Guide to the Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 8, Awards and Memorabilia, 1957-2010 TJU.2010.01.08

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 8. Awards and Memorabilia
Creator
Specter, Arlen, 1930-2012
Collection Number
TJU.2010.01.08
Date
1957-2010
Extent
73.0 boxes 73 records center boxes, plus oversize material
Location
With the exception of selected photographic and memorabilia items located on display at the Arlen Specter Center's Roxboro House in Philadelphia, the collection itself is located at the University of Pittsburgh Library System's Archives Service Center in Pittsburgh. Due to the size of this collection, researchers are required to notify Pitt's Archives & Special Collections at least 24 hours in advance for use of this collection. Researchers interested in viewing archival materials in Philadelphia at the Arlen Specter Center are encouraged to contact Archives & Special Collections (www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist) or Special Collections-Gutman Library (slates@philau.edu) for further information.
Abstract
The Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 8. Awards and Memorabilia contains awards, honors, achievements and gifts received during Senator's Specter's career. Specter served as U.S. Senator from 1981 to 2011, making him the longest-tenured Pennsylvanian senator. The group includes plaques, diplomas, certificates, and assorted memorabilia items.

Preferred Citation

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 8. Awards and Memorabilia, 1957-2010, TJU.2010.01.08, Thomas Jefferson University (managed by the University of Pittsburgh Library System)

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Biography

Born in Wichita, Kansas, on February 12, 1930, Arlen Specter came to Pennsylvania to attend the University of Pennsylvania. He married Joan Levy in 1953, and graduated from Yale Law School in 1956. He became assistant district attorney in Philadelphia in 1959. In 1962, Specter was recommended to serve on the Warren Commission, assembled to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As part of the Commission, he was responsible for co-authoring the proposal of the "single bullet theory," determining that one bullet struck both President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally. Specter ran for Philadelphia district attorney in 1965, switching his Party membership to Republican in order to unseat the incumbent Democrat. He was successful, and served as district attorney from 1966 to 1974.

After an initial failed run for Senator and then for Governor of Pennsylvania, Specter was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980. He would stay in this position from 1981 to 2011, making him the longest-tenured senator in Pennsylvania's history. During this time, he was a member of a number of Committees: Judiciary (1981-2011; Chair, 2007-2007), Appropriations (1981-2011), Veterans Affairs (1981-2011; Chair, 1997-2001 and 2003-2005), Select Intelligence (1985-1991; 1995-1997; Chair, 1995-1997), Special Aging (1991-1995; 2007-2011), Governmental Affairs (1997-2001; 2003-2005), and Environment and Public Works (2001-2003; 2009-2011).

Though elected as a Republican, Specter was a moderate on many issues, including healthcare reform, immigration, and abortion. He would often cross party lines, such as in voting against the confirmation of President Ronald Reagan's nominee Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court in 1987. Specter would again come into the spotlight during a Supreme Court nomination process in 1991, for his cross-examination of Professor Anita Hill regarding her allegations against nominee Clarence Thomas. In 1999, he would vote against the charges brought against President Bill Clinton, giving an answer of "not proven" to reflect his belief that Clinton had not received a fair trial.

As Senator, Specter championed a number of causes and influenced many legislative areas. He was frequently a member of Congressional Delegation trips, particularly to the Middle East, where he would speak out on the cause of freedom from religious persecution and the importance of strong diplomatic relations. He was also a proponent of funding for medical research, including the use of stem cells. He advocated for strict crime laws, particularly for career criminals. His focus on benefitting Pennsylvania could be seen through the pursuit of grant funding opportunities and his attempt to prevent the closure of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in the 1990s.

With the worsening of Congressional partisanship in the late 2000s, Specter found himself frequently voting with his Democratic peers. After being one of only three handful of Republicans to vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, Specter found himself increasingly marginalized within his party. In April 2009, he returned to the Democratic Party, helping to ensure the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Seeking re-election in 2010, he was defeated in the Democratic primary by Joe Sestak.

Specter's 30-year tenure in the Senate concluded in January 2011. After leaving the Senate, he partnered with Philadelphia University (now Jefferson-East Falls) to establish the Arlen Specter Center for Public Service. In the fall of 2012, Specter, who had previously beaten Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2005 while serving as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, was diagnosed with cancer. He died on October 14, 2012, aged 82.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 8. Awards and Memorabilia comprises 73 boxes of material, plus additional oversized items, which document awards, honors, achievements, and events during Senator's Specter's career. As this material has no distinct arrangement scheme, interested researchers should contact Archives & Special Collections for inventory lists of the contents of this group. The group includes plaques, diplomas, certificates, and assorted memorabilia items.

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Arrangement

Group 8 has no defined arrangement scheme, as materials were grouped and stored as space allowed. Interested researchers should contact Archives & Special Collections for inventories of the content.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2018

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Thomas Jefferson University holds title to the materials in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by third parties. No copyrighted work may be copied, published, disseminated, displayed, or played without permission of the copyright holder except in accordance with fair use under U.S. copyright law. The responsibility for obtaining all necessary permissions remains with the requester.

Custodial History

Material was transferred to the care of Philadelphia University in 2010-2011 from the Federal Records Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland, as well as the Senator's Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania offices. The physical material was transferred to the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, with the exception of selected photographic and memorabilia items that remain at the Arlen Specter Center's Roxboro House for display. In 2016, Philadelphia University merged with Thomas Jefferson University, and is now known as Thomas Jefferson University- East Falls campus.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Arlen Specter to Philadelphia University in 2010. Philadelphia University and the University of Pittsburgh entered into a partnership to jointly manage the collection in 2013.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by project archivist Ashley Taylor between 2014 and 2018. During this period, she was assisted by three temporary archival assistants: Cassandra Frank, Jon Klosinski, and Shannon McClenning. Further assistance was provided by graduate and undergraduate student interns.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 1. Pre-Senatorial Career Files, 1953-1980, TJU.2010.01.01

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 2. Legislative Files, 1965-2011, TJU.2010.01.02

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 3. Personal, Political and Official Files, 1944-2010, TJU.2010.01.03

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 4. Office Administration Files, 1962-2010, TJU.2010.01.04

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 5. Constituent Services Files, 1976-2007, TJU.2010.01.05

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 6. Public Relations and Media Files, 1972-2010, TJU.2010.01.06

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 7. Campaign Files, 1976-2004, TJU.2010.01.07

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 9. Photographs, 1930-2010, TJU.2010.01.09

Arlen Specter Senatorial Papers, Group 10. Electronic Records, 1980-2010, TJU.2010.01.10

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Congress. Senate.

Genre(s)

  • Memorabilia

Personal Name(s)

  • Specter, Arlen, 1930-2012

Subject(s)

  • Politicians

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Collection Inventory

  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1263

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1264

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1265

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1266

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1267

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1268

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1269

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1270

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1271

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1272

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1273

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1274

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1275

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1276

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1277

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1278

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1279

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1280

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1281

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1282

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1283

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1284

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1285

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1286

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1287

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1288

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1289

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1290

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1291

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1292

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1293

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1294

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1295

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1296

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1297

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1298

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1299

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1957-2010 1300

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1301

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1302

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1303

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1304

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1305

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1306

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1307

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1308

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1309

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1310

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1311

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1312

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1313

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1314

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1315

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1316

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1317

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1318

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1319

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1320

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1321

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1322

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1323

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1324

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1325

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1326

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1327

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1328

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1329

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1330

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1331

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1332

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1333

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1334

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  Box
Awards and memorabilia, 1335

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