This collection consists of bulk public opinion mail on a variety of topics and issues, including the pardon of Richard Nixon, Common Situs picketing legislation, amnesty for draft evaders, GI Bill, Vietnam veterans, New York City financial crisis, and energy, among others. Another major component of this collection is the uncategorized bulk mail received from children and adults.
The Ford Library saved an appropriate sample of general opinion mail from each of the major bulk mail subject areas, with the exception of the Nixon pardon, where staff retained all of the mail related to the pardon. Presently, only a small percentage of the Nixon pardon bulk mail has been made available for research. The sample items retained by the Library illustrate the type, quantity, quality, and sentiments of the whole. For most topics, the Library preserved a minimum one to two percent sample, but in some cases the sample size is as large as 5%.
285 linear feet, of which only 18 linear feet (ca. 36,000 pages) is processed and open to research at this time
Gerald R. Ford (78-NLF-28, 81-NLF-31)
Some folders are open to research, while others are open upon request. Researchers should consult with an archivist prior to their visit in order to request that specific folders be added to the Library’s review-for-access queue. Even after the completion of this review some items may be temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).
Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.
Samples of public mail were filed in the White House Central Files (WHCF) Subject File “General” folders. Weekly public mail tabulations and summaries are located in WHCF Subject File subcategory WH 4-1 and in the Robert Hartmann Papers, boxes 139 - 144. A sample of received telegraphs can be found in the collection White House Telegraph and Travel Section: Sample of Telegrams. Public mail related to the First Lady and the Ford children was filed in the White House Social Office Central Files.
Prepared by J.P. Schmidt, November 2012
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