McCain Collection Set to Grow at ASU

On Saturday, August 25, just four days before his 82nd birthday, Sen. John McCain passed on, leaving a trailing legacy behind him. From his maverick bipartisan stances in politics to his push for fairness down the line, McCain was always a storied character in U.S. government. And now McCain is a storied character in terms of his expansive materials collection held at an Arizona State University library in Tempe.

Hoards of the late senator’s effects that highlight his 35-year political career, including papers, records and memorabilia, will flood the campus this TKTK. The collection started up in 2012 when McCain donated his papers to the university. The archive will see its new items come in over the next few months.

All told, more than 800 additional boxes of his materials are set to travel west from his offices in Maryland and Washington, D.C., to ASU Library. The archives will be available for the general public as well as scholars and historians looking to research McCain and his legacy. The historic materials span from his turn as a U.S. representative starting in 1983, when he served his first term in elected office, to his 2008 presidential run against Barack Obama to his recent years in the senate.

“Currently, we have about 270 boxes, or over 200 linear feet, of archival materials from Sen. McCain, and we expect the collection to grow substantially,” said Renee James, curator of the Greater Arizona Collection, part of ASU Library’s Distinctive Collections, in a statement.

Those looking for a more personal view of McCain the Maverick will be able to see his correspondence, handwritten notes, talking points on certain policy issues, photographs, polling data, staff files, press files, and much more.

“Some of the memorabilia items, such as hats, buttons, T-shirts, posters and banners, will really take you back to the cultural moment of the mid- to late ’80s and early 2000s,” James notes.

Also available to look over are McCain’s digital files from his Washington, D.C., office, which will be uploaded soon.

A trip down memory lane, and a nod to old school American political campaigns, the collection will display hats, buttons, t-shirts, posters, pennants and banners from his runs for senate and president. But the collection won’t just feature notes scribed by McCain; instead, there will also be some debate notes from his staff offering insight into the concerns they had on certain topics. According to James, this shows the campaign strategy on plenty of issues.

Those interested in seeing the collection can access it by submitting a request via the library’s website, Ask an Archivist. Curators should be available to assist those going through the materials as assistance is required for supervision.

Nick Esquer

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