Political Collection


Politics and popular culture are a dynamic duo, often intersecting one another whether they mean to or not. It’s hard to imagine a show such as Saturday Night Live ever becoming the institution that it is today without its political commentary or Ronald Reagan achieving the highest office in the United States without his career in film and being the host of General Electric Theater. The call and response between these two are undeniable and it is important to look at this interplay.

Scope and Content

The Political Collection is comprised of newsletters, pamphlets, booklets, transcripts, press kits, and various forms of realia primarily pertaining to American political figures, movements, and causes. The items contained within this collection date as far back as 1892, with a heavy focus on the 1960s and 1970s. This finding aid was prepared by Brian Collins, Library Volunteer, and Dana Nemeth, Reference Archivist, in January 2020.

Collection Description

Subject Files: Presidential Candidates & Political figures, 1923-1996 (1 linear foot)

Boxes 1-2 are organized alphabetically by the name of the candidate/political figure.

Subject Files: Political Organizations & Movements, 1908-1995 (.5 linear foot)

Box 3 is arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization or movement. One such movement is the Students for a Democratic Society. These items are organized between national chapters and chapters located in Ohio and Michigan.

Realia, 1892, 1950s-2016 (4 linear feet)

The realia, both 2D and 3D, in this collection (boxes 4-8) is rather wide-ranging. Everything from commemorative presidential inauguration medals, action figures, political party paraphernalia, to presidential biographical information dials can be found here. The tone of these items varies, too, alternating between the serious and the satirical.


Box 1 – Organized Alphabetically by Candidate/Political Figure
Folder Candidate/Political Figure Description Date
1 John Ashbrook Pamphlet and handouts pertaining to 1972 Republican Primary bid. 1972 –
2 Paul W. Brown; Anti-marijuana pamphlet from late 1960s "Keep off the Grass." n.d.
3 George H. W. Bush Invitation to 1981 Inauguration reception, Christmas card from 1988 with photos of President Bush and his wife Barbara with their five children and their families. Photos of President Bush and his wife Barbara, flyer for 1992 presidential campaign, welcome letter to 1993 Inauguration weekend. n.d.
4 Jimmy Carter Pamphlets and handouts pertaining to 1976 presidential campaign n.d.
5 Shirley Chisholm Pamphlet, hearings from Congress, and legal letters regarding racism, women’s rights, and presidential campaign n.d.
6 Bill Clinton "Rapid Response Team" paraphernalia along with other info for 1992 presidential campaign, presidential campaign items from 1996, "3 Dollar Bill" and "Brain Scan" gags. 1992-1996
7 Dwight D. Eisenhower Booklet from 1953 Inauguration and pamphlet from 1957 inauguration and 1953 Inaugural "Working Press" pass for the White House grounds 1953, 1957
8 Gerald Ford Pamphlets for 1976 presidential campaign and three photos of moments from his time as president complete with first-hand descriptions on back by Ford. 1976
9 General Booklet by Alka-Seltzer regarding U.S. presidents from George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt, booklet of quotations by famous politicians from Benjamin Franklin to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W Bush "George's Costume" Halloween postcard. [1940s, n.d.]
10 John Glenn Office location card. [1970s]
11 Barry Goldwater Pamphlets, booklets, letters, posters, newspaper ads, and handouts pertaining to 1964 presidential campaign. 1964, 1968
12 Fred Harris "Issues Handbook" for 1976 presidential campaign. 1976
13 Hubert Humphrey Transcript of discussion regarding Vietnam War, pamphlets, booklet, handouts, sticker, and business card-sized San Francisco 49ers schedule for 1968 presidential campaign. Small photo complete with "Muriel Humphrey’s Beef Soup Recipe" and smaller photo with political record for 1972 presidential campaign. 1968,1972
14 Henry Jackson Pamphlets, handouts, and transcripts of discussions regarding political issues for the lead up and during his 1972 presidential campaign. Card from 1974 Democratic National Mini-Convention. 1970-1972, 1974
15 Lyndon B. Johnson Pamphlets, campaign promotions, newspaper articles, and newspaper biography regarding 1964 presidential campaign. Booklet and newspaper with political cartoons regarding Johnson. 1964-1965
16 John F. Kennedy Pamphlets regarding 1960 presidential campaign, official program and transcript of address of 1961 Inauguration, "JFK" coloring book, and CNS memorial portrait. "Where’s Johnny? Profile of an Empty Chair" booklet, a dedication to last month in office, "The Young Man From Boston" pictorial album, "Robert Kennedy in South Africa", collection of photographs, 1963 TV Guide, handwritten note from the desk of JFK 1960-1963
17 Alfred Landon Pamphlets entitled "The Farmer Pays," "Acceptance Speech of Gov. Alf M. Landon," and "The Bad News" regarding 1936 presidential campaign, and a booklet comparing Alfred Landon and Franklin D. Roosevelt. 1936
18 Abraham Lincoln "Preserver of His Country" biography booklet presented by John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance. 1923
19 Eugene McCarthy Pamphlets, bumper sticker, and newspaper articles pertaining to 1968 presidential campaign (labeled "Folder 1"). 1968
20 Eugene McCarthy Pamphlet, newspaper article, and statements by McCarthy regarding political issues during 1972 presidential campaign (labeled "Folder 2") 1972
21 Eugene McCarthy Endorsements and statements by McCarthy regarding political issues during 1976 presidential campaign (labeled "Folder 3") 1976
22 Joseph McCarthy Booklets entitled "The Anatomy of McCarthyism" and "McCarthyism and the Big Lie." 1953


