Story posted June 01, 2009
Tom Allen, who served Maine's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1997 to January 2009, has donated his congressional papers to Bowdoin's George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives.
Allen graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College in 1967, was a Rhodes Scholar, served as an overseer of the College and has been active in Democratic Party politics throughout his career.
His gift insures that the historical record during his time in Congress will be preserved and made accessible to the public now and into the future.
"I hope these materials will help students and scholars understand what Congress was like on the inside during a difficult period of American history," says Allen.
The papers comprise 100 cubic feet of office files, reports and memoranda, research notes, briefing books, remarks and addresses, as well as campaign materials, photographs and audio-visual recordings.
"Allen's papers will serve as valuable archival resources for scholars and others who hope to understand what proved to be a remarkably complex and increasingly contentious period in American politics," says Richard Lindemann, director of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives.
These files document the political processes that informed numerous important legislative issues, including campaign finance reform, healthcare, missile defense, energy, war and veterans affairs.
Taken in the broader context of other politicians' papers held at Bowdoin — those of Governor Ralph Owen Brewster and Senator George J. Mitchell in the 20th and 21st centuries, and William Pitt Fessenden and Thomas Brackett Reed in the 19th, to name a few — Allen's papers augment a remarkably rich array of scholarly resources at the College for the study of U.S. and Maine history, politics and government.
"Bowdoin has gained a valuable collection, which will be of great interest and use to Bowdoin students and the public," says DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government Christian Potholm.
These political papers also serve to memorialize the notable legacy that Bowdoin alumni have left through more than 200 years of distinguished public service to the State of Maine and to the nation.
Since April 2009, Allen has served as president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, the principal trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry.