This collection contains public opinion mail on a variety of topics that was sent to First Lady Betty Ford, and includes holiday greetings, and mail related to Betty Ford’s 60 Minutes interview and her breast cancer surgery.
The Ford Library saved an appropriate sample of general opinion mail from each of the major bulk mail subject areas, with the exception being Betty Ford’s 60 Minutes television interview, where staff saved all of the mail related to the interview. Presently, only a portion of the 60 Minutes interview material has been made available for research. The sample items retained by the Library illustrate the type, quantity, quality, and sentiments of the whole. A minimum one to two percent sample was preserved.
66.6 linear feet, of which 13.4 linear feet (ca. 27,200 pages) is processed and open to research at this time
Gerald R. Ford (77-NLF-113)
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Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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.
Individual staff office files document the activities of the First Lady’s staff. These include the files of: Russell Armentrout, Maria Downs, Elizabeth O’Neill, Susan Porter, Frances Pullen, and Sheila Weidenfeld. The Library also holds the personal papers of Betty Ford, Maria Downs, Peter Sorum, and Sheila Weidenfeld (unprocessed).
The White House Social Office maintained several other central filing systems. See collections beginning with “White House Social Office”.
Prepared by J.P. Schmidt, December 2012
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