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Public Policy Guide

Primary Sources FAQ

How do I find resources in the Special Collections Research Center?

  • Check the Catalog for your topic (if it's here the location will be Special Collections).
  • Check out our website with links to primary materials for various subjects.
  • Or better yet, make an appointment and speak with a librarian in Special Collections at (202) 994-7459 or

Why should I use primary sources?

  • Rewarding: Original documents often evoke a sense of time and place.
  • Scholarship: Primary sources are the raw data of history; working with them allows you to draw your own conclusions and contribute to original scholarship.

Primary Sources on Public Policy

The Special Collections Research Center, located in Gelman Library, has a number of collections that address important issues in public policy, including immigration, veterans' affairs, aviation, and Social Security.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Records, 1950-2003

The collection contains materials such as newsletters and other publications, press releases, correspondence, newspaper clippings, legal documents, and legislative histories for the work done by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The records date from the 1950's - 2003, with the bulk of the records falling within 1970-1990.

American Veterans Committee records, 1942-2002

The records of the American Veterans Committee document the organization's 60-year history advocating for peace and social justice. This collection contains a wide variety of formats, including correspondence, minutes, newspapers and newsletters, programs, official statements and testimonies, reports, membership data, legal documents, financial statements, photographs, audio reels, and artifacts.

Samuel Solomon Papers, 1932-1964

This collection consists of documents from Samuel Solomon's career in aviation. The materials range in date from 1932-64. Among other important contributions to the field of aviation, Solomon was Chairman of the Airlines Committee for the United States Air Policy.

Edward Berkowitz, Social Security papers, 1935-2002

This collection contains papers donated by Edward Berkowitz, professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University.



ArchiveGrid is a database where thousands of museums, libraries, and archives have contributed information abou their collections, including catalog records and/or finding aids.  Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies

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