1:42 p.m., Nov. 24, 2010----The University of Delaware has added the U.S. Senate papers and archives of Sen. Edward E. “Ted” Kaufman (D-Del.) to its collection of political papers that spans more than two centuries.
Kaufman, whose two-year Senate career concluded on Nov. 15 when newly elected U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) was sworn in, joined UD President Patrick Harker and Susan Brynteson, vice provost and May Morris Director of Libraries, to sign the official papers during a ceremony held on Tuesday, Nov. 23, in the President's House on the UD campus.
“I just want to say that this is a great day for me and my family and my wife, Lynne,” Kaufman said. “The University of Delaware is a great university, and I hope my papers will help.”
Appointed to fill the term of former U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., who resigned in November 2008 to become vice president of the United States, Kaufman said his gift to UD reflects an old African proverb -- “When an old man dies, it is like a library burning.”
“I think that when you reach my age, one of the things you are trying to do is to use that library in any way you can,” Kaufman said. “Hopefully, in 71 years I have learned a thing or two. That is why I enjoy teaching and that is why I enjoyed my two years in the Senate.”
Kaufman added a light touch to the signing when he noted that “I don't know where to start in terms of how many great schools and scholars you have here at UD. Not only that, but the [UD] Board of Trustees was smart enough to make an engineer president, an engineer who was also at Wharton.”
In welcoming Kaufman and the 40 guests who attended the signing ceremony, Harker noted that the University has enjoyed “an incredibly warm and close relationship with the senator, and we're thrilled that his papers will have a home here.”
“UD's political profile has risen dramatically in the last couple of years, and we have notable alumni in positions of considerable influence and power,” Harker said. “Our Center for Political Communication is serving as a national resource for research on the role of new media in politics and policy. Sen. Kaufman's papers will only enhance our reputation as a political presence and as a resource for political scholarship.”
Harker also said future students, faculty and researchers outside of UD will be able to access the Kaufman papers that will enhance the already substantial collection of political materials housed in the Special Collections Department of the UD Library.
“Special Collections are a defining attribute of any good research institution and research library, and the University's are a unique and vital resource,” Harker said. “Our collections feature materials of enduring importance, and we're thrilled that Sen. Kaufman's papers will now be a key attraction there.”
Brynteson noted that the papers will join the rich content of papers and archives of elected officials that reside in Special Collections.
“The University has a strong commitment to the rich content of papers and archives of elected officials for scholarly research,” Brynteson said. “The Sen. Edward E. Kaufman Papers and Archives will join the congressional papers of Delaware U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper and former Delaware U.S Sens. John J. Williams and J. Allen Frear Jr., among others, also in the UD Library,”
The Kaufman materials include papers and other records in multiple formats, including written, recorded, electronic, media, web pages and more from his service in the Senate, Brynteson said.
“Given that such a large percentage of the senator's materials are in the electronic format, this will bring new challenges and opportunities to the library as it prepares the materials for scholarly research,” Brynteson said. “The library will process, conserve and make available the senator's papers, with a projected availability date of January 2013.”
A reception followed the signing ceremony.
Article by Jerry Rhodes
Photos by Evan Krape