Box 2 – Organized Alphabetically by Candidate/Political Figure
Folder Candidate/Political Figure Description Date
1 George McGovern Pamphlets, advertisements, photograph, anti-McGovern propaganda, and statements regarding political issues during 1972 presidential campaign. 1971-1972
2 William McKinley Biographical booklet for Illinois Senate campaign. 1926
3 Edmund Muskie Biographical information and statements regarding political issues during 1972 presidential campaign. 1971-1972
4 Richard Nixon Pamphlets pertaining to presidential campaigns and Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace, 1960 presidential campaign kit, stamps, and sugar packet with biographical information (labeled "Folder 1"). 1960-1974, 1990
5 Richard Nixon Invitations to 1969 and 1973 Inaugurations, information regarding presidential campaigns, and transcript of resignation address (labeled "Folder 2") 1960-1874
6 Richard Nixon Anti-Nixon items including: booklet regarding war in South East Asia, poems, and impeachment petitions (labeled "Folder 3"). 1972-1973
7 Barack Obama Barack Obama and Joe Biden Ohio Campaign for Change booklet pertaining to 2008 presidential campaign 2008
8 Ross Perot Pamphlet pertaining to 1992 presidential campaign. 1992
9 Political Elections Pamphlets and booklet pertaining to voter registration, maps of United States complete with primary information, chart of previous election years, 1972 presidential election chart, and booklet of general voter information. 1972
10 Ronald Reagan Pamphlets pertaining to 1980 presidential campaign and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, program and invitation to 1981 Inauguration, stickers for 1984 presidential campaign, information regarding trips to Bowling Green in 1984 and 1988, and anti-Reagan propaganda. 1980-1991
11 Franklin D. Roosevelt Pamphlet with statistics regarding progress in the United States from 1933-1936, booklet with Roosevelt’s “Message to Congress,” re-election flyer in Chinese, and “Democratic Blackboard” handout. 1936-1944
12 Harold Stassen “Stassen Can Defeat Carter” pamphlet. [1970s]
13 Morris Udall Pamphlet and flyer pertaining to 1976 presidential campaign. 1976
14 George Wallace Information kit for 1968 presidential campaign (labeled “Folder 1”). 1968
15 George Wallace Newspaper publications regarding presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1972, letter including photo and “1974 Presidential Preference Ballot,” pamphlets regarding 1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns, and booklets regarding 1972 presidential election and biographical information (labeled “Folder 2”). 1964-1972
16 Wendell Willkie “Theme Song of the Associated Willkie-for-President Clubs of New Jersey” lyrics sheet and “Think! … Vote for Willkie” card. 1940
17 Hillary Clinton (2016) "Hillary 2016" bumper sticker and circle sticker set, "Ready for Hillary" postcards, "Ready for Hillary" campaign kit 2016
18 Joe Biden Biden Presidential Victory Fund Postcards, donation form, and letter n.d.


Box 3 – Organized Alphabetically by Organization/Movement
Folder Organization/Movement Description Date
1 American Political Item Collectors (A.P.I.C.) Newsletter discussing Project ’76 from April of 1975. 1975
2 American Party Pamphlet discussing party platform on foreign policy. 1972
3 Association for the Preservation of Political Americana (A.P.P.A) Newsletters featuring the goings-on of then current political topics and topics within the A.P.P.A. 1974-1977
4 The Christophers Pamphlets discussing the importance of citizen involvement in government. 1960s
5 Commemorative Presidential Items/Advertising Advertising and order forms/pamphlets for commemorative license plates, Presidential Seal, posters, and photos. 1908,1981
6 Conspiracy Theories Pamphlet on the Trilateral Commission and handout discussing the “Presidential Curse” and “subliminal mind control.” 1978, 1994
7 Democratic Party Pamphlets pertaining to National Democratic Conventions, voter’s guide, and Cook County dinner program. Democrat paper napkin, preferred stock in Wood County Democratic Party, and newspaper publication from Ohio Democrat, "Democrats for change" Wood County sample ballot. 1936, 1964-1978, 1984, 2008
8 Democrats Left Issue of Democratic Left from 1981-1983, booklets on Toledo progressives, "Soviet Aggression: Myth or Reality?" pamphlet, and handouts from Women’s International Conspiracy from Hell (W.I.T.C.H.) and the far right supporting the "Contract on America." Pamphlets and handouts pertaining to the presidential campaigns of Wilbur Mills, Frank Church, and Gary Hart. Pamphlet regarding Harold Washington’s Chicago mayoral campaign. 1951,1981-1984, 1995
9 Dostal – Gass Defense Committee Booklet regarding the Ted Dostal & Dave Gass cases. 1969
10 The Freedom Alliance Recruitment letter endorsed by Oliver North. 1990
11 General Letter to precinct reporters for the 1980 Presidential election, "The Place of Anarchism in Socialist Evolution" booklet, 1971 Camden Defense Committee "Camden 28" statement on Hoover and FBI, "Sanity Now!" newsletters, Americans for Democratic Action endorsement flyer, Student Representative Cuyahoga County War Finance Committee Membership Card, United Steelworkers of America Committee on Older and Retired Workers magazine ft. JFK, New England Committee for Nonviolent Action newspaper, Christmas Buying Boycott for Peace Advertisement Letter, National War Fund "'Round the World Gift" comic book, National War Fund pamphlet, "The Independent American" newspaper Vol. IX no. 2 1980
12 Great Britain Notecards regarding Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill by Universal Life Assurance. n.d.
13 Libertarian Party Pamphlet, order forms, and newsletters. 1972
14 Liberty Letter, Liberty Lobby Newsletters and emergency letters. 1968-1971
15 Minute Women of the United States of America Pamphlet and pledge sheet n.d.
16 National Socialist White People’s Party/American Nazi Party Pamphlets, handouts, flyers, application forms, and booklets regarding local and national chapters 1960s-1970s
17 National Youth Alliance Pamphlet, handwritten local flyers, newsletters, and newspaper publication from Patriots Guide. 1969
18 New York Conservative Party Pamphlets regarding various state campaigns and election results for 1968, news releases, and legislative programs. 1962-1969
19 Ohio Political Activism Handout for Chiropractic Referendum bill 1926
20 Patriotic Party Handouts regarding taxation and federal reserve 1969
21 Radical Education Handouts and booklets pertaining to the Radical Education Project and imperialism 1963-1969
22 Republican Party Pamphlets regarding Republican Workshop and Republican voting ticket, folder containing Republican Workshop discussion methods, "Where Your Daily $1 Goes!" hidden tax handout, handwritten local flyer, and Mike Dukakis "Get Out of Jail Free" gag 1940, 1960s-1980s
23 Republican Right Pamphlets, booklet, and handouts regarding foreign policy, taxation, and voter guide. 1960s, 1992
24 Students for a Democratic Society Pamphlets, booklets, newsletters, and minutes of local SDS chapters (labeled "Folder 1"). 1967-1969
25 Students for a Democratic Society Pamphlets, booklets, newsletters, newspaper publication, and handwritten flyers of national SDS chapters (labeled "Folder 2"). 1966-1970
26 United Front Against Fascism in America Newspaper insert and recruitment flyer for Black Panthers. 1960’s, 1970
27 United States Council for World Freedom Pamphlets and letters in support of Oliver North and pardon. 1987-1990
28 Young Americans for Freedom Pamphlets, newsletters, mission statements, and letters pertaining to Vietnam and other political issues of the time. 1964-1971
29 Students for a Democratic Society #3 Pamphlets, booklets, letters, flyers, meeting minutes, magazine/newspaper articles, SDS Weekly (official magazine),  n.d.


Box 4 - 2D Realia
Folder Description Date
1 Admission card to American National Exhibition in Moscow 1959
2 Canfield, OH G.O.P. 13th District for Congress metal sign n.d.
3 Bill Clinton presidential light switch cover gag 1999
4 Mike Dukakis for President window sign 1988
5 Berry Goldwater pennant 1964
6 Herbert Hoover re-election sticker 1932
7 Alfred Landon / Frank Knox metal sunflower sign 1936
8 Newsweekly Election Guide slide and pull 1972
9 Barack Obama campaign stickers 2008-2012
10 Barack Obama “Obama-Rama Mix N’ Match Magnetic Wardrobe” dress-up doll [2007]
11 Barack Obama "Yes We Did" sticker 2008
12 Barack Obama "You Are Welcome in Ghana" handheld fan 2009
13 Political Memorabilia
  • Army and Navy Heroes pin booklet (n.d.)
  • Hoover for President; Cooper for Governor booklet (1928)
  • Hoover vs. Smith Presidential race handheld paper fan by Shelt Ice & Coal Co. (1928)
  • Alf Landon and Frank Knox wagon campaign cut out (1936)
  • President William McKinley paper doll (n.d.)
  • RNC Eighth Congressional District (OH) Primary Candidate information card (May 21st, 1912)
  • Republican Point of View booklet (1892)
  • Theodore Roosevelt needle booklet (n.d.)
14 Political Memorabilia
  • Richard Nixon paper neck piece (n.d.)
  • "Vote for" Richard Nixon door knob sign (n.d.)
  • Richard Nixon "Nixon Penny" gag
  • Ohio Republican Candidates 1942 handheld paper fan (1942)
  • "Will the Farmer Survive?" booklet (1940)
  • "Theme Song of the Associated Willkie for President Clubs of New Jersey" lyrics booklet (1940)
15 Presidential fact finder wheel dial 1963
16 “Bowling Green Welcomes” Ronald Reagan sticker 1984
17 Republican National Convention
  • Tickets to the 1940 Nation Republican convention in Philadelphia, PA June 1940
    • Pink guest ticket to upper balcony seat (secondary)
    • White press ticket to the arena area with envelope labeled "Press"
  • "Program of Events in connection with the Republican National Convention" in Philadelphia, PA June 1940
    Listing of events in and around city
  • "Special Telephone Information for the Republican National Convention" Philadelphia, PA Jun 1940
    Listings for National Committee phone numbers
  • "Welcome to Philadelphia, Republican National Convention!" June 1940.
    Visitors guide to Philadelphia, PA.
  • The Republican, June 1940, Issue Vol. 4 No. 6 featuring the 1940 Republican National Convention
  • Convention Section of the Philadelphia Inquirer "1940 Republican National Convention."
    Information regarding candidates and city
  • "On to Washington! G.O.P. Songs for 1940" lyrics booklet
18 Republican National Convention
  • RNC 1976, floor re-admit ticket (Monday, 2nd session), Kansas City, Missouri
  • RNC 1976, radio-T.V. pass, Kansas City, Missouri
  • RNC 1976, limited access pass, Kansas City, Missouri
19 Republican National Convention
  • RNC 1980, re-admit ticket, Detroit, MI
  • RNC 1980 guest passes, Detroit, MI
  • Piece of blue carpet from RNC 1980, Detroit, MI
  • Committee on Resolutions Platform Hearing admittance ticket
20 Sunoco "Election Year Facts for Every Voter" 1936
21 Time 1964 election year wheel dial 1964
22 Tip-Top "Presidents of the U.S.A." information wheel dial 1951
23 U.S. House of Representatives visitor’s passes 1946, 1968, [1970s]
24 U.S. Senate Chamber visitor’s passes 1946, 1974
25 Wendell Willkie presidential poster 1940
26 "Nixon Now" Bumper Sticker,  n.d.
27 Obama "Honorary Kitchen Cabinet" Fridge Magnet, "Vote Obama/Biden 2008" Bumper Sticker,  2008
28 Biden-Harris Bumper Sticker x3, Biden President Bumper Sticker, Biden Harris vinyl banner 2020
Box 5 - 3D Realia
Folder Description Date
Presidential/Vice Presidential Inaugural Medals
1 Lyndon B. Johnson 1965
2 Richard Nixon 1969
3 Richard Nixon / Spiro Agnew (Solid Bronze Proof Edition) 1973
4 Gerald Ford (Metallic Art Company; No. 11,772) 1974
5 Jimmy Carter (Solid Bronze Proof Edition) 1977
6 Jimmy Carter (Metallic Art Company; No. 2946) 1977
7 Walter Mondale (Metallic Art Company; No. 2121) 1977
8 Ronald Reagan / George H.W. Bush 1985
9 George H.W. Bush 1989
10 Bill Clinton 1993
11 Bill Clinton U.S. Treasury coin [1990s]
12 DNC metal clip 2004
13 Ronald Reagan Medal of Merit [1980s]
14 Small Democrat donkey figurine n.d.
15 Jimmy Carter medallion [1970s]
Individual Items
16 Bill Clinton “Money Clip” gag 1993
17 Hillary Clinton for President strap watch 2008
18 Hillary Clinton "Ready-for-Action" figurine 2016
19 DNC coin July 12-16, 1976
20 Democrat pins
  • Donkey with large ears
  • Donkey with two horseshoes
  • Donkey pin "Arpad", St. Paul, MN
21 Dwight Eisenhower "Ike" rhinestone earrings [1950s]
22 "The Essential Barack Obama" audiobook 2006
23 G.O.P. elephant emblem patch n.d.
24 Lyndon Johnson lenticular tie clip [1960s]
25 Robert F. Kennedy coin (Tri-County Coin Club ribbon) 1970
26 Barack Obama "An Action Figure We Can Believe in" figurine [2007]
27 Barack Obama commemorative coin 2008
28 Barack Obama for President strap watch 2008
29 Barack Obama hardbound copy of inaugural address 2009
30 Barack Obama Presidential playing cards 2008
31 "Bam Bam Obama Inflatable Finger Bop" 2008
32 Patriotic rolling papers (Uncle Sam Death Certificate) 1970
33 Bob Schieffer "Face the Nation" CD 2004
34 “Support our Troops" Operation Desert Shield dog tags n.d.
35 Vietnam War P.O.W. – Missing in Action bracelet
  • Capt. Gerald Alfred Jr. (1966)
  • Lieutenant Commander Edward Davis (1965)
36 “Vote Democratic” suspenders n.d.
37 Jabber Jaw "Hillary Clinton Laughing Pen" n.d.
Box 6 - 3D Realia
Folder Description Date
1 Survive and Continue (anti-Strategic Air Command group) caravan banner/photo 1982
2 "James Rhodes for Governor of Ohio pennant" [1960s]
3 G.O.P. Republican handkerchief n.d.
4 "The Democrats Will Surely Win the Election" pillow cover n.d.
5 "Vote Democrat" tie n.d.
6 "Akwaaba" Obama shirt [2008]
Box 7 - 3D Realia
Folder Description Date
1 Kerry/Edwards sign [2004]
2 Obama/Biden sign [2008]
3 Obama green clover poster [2008]
4 "The Real Joe the Plumbers Support Obama" sign [2008]
5 "Vote Obama" doorknob sign [2008]
6 Obama on American flag [2008]
Box 8 - 3D Realia
Folder Description Date
1 Newt Gingrich mask [2000s]

Updated: 10/31/2022 08:21AM