In January 2011 two hundred white boxes arrived at the NKU loading dock from the federal records center in Virginia. These boxes contain records documenting twenty-four years worth of work by the office of Jim Bunning, US Representative and US Senator. Jim Bunning also donated a modest collection of baseball memorabilia from his professional career as a Major League pitcher.
This collection is a very significant donation. The archives already holds the congressional papers of Gene Snyder (1963-1965, 1967-1987) and Ken Lucas (1999-2005) who also held the 4th Congressional District seat. With the receipt of Jim Bunning’s papers, NKU now has over 40 years of continuous records for this district. This strength promises the ability to study not just the impact of a single individual, but a longitudinal study of this district.
Congressional Papers are a subspecialty among archivists. Processing this collection will be a multi-year project and require an archivist dedicated solely to this work.
In November, a fundraiser was held to solicit contributions towards the expense of processing this important collection. It included a dinner followed by Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher, and his friend Tommy Lasorda chatting informally about their baseball careers and answering questions from the audience. An extensive collection of Bunning baseball memorabilia, owned by Rex Morgan of Campbellsburg, KY was displayed for the evening.
Anyone who is interested in contributing to the processing fund for the Bunning Congressional Papers or other Special Collections and Archives Department needs may contact Nancy Perry, Director of Development for Steely Library at (859) 572-5722 or (859) 468-1409.