The Papers of Robert A. Taft: 1889-1939 - Vol. 1

By Robert A. Taft; Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. | Go to book overview

Editorial Procedures

THE PAPERS OF ROBERT A. TAFT

Robert Alphonso Taft was an elected representative of the citizens of Cincinnati and the state of Ohio for much of his adult life. As a public official he accumulated a massive collection of papers relating to all facets of his political as well as personal life. Not surprisingly, given the public character of his interests and the importance of his family, the editor found it difficult to differentiate between the official and the personal—the public and the private—in this rich collection of documents.

“Few biographers are fortunate enough to write about a family which saves so much or has such a sense of history,” James T. Patterson writes of the Tafts.1 The papers of various members of the family, including Alphonso and William Howard, were deposited in the Library of Congress for preservation and scholarly use during Robert s lifetime.

The Robert A. Taft papers, originally deposited at the Library of Congress after the senator’s death in 1953, have received additional deposits from 1954 to 1983. The Manuscript Division completed a final processing of the collection in 1984. The Taft family granted literary property rights for the unpublished writings of Robert A. Taft in this and other Library of Congress collections to the public, with a twenty-five-year restriction dating from the deed of gift. The

1. James T. Patterson, Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972), 621.

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