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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Senator, alum donates personal records from time in office to UA library

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). (Courtesy U.S. Senate/MCT)

Sen. Jon Kyl announced that he will be donating his personal records from his time in office to the UA library at a press conference in the library’s special collections area on Wednesday afternoon.

Kyl has served in the House of Representatives for four terms and in the Senate for three terms. The donation includes documents, papers, records and memorabilia from his years in public service.

“There’s going to be about 400 boxes of materials that range [from] personal to his political career,” said Chrystal Carpenter, a congressional archivist at the UA library. “A lot of it will be correspondence, constituent materials, research that staff did on key issues, bills … it just runs the whole gamut of the different areas in which he was delving into.”

The UA Main Library has not yet received the physical papers, which Kyl said will be sent in December. The papers will be made available in two stages, the first of which will be a collection that has been available to the public before. Kyl said that he intended to then send private documents that are being made public for the first time.

“It’s my hope that it will be useful to people studying policy, studying particular issues like immigration reform, water policy, historical senate treaties and confirmations … and so many other things that my records might provide some piece of the puzzle that’s useful for people,” Kyl said.

Student Valerie Hanna, an undergraduate student studying political science, said that she is interested in the inside look that the documents will provide to students.

“It’s such a cool opportunity for students … [to see] the details and the thought process behind what our state senator did, the actions that he took, the decisions that he made,” Hanna said.
Carpenter agrees that the documents will be useful to both students and researchers.

“[The senator’s] papers and his longevity in the House and the Senate, and the issues and the things that he worked on coming to the university will have such an impact on scholars, research and students,” she said. “I think that the longevity of the materials in here is going to be very important to researchers now and into the future.” Kyl also said that the availability of the records will allow people a better glimpse of the inner workings of legislative positions.

“Sometimes your successes [as a public servant] are in saying ‘no’ to things that are bad ideas just as much as passing bills. There are things like that that I’ve worked on, and I’d like the public to see what was really behind all that,” he said.

Both Kyl and his wife are UA alumni, which Kyl said is the reason he chose to donate his records to the UA.

“I’ve always wanted to be able to give things back to my alma mater,” he said. “