University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Thomas R. Carper
Congressional Papers

See below for collection citation and reference information.

I.H. Publications, 1980-1992

+ Series I.H. -- Scope and Content Note
+ Series I.H. -- Contents List

Extent: 2.2 linear ft.

Boxes: 68 - 70

Contents: Congressional Research Service (CRS), and Democratic Study Group (DSG) reports.

Arrangement: Arranged by type of report (CRS, DSG), and then alphabetically by subject and name of report, or chronologically, as appropriate.


Comprising reports from CRS and DSG, this series provides an overview and syntheses of topics in reports, that until recently, were not readily available to the general public. (Some members of Congress have recently begun to put CRS reports on their web sites.) Throughout Carper's tenure in Congress, CRS and DSG reports were only available to members of Congress and their staff.

The Democratic Study Group began in the 1950s. This group of activists and liberal-minded Democrats was key in the reform movement in the House, with the goal of making the House a more open, responsive, and effective institution. DSG was instrumental in bringing reforms to open committee meetings to the public, and to revamp the power structure of the House by breaking the cycle of seniority-based leadership, providing junior members a voice in the legislative process, both in committees and on the House Floor.

The DSG advocated liberal causes in legislation, such as the Civil Rights Amendment in the 1960s, policy on Central America in the 1980s, and campaign reform in the 1990s. By the time Carper was elected to Congress, the DSG had become a primary reference source of legislative information for its members. The DSG served a dual purpose: providing information on a variety of issues and advocating change through legislation. Members of the DSG paid dues for the services provided, using their official expenses allowance, and were also encouraged to assist in paying staff salaries by carrying a DSG staff assistant on their payroll when possible.

The DSG issued a weekly newsletter, free to dues-paying DSG members but also available to others. Other documents published by DSG included weekly Legislative Reports, which summarized every bill scheduled for floor action (many of these can be found throughout the collection and were usually heavily annotated by the legislative assistants); Fact Sheets, which provided in-depth analysis of major legislation; and Special Reports, which discussed controversial issues on which members might have to vote. Staff Bulletins, also found in the collection, and Record Vote Books are two other DSG publications. Examples of all of these documents are found in this series as well as throughout the entire collection; the DSG publications in this series are maintained as they were originally filed, in a separate grouping. They are in chronological order and cover the 102nd Congress, 1991-1992.

Also included is the 1982 Orientation Program for incoming freshmen which gives a complete overview of the DSG. It is clear that Carper and his staff relied heavily on the information and research produced by this organization.

With the 1994 election and the resulting Republican majority in the House, legislative service organizations like the DSG, the Women's Caucus, and the African-American Caucus were no longer funded. For a while the DSG privatized. It has since come under the umbrella of Congressional Quarterly, Inc., and now produces the House Action Reports.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a nonpartisan department of the Library of Congress, which provides analytical, research, and reference services in support of the legislative work of Congress. The CRS produces scholarly papers on a variety of topics, normally at the request of a member. CRS is available only to members of Congress and their staff. Until very recently, CRS reports were only available to constituents via a request through their representative or senator. However, some members of Congress have begun posting selected reports on their web sites.

In addition to this group of CRS reports, which were filed together separately by Carper's staff, there are CRS reports filed by subject throughout the collection, used as supporting documentation for a variety of topics.

+ Contents List for Series I.H. Publications

+ Return to Index Page for Thomas R. Carper Congressional Papers

+ Guide to Other Political Papers at the University of Delaware Library

+ Return to List of Manuscript Finding Aids by Title

citation and reference information:

Thomas R. Carper
Congressional Papers

1979 - 1993
(bulk dates 1982 - 1992)

Manuscript Collection Number: 399
Accessioned: Gift of Thomas R. Carper, 1992, 1998-1999
Extent: 84 linear ft. and oversize material
Content: Legislation, correspondence, reports, documents and publications, memoranda, speeches, photographs, audio-visual material, newsletters, news clippings, and ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: November 1997 - December 1999 by Rebecca J. Altermatt with assistance from Rob Costello; edited by L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin.

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