The UNM Libraries Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections has received the congressional papers of former New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman. A ceremony to commemorate the contribution was held today at Zimmerman Library.
Bingaman served in the U.S. Senate from 1984 to 2013. He served on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the Joint Economic Committee and chaired the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He was lauded by Politico.com in 2012 for building one of the most bipartisan committees in an extremely partisan congress.
UNM President Robert Frank said, “It is an honor for UNM Libraries to be the repository for Senator Bingaman’s papers. It is important for a research university to collect historic documents to aid scholarly research. This will assist us in completing our collection of congressional papers.”
Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources, Special Collections, the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections Mike Kelly said, “Senator Bingaman’s papers are important because they will allow scholars to understand the nation’s political history through how the senate works and how Senator Bingaman background and beliefs shaped his work within the system. They will also give valuable insight into the way he advanced the interests of New Mexicans on the important issues of energy, immigration and natural resources.”
Bingaman’s papers consist of 1,100 boxes and a number of digital files. This is the first time University Libraries has received congressional files in digital form. The files will be processed and made available online.
Western New Mexico University has received Bingaman’s personal memorabilia. WNMU President Joseph Shepard said, “"Silver City area residents will now have new insights into Senator Bingaman's early years growing up in our community and of his father who was a professor here and made important contributions to our university. We are honored to receive this donation."
Bingaman said “It is a great honor that both UNM and WNMU have agreed to house the documents and memorabilia collected by my office over the past 30 years. Those documents include some of Bob Frank’s memos to me from his fellowship in my office. I hope some of your go back and figure out what he said I should have done and didn’t.”
The documents are currently in storage. Archivists will now catalog and digitize them to make them easily accessible to the public.
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