- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
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Big Bad Book (full draft), 1995
Collection Description & Creator Information
The James A. Baker III Papers document nearly every aspect of Baker's long career in politics and public service, including his time as White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, his term as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush, and his work leading the presidential campaigns of Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush. Little documentation of Baker's time as Chief of Staff to President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993 is present in the papers.
The collection includes a variety of correspondence, memos, handwritten notes, speech transcripts, video and audio tapes, and other material related to Baker's positions in government and on political campaigns. The collection also includes material documenting Baker's legal career and early political efforts, including a substantial amount of correspondence with future President George H.W. Bush, written between Baker and Bush in the 1960s and 1970s. Substantial documentation of the 1978 Texas Attorney General Campaign, the only time Baker ran for political office himself, also exists.
Please see individual series descriptions for detailed information about the scope of each series.
- Custodial History:
The Baker Papers were housed at the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, at Rice University until December 2002. Material donated in October 2004 was previously kept at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and Baker Botts law firm in Houston.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Duplicates, material of little evidential or information value, and strictly personal documents have been returned to Secretary Baker. A large volume of newspaper clippings from major American newspapers have also been returned.
The February 2011 accession originally included four additional series, which were subsequently separated.
A series of board membership records spanned Baker's pre- and post-Washington career (additionally, some files from his work on the boards of regional organizations during the 1960's and '70s were interspersed throughout his personal financial records). Board participation during his post-Washington career includes work with St. Luke's hospital, Rice University, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the University of Bremen, Electronic Data Systems, Radiant Energy Corporation, and King Ranch. These records encompassed twenty linear feet, were non-unique, and of extremely limited research value.
A series called soft costs documented accounting within Baker Botts of how to expense Baker's political work using Baker Botts resources was also removed from the collection. The series of two boxes consisted of spreadsheets of phone logs and billing codes, and no material regarding the substance of Baker's political work.
A series of campaign contributions from Baker's 1978 Attorney General campaign included two boxes of index cards of campaign contributors' contact information.
Finally, the "Income Tax Records" series is the only surviving part of what was once a series of personal financial records, spanning the 1960s through the beginning of the Reagan administration, which included cancelled checks, financial statements from investments, receipts, tax returns, trust statements, documentation from family legal issues and statements from charitable organizations. Because these records included personally identifiable information and were of limited research value, the vast majority were separated from the collection, although Baker's tax returns were retained.
These papers were processed with the generous support of David M. Rubenstein.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Interview transcripts in Series 12: The Politics of Diplomacy are closed unless permission, specific to each transcript, is granted by Secretary Baker as well as the person who gave the interview. These transcripts are located in Boxes 172-173. Please contact the library for additional details.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.
- Special Requirements for Access:
The audiovisual series includes videotapes on VHS and various other formats. Access to these materials follows the Mudd Manuscript Library policy for preservation and access to audiovisual materials.
- Credit this material:
Big Bad Book (full draft); James A. Baker III Papers, MC197, Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- United States. Department of State
United States. Department of the Treasury
United States. President (1974-1977 : Ford)
United States. President (1981-1989 : Reagan)
United States. President (1989-1993 : Bush)
United States. White House Office
United States. White House Office. Office of Legislative Affairs
Middle East Peace Conference (1991 : Madrid, Spain)
Baker, James Addison, 1930-
Bush, George W. (George Walker), 1946-
Bush, George, 1924-2018.
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Darman, Richard Gordon, 1943-2008
Dole, Robert J., 1923-
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006.
Hodsoll, Francis Samuel Monaise
Moore, Preston, 1931-
Nixon, Richard M. Richard Milhous 1913-1994
Reagan, Nancy, 1921-2016
Tower, John G. (John Goodwin), 1925-1991