennedy 1960 Campaign

The 1960 presidential campaign has importance well beyond the simple fact that it (narrowly) resulted in victory for Kennedy. The rhetoric of the campaign in great degree established the agenda of the decade of the 1960s. This campaign marked the culmination of an extensive debate over national purpose. Key concerns in this campaign were the communist system’s vitality, which was on the rise, the future of liberalism, civil rights, and Kennedy’s Catholicism. The collection consists of two parts. The first (10 reels) covers polls, issues, and strategy, and the second (12 reels) covers speeches, press conferences, and debates. Through these documents the Kennedy campaign is accessible as perhaps no other presidential effort in our history. The speeches show where the candidate went and what he said. The plethora of public opinion polls offers a comprehensive sense of the impact of the campaign, as well as of the social and political context in which it took place. At the same time, the Kennedy papers afford us an intimate look at the inside of the campaign.

FINDING AIDThe John F. Kennedy 1960 Campaign part 1: Polls, Issues and Strategy
FINDING AIDThe John F. Kennedy 1960 Campaign part 2: Speeches, Press Conferences and Debates

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Oral History Collection

The firsthand recollections that are reproduced in this microfilm publication reveal, in a readily accessible form, fresh perspectives on John F. Kennedy the man, on John F. Kennedy the president, and on the speakers themselves. Most importantly, these oral histories recapture the experiences and impressions of those who served during the eventful one thousand days of the Kennedy presidency—many in key policy-making positions. For nearly every major event in Kennedy’s presidency (and 1960 campaign), the oral histories contain candid recollections, many of which have not appeared in contemporaneous documents. This collection consists of two categories, containing 12 reels of microfilm each: the White House an executive department; The Congress, the judiciary, public figures, and private individuals. Interviews from the Robert F. Kennedy Oral History Program have been integrated into this microform publication. These oral histories represent a firsthand account of Bobby Kennedy’s influence as presidential advisor and brother. The interviewees recount their experiences with and assessments of Robert F. Kennedy as U.S. attorney general, senator, and 1968 presidential candidate.

FINDING AIDThe John F. Kennedy Presidential Oral History Collection

President John F. Kennedy’s Office Files, 1961-1963

Maintained by John F. Kennedy’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, these files provide a remarkably broad and accurate overview of Kennedy’s years in office. They offer unique perspectives on the tone and mission of the Kennedy administration. The papers also offer insights into Kennedy’s administrative style and approach to the presidency. The John F. Kennedy Office Files are organized in five parts :

FINDING AIDSpecial Correspondence, Speech, Legislative, and Press Conference Files (23 reels)
FINDING AIDStaff Memoranda File (9 reels)
FINDING AIDDepartments and Agencies File (29 reels)
FINDING AIDSubjects File (14 reels)
FINDING AIDCountries File (28 reels)

Part 1 provides a sense of the Kennedy world through his contacts with such individuals as Pope Paul VI and Pope John XXII, Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Winston Churchill.
Part 2 offers glimpses into the White House’s relationships with Capitol Hill, as well as important information about certain important policy decisions.
Part 3 provides further in-depth understanding of how the administration responded to some of the key issues, as does part 4.
The final selection, which features position papers and advisory memoranda generated mostly by the State Department, offers some indispensable insights into the Kennedy administration’s world outlook.

President Kennedy and the Press, 1961-1963

Selected and filmed from the holdings of the JFK Library this collection is a documentary record of John F. Kennedy’s management of press relations and collects some of the best sources for the study of the public side of the Kennedy years. The 20 reels of microfilm include transcripts of all press conferences given during the Kennedy administration, both by the president himself and by presidential press secretary Pierre Salinger and his assistants. The collection also includes all press releases and messages from the White House issued between January 1961 and November 1963.

FINDING AIDPresident Kennedy and the Press, 1961-1963

Civil Rights during the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963

This collection contains the most important archival materials covering a broad range of key topics and events bearing on the issue of civil rights.
Part 1 consists of 19 reels and is drawn from the White House Central Files, the White House Staff Files, and the President’s Office Files. The records in this series document the Kennedy administration’s efforts to use executive action to reduce or eliminate discrimination in public transportation and public accommodations, federally assisted housing, education, and employment. They illustrate some of the difficulties Kennedy had with Congress and the stresses and strains that developed between the Kennedy administration and civil rights groups, on the one hand, and between the Kennedy administration and the white South on the other.

FINDING AIDCivil Rights during the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963 part 1

Part 2 consists of 28 reels and reproduces the Justice Department Files of Burke Marshall, assistant attorney general for Civil Rights. In addition to being in charge of the Justice Department division that was on the front-line of law enforcement in civil rights, Marshall was directly involved in managing the various crises that occurred in the racial area, including the Freedom Rides, the desegregation of the Universities of Mississippi and Alabama, and the Birmingham protests in the spring of 1963. As an adviser to President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, he contributed significantly to the development of the broad civil rights bill that the administration proposed in 1963, and he was then involved in the struggle for enactment.

FINDING AIDCivil Rights during the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963 part 2

Documentary History of the John F. Kennedy Presidency

Selected from the John F. Kennedy Library, this printed collection provides scholars with an unprecedented look at President Kennedy’s policies and programs. It consists primarily of documents from the Presidents Secretary’s Files, the White House Central Files, and numerous manuscript collections for officials in the Kennedy administration and individuals who were associates of Kennedy during his career. Arranged thematically in 21 volumes.