Contents and Arrangement

Volunteers for Stevenson-Kefauver, dates not examined

43 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Volunteers for Stevenson-Kefauver records include correspondence, financial materials, meeting minutes, public relations materials, reports, and a large amount of documentation concerning special groups of Stevenson supporters. Much of the correspondence is between the Volunteer leaders, Archibald Alexander (director), Barry Bingham (co-chair), and Jane Dick (co-chair), and individuals in their geographic areas of responsibility. Bingham corresponded frequently with Edward McDougal concerning contributions and the recruitment of leaders for state and local volunteer committees. The correspondence of John Horne, who served as a liaison with politicians in Washington, D. C. prior to the convention, shows the extent of pre-convention politicking undertaken by the Volunteers. Horne also corresponded with state politicians, labor leaders, and campaign officials regarding the organization of regional campaign offices.

Materials from the Democratic National Convention includes lists of delegates, convention committees, and correspondence regarding hotel arrangements. The financial materials include contribution acknowledgements, payroll information, budgets, correspondence of finance committee leaders John S. Graham, Mitzi Harrison, Louis Kohn, George McGhee, and Desmond Meehan, and documentation for the Shoe Pin Division. Volunteers in California initiated an enormously successful fundraising drive by selling sterling silver pins in the shape of a shoe, with (of course) a hole in the sole. These pins were sold in bulk to state committees who then sold them at a profit to raise funds for both the local and national committees.

The early planning of the campaign is documented through meeting minutes and the records of the National Committee for Stevenson, the pre-convention predecessor group of the Volunteers. These records include the precis of organization, meeting minutes, and memoranda between the principal members, Dick, Bingham, and Alexander. The public relations materials include newsletters, pamphlets, press releases, publicity kits, state files, and documentation of the use of various media, including radio, television, newspaper, and audio recordings. Files of the principal public relations staff members, Chloe Fox, Lemoine Skinner, and Don Pryor, are also included.

Following the convention and just prior to the commencement of the official campaign, the Volunteers held a series of regional conferences to coordinate the efforts of the state committees. Telegrams, schedules, and correspondence concerning these regional meetings are included. The special groups, more numerous in 1956 than 1952, included conservationists, educators, physicians, lawyers, minorities, business people, speakers' bureau, and students. Chapters of Students for Stevenson, administered by Jane Dick's daughter Letitia, were organized on college and university campuses throughout the country in an effort to win the support of first-time voters. Documentation for the Students for Stevenson groups and the mock conventions they held consist of correspondence, questionnaires, newspaper clippings, and telegrams.

The voluminous state files are arranged alphabetically by state name, with organizational information and interoffice memoranda arranged chronologically and correspondence arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent. These files reflect the relative zeal of Stevenson supporters in various states, many of whom had well-organized state committees prior to the primaries, but some of whom never organized state committees. The state files also show the loyalty of Stevenson supporters as many local organizers from 1952 utilized their experience in 1956. The New York state files also include the files of publisher Cass Canfield who spearheaded fundraising efforts in New York, and organized additional special groups, including the Committee for the Arts and New York Businessmen for Stevenson.


Subseries 4B: 1956 Presidential Campaign, is divided into two subgroups: Presidential Campaign Staff and Volunteers for Stevenson-Kefauver.

Collection History


Materials separated from this collection during processing in 2010 include newspaper clippings from major newspapers on Stevenson's political career, scrapbooks that are also available on microfilm, and duplicate photographs. Approximately one inch of news clippings on Stevenson were separated from accession ML.2014.002, as were duplicative, unannotated typescripts of speeches.


These papers were processed with the generous support of Mrs. Barry Bingham, William McC. Blair, Jr., Nona Cox, Mrs. J. Edward Day, Jane Warner Dick, Phyllis Gustafson, the Estate of Elizabeth S. Ives, Timothy R. Ives, Philip M. Klutznick, Nan McEvoy, Josephine P. McGowan, Newton N. Minow, Adlai E. Stevenson III, John Fell Stevenson, Maurice Tempelsman, and Willard Wirtz. Funding for the digitization of records in this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan J. Illis in 1996-1997 with assistance from Carl D. Esche, Katherine Johnson, Sue Jean Kim, Debra Levin, Damian Long, James Macgillivray, Cei Maslen, Michelle Peart, Patrick Shorb, and Elizabeth Williamson. Materials received after the collection was processed were integrated by Adriane Hanson in 2010. Additonal donations made after 2010 were integrated into the collection by Mudd Library staff.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Series 11 is composed of audiovisual materials in various formats.

Credit this material:

Volunteers for Stevenson-Kefauver; Adlai E. Stevenson Papers, MC124, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 286-328

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