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Modern Congressional and Political Papers Collection

The Modern Congressional and Political Papers Collection preserves the papers of members of Congress, political parties, and state and local political actors in the 20th and 21st centuries. The papers document federal, state, and local government activities. They reflect relationships and interactions among members of legislative bodies, other branches of government, and the people, and they provide an account of issues of state, regional, and national importance.


With more than 7,000 feet of records, the Modern Congressional and Political Papers Collection contains some of the largest collections at the Center. Begin your search in the Guide to Archives and Manuscripts and contact us when you're ready for the next step. Most collections are stored offsite and require 48-hours advance notice for use. Read more about research in congressional archives


Students report that the materials in the Collection bring abstract concepts to life. The Congressional and Political Papers Archivist can tailor instruction for both undergraduate and graduate courses to focus on a specific policy or issue, the legislative process, or the use of primary source and archival materials. Read more about instruction with congressional archives. 

Special Projects 

WVU Libraries' WVRHC is leading the way to provide access to congressional archives across the country through the American Congress Digital Archives Portal project, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Another project, America Contacts Congress, sought to better manage and preserve constituent correspondence data. 

Explore digital collections and exhibits.

The People's Branch exhibit poster

The People's Branch

"The People's Branch: Exploring the U.S. Congress with Archives" is an exhibit that looks at the Constitutional powers of the legislative branch. 
Nick Rahall with President Carter

Congressman Nick Rahall 

Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II served the people and state of West Virginia for 38 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Jay Rockefeller at a hearing

Senator Jay Rockefeller 

Senator John Davison (Jay) Rockefeller IV served the people and state of West Virginia for more than half a century. 
Congressman Moore with wife Shelley

Governor Arch Moore Jr. 

Arch Moore Jr. and Shelley Riley Moore served the people of West Virginia for more than 30 years. 

Telegram from Martin Luther King Jr. about the Voting Rights Act

Voting Rights Act of 1965

The exhibit, "For the Dignity of Man and the Destiny of Democracy: The Voting Rights Act of 1965" explores how the legislation fulfilled the promise of the 15th Amendment. 

Thousands of items from the Modern Political Papers Collection are available online, and we're adding more each year.