The University of Delaware Library joins the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress in a national celebration of the second annual Congress Week, September 12-16, 2011. Coinciding with the commemoration of Constitution Day, September 17, the 2011 theme recognizes that members of Congress are citizens elected by other citizens in popular and free elections, and that our system of representative democracy holds those representatives accountable to their local constituencies. This selection of documents from the papers of the Hon. Michael N. Castle (U.S. House of Representatives, 1993-2011) illustrates the range of duties performed by a member of Congress: voting, responding to constituent concerns, participating in hearings, serving on committees, providing government oversight, making public statements on the Floor of Congress, and making laws.
The University of Delaware Library is an institutional member of ACSC, which was founded in 2003 to support a wide range of programs designed to inform and educate students, scholars, policy-makers, and members of the general public on the history of Congress, legislative process, and current issues facing Congress. The ACSC encourages preservation of material that documents the work of Congress, including the papers of representatives and senators, and supports programs that make those materials available for educational and research use. Modern congressional holdings at the University of Delaware Library include the personal papers of John J. Williams (U.S. Senate, 1947-1971); J. Allen Frear, Jr. (U.S. Senate, 1949-1961); Thomas C. Carper (U.S. House of Representatives, 1983-1993); Michael N. Castle (U.S. House of Representatives); and Edward E. “Ted” Kaufman (U.S. Senate, 2009-2010). This rich body of archival material will soon be joined by the senatorial papers of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (U.S. Senate, 1973-2009).