COLLECTION FINDING AID



GERALD AND BETTY FORD SPECIAL MATERIALS, (1841, 1851) 1941-2007

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CONTENTS

Summary Description | Introduction | Series Descriptions | Container List


SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

Collection of letters, photographs, scrapbook materials, and books that were set apart by Gerald Ford, Betty Ford or their staff and deemed to have special value.  Most of the materials were given to the Fords by world leaders, other presidents, politicians, celebrities, prominent individuals, and personal friends.

QUANTITY
39.75 linear feet (ca. 79,500 pages)

DONOR
The Ford Family Trust (2012-NLF-006), Betty Ford (2007-NLF-015, 2008-NLF-060), Gerald Ford (2007-NLF-005)

ACCESS
Open in part. Researchers wishing to view this collection 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.  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).

COPYRIGHT
Gerald and Betty Ford donated to the United States of America their copyrights in all of their unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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.

Prepared by Stacy Davis, September 2015, Revised November 2016
[S:\BIN\Finding Aids & Guides\Ford, Gerald and Betty Special Materials]



INTRODUCTION

This collection contains letters, photographs, and books that were set apart by Gerald Ford, Betty Ford or their staff and deemed to have special value. The bulk of the collection was donated by The Ford Family Trust (the estate of Betty Ford) following her death, but some materials were received during Mrs. Ford's lifetime.

            The two most significant series in this collection are the files of special letters written to Gerald Ford and Betty Ford.  These letters were written by personal friends, politicians, celebrities, foreign leaders, and other prominent individuals.  They cover a wide range of topics and vary between short administrative responses regarding upcoming events, thank you notes, birthday messages, and holiday cards and substantive letters regarding personal, political, national, and international issues. Letters addressed to both President and Mrs. Ford are located in the Gerald R. Ford Special Letters series.

            The criteria used for inclusion in the special letters files are not clear, and may have varied over the years. In some cases, letters contain a handwritten note (sometimes from President or Mrs. Ford) indicating that the letter should be added to the special letters file. The Ford staff housed the letters in binders or portfolios by year for easy viewing. Inclusion was not comprehensive as there are additional letters from some correspondents in other holdings of the Ford Library.

            Gerald Ford's staff created an annual chronological index to his special letters file.  Letters addressed only to Betty Ford were not included on these lists, and between 1950 and 1974 the Ford staff also created separate indices for photographs given to the Fords.  It has been determined that the lists are not completely accurate in that some letters are not included on the lists and a few correspondents are misidentified.  Also, some letters included on the lists were not donated to the Ford Library.

            The collection includes two additional series of correspondence.  The first consists of letters written to President Ford after he lost the 1976 presidential election.  Correspondents include members of Congress, other politicians and government officials, celebrities, former constituents from Michigan and personal friends.  The letters are stamped “The President Has Seen” and were originally housed in four volumes.  They express regret, support, encouragement, and appreciation for Ford's service to the country.  The other series consists of condolence letters written to Betty Ford following the death of her husband, Gerald Ford.  The correspondents include political leaders, celebrities and personal friends.

            Two sets of scrapbook materials are included in the collection.  First, materials related to White House state dinners and other social events were placed in scrapbook albums most likely by White House staff.  The other is material collected in an album to memorialize President Richard Nixon's second inauguration on January 20, 1973 and the work of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, of which Gerald Ford was a member.

            Finally, this collection contains two series of books from Gerald Ford's library in his offices and residences in Rancho Mirage, California and Vail Colorado.  The criteria for choosing these books are unknown.  Most have been signed/inscribed by the author, contributor, subject of the book, or by the person who gave the book to Ford.  Many of the books include Gerald Ford's personal bookplates or he annotated that it was his “personal copy.” 
            Photographs included in this collection have been transferred to the Library's Audiovisual Department and are currently unprocessed.  Please contact the audiovisual staff for further information.

 

Related Materials (November 2010)

Artifacts originally donated with this material have been transferred to artifact collection of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, and a small amount of ephemera was transferred to the Gerald R. Ford Personal Papers collection.

Correspondence with Gerald and Betty Ford from throughout their careers can be found in numerous other collections within the Ford Library's holdings.  These include letters from individuals that appear in this collection.


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Gerald Ford Special Letters, 1956-2006 (Boxes A1-A10, 4.3 linear feet)
This series consists of  letters and cards written to Betty Ford by personal friends, politicians, celebrities, foreign leaders, and other prominent individuals.  They cover a wide range of topics and vary between short administrative responses regarding upcoming events, thank you notes, birthday messages, holiday cards and more substantive letters. The letters were segregated into this series by Mrs. Ford or members of her staff.  Letters addressed to both President and Mrs. Ford are located in the Gerald R. Ford Special Letters series.

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

View container list for this series

Betty Ford Special Letters, 1941-2007 (Boxes B1-B4, 1.75 linear feet)
This series consists of  letters and cards written to Betty Ford by personal friends, politicians, celebrities, foreign leaders, and other prominent individuals.  They cover a wide range of topics and vary between short administrative responses regarding upcoming events, thank you notes, birthday messages, holiday cards and more substantive letters. The letters were segregated into this series by Mrs. Ford or members of her staff.  Letters addressed to both President and Mrs. Ford are located in the Gerald R. Ford Special Letters series.

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

View container list for this series

Letters Written to Gerald R. Ford Following the 1976 Presidential Election, 1976 (Boxes C1-C4, 1.75 linear feet)
This series consists of letters from members of Congress, other politicians and government officials, celebrities, former constituents from Michigan and personal friends that were sent to President Gerald Ford or his staff after Ford's loss in the 1976 presidential election. The letters are stamped "The President Has Seen" and express regret, support, encouragement, and appreciation for Ford's service to the country.

Arranged numerically according to a numbering scheme developed by Belin and thereunder chronologically.

View container list for this series

Condolence Letters Written to Betty Ford, 2006-2007 (Box D1, 0.4 linear feet)
This series consists of  letters and written to Betty Ford following the death of her husband, Gerald Ford. 

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

View container list for this series

Gerald R. Ford Office Index to Special Letters and Photographs Received by Gerald Ford, 1950-2006 (Box E1, 0.4 linear feet)
This series consists of annual lists created by Gerald Ford's staff documenting "special" letters received by Gerald Ford, or both Gerald and Betty Ford, over the course of his career.  Letters addressed only to Betty Ford were not included on these lists. Between 1950 and 1974 the Ford staff also created separate lists of photographs given to the Fords.  The index is not completely accurate. Some letters on the lists were not included in the donation to the Ford Library, additional donated letters are not included on the lists, and some correspondents are misidentified.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Personal Library in Rancho Mirage, California, 1841-2003 (Boxes F1-F12, 11.1 linear feet)
This series consists of  a selection of books from Gerald Ford's Reading Library in his office and residence in Rancho Mirage, California that were donated to the Library.  Most of the books have been signed/inscribed by the author, contributor, subject of the book, or by the person who gave the book to Ford.  Many of the books include Gerald Ford's personal bookplates or annotation that it was his "personal copy."  Correspondence found tucked into some of the books was transferred to the Gerald Ford Special Letters series.

Arranged alphabetically by author, thereunder by book title.

View container list for this series

Scrapbooks Related to White House Social Events, 1974-1977 (Boxes G1-G4, 1.75 linear feet)
This series consists of invitations, seating charts, entertainment programs, guest lists, and news clippings related to state dinners and other social events hosted by President Gerald Ford and/or First Lady Betty Ford that were originally housed in scrapbooks. These scrapbooks were most likely assembled by White House staff.

Arranged chronologically by date of event.

View container list for this series

1973 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies Album, 1972-1973 (Box H1, 0.25 linear feet)
This series consists of  material collected in an album to memorialize President Richard Nixon's second inauguration on January 20, 1973 and the work of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, of which Gerald Ford was a member.  It includes invitations, printed images of President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew, President's platform seating diagram, an Inauguration Ceremonies program, tickets, Inauguration luncheon program, an automobile police pass, news clippings, legislation, and copies of correspondence and a press release from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. 

Arranged in order that material appeared in the album.

View container list for this series

Books from Gerald Ford's Personal Library in Vail, Colorado, (Boxes I1-I23, 18.2 linear feet)
This series consists of  collection of books that were kept in President Gerald Ford's office in Vail, Colorado.  Many of the books have been signed/inscribed by the author, contributor, subject of the book, or by the person who gave the book to President and/or Mrs. Ford.  Many of the books include Gerald Ford's personal bookplates.  Correspondence and other material found tucked in the books are stored next to the books.

Arranged alphabetically by author, thereunder by book title. Oversized books appear at the end of the series and are arranged alphabetically by author, thereunder by book title.

View container list for this series


CONTAINER LIST

Box A1 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A2 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A3 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A4 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A5 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A6 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A7 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A8 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A9 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box A10 - Gerald R. Ford Special Letters

Box B1 - Betty Ford Special Letters

Box B2 - Betty Ford Special Letters

Box B3 - Betty Ford Special Letters

Box B4 - Betty Ford Special Letters

Box C1 - Letters Written to Gerald R. Ford Following the 1976 Presidential Election

Box C2 - Letters Written to Gerald R. Ford Following the 1976 Presidential Election

Box C3 - Letters Written to Gerald R. Ford Following the 1976 Presidential Election

Box C4 - Letters Written to Gerald R. Ford Following the 1976 Presidential Election

Box D1 - Condolence Letters Written to Betty Ford
(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box E1 - Gerald R. Ford Office Index to Special Letters and Photographs Received by Gerald Ford

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F1 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F2 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F3 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F4 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F5 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F6 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F7 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F8 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F9 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F10 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F11 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box F12 - Selected Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Rancho Mirage, California

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box G1 - Scrapbooks Related to White House Social Events

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box G2 - Scrapbooks Related to White House Social Events

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box G3 - Scrapbooks Related to White House Social Events

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box G4 - Scrapbooks Related to White House Social Events

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box H1 - 1973 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies Album

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I1 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I2 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I3 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I4 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I5 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I6 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I7 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I8 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I9 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I10 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I11 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I12 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I13 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I14 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I15 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I16 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I17 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I18 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I19 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I20 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I21 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I22 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)

Box I23 - Books from Gerald Ford's Library in Vail, Colorado [Oversized]

(Note: Folders with the titles struck through are not yet open to research, but can be added to the Library's review queue.)