Louise M. Slaughter’s congressional papers are being donated to the University of Rochester.
The late congresswoman, who died in 2018 while still in Congress, represented the Rochester area for 31 years and 16 terms. The university announced the donation from Louise and Bob Slaughter’s family Wednesday morning.
“Serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives was the highest privilege and honor of our mother’s life, and we are delighted that the University of Rochester will be the steward for the official records, documents and memorabilia associated with her entire congressional career,” said Robin Slaughter Minerva on behalf of the family. “The results of her leadership will long remain evident in Rochester, and viewing the breadth of this collection will give students, faculty and the public a sense of the enormous scope of our mother’s accomplishments.” She added the hope that future leaders would be inspired by Slaughter’s legacy.
The papers will be housed in the River Campus Libraries’ Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation.
UR President Richard Feldman said Slaughter’s “legacy in Congress, throughout the state, in Rochester, and across this university was profound and will never be forgotten—it is a distinctive honor for the university to curate and steward her collection. I want to thank the Slaughter family for entrusting us with this wonderful opportunity.”
The collection includes legislative research, proposed and passed bills, speeches, awards and visual media.
“There’s incredible scholarship potential here,” said Mary Ann Mavrinac, university vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of University of Rochester Libraries. “Students, faculty, community members, authors, artists, visiting scholars and others across far-ranging areas such as education, political science, public health, and women in government and leadership can draw from her papers to inform their work.”
“Congresswoman Slaughter’s papers will offer nearly endless opportunities for research, teaching, collaboration, community engagement, and service learning,” added Jessica Lacher-Feldman, assistant dean and Joseph N. Lambert and Harold B. Schleifer Director of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation. She said the university will now hire a project archivist to prepare the collection.
The university also expects to create a searchable online guide to the collection to promote use of the collection, a digital exhibition and collection, and a physical exhibition and programming highlighting Slaughter’s contributions.
Slaughter, the only microbiologist in Congress during her tenure, was a major supporter of higher education institutions in her district. Acknowledging that support, UR awarded Slaughter its Presidential Proclamation in 2014 and its Eastman Medal in 2009, the same year she gave the undergraduate commencement address.
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