LAWRENCE — In conjunction with the 2015 National History Day theme, Leadership and Legacy in History, the Robert J. Dole Archive and Special Collections at the Dole Institute of Politics has released new online modules featuring primary source documents from their collections.
New topics featured include animal rights as well as biographical materials related to former senators Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole as well as former president George H.W. Bush. The modules, including digital images of archival materials, are available on the Dole Archives website.
“The Dole Archives eagerly supports teaching and learning for the K-12 community,” said senior archivist Audrey Coleman. “This year’s History Day theme, Leadership and Legacy, has clear connections to the career of Senator Dole, which provides us wonderful opportunity to reach out to students in Kansas and beyond and encourage them to engage in the process of studying history – onsite or online.”
The newly added content augments existing modules covering civil rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Social Security, school lunches, the Vietnam War, World War II and several others. Other digital resources available on the website include The Dole Institute Oral History Project, which features extensive oral interviews with other national leaders, and digitized press releases, news clippings and photo collections.
“Because Senator Dole had such a long and productive political career, his papers reflect leadership on countless issues over many decades,” Coleman said. “The collection offers just as many unique opportunities for History Day students seeking out inspiring topics.”
National History Day is an academic program for elementary and secondary school students. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites. After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators. The program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Bob Dole served in Congress for 36 years. He is the longest-serving Republican leader in the history of the Senate (1985-1996), the 1996 Republican nominee for president and former President Gerald Ford’s vice presidential candidate in 1976. He served in many roles throughout his career, including chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance (1981-1985) and 47th chairman of the Republican National Committee (1971-1973).
The Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections at the Dole Institute of Politics is home to one of the nation’s largest collections of papers and artifacts for a nonpresidential politician. It contains the complete records of Dole’s political and post-political career, including manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual material, oral histories, textiles and artifacts. The collection is a window to the legislative process as well as a resource for Kansas history and a chronicle of late 20th century history and popular culture.
The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics. It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Archive & Special Collections, offers programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as further educational opportunities for people of all ages. All programs are free and open to the public. Visit www.doleinstitute.org or call 785-864-4900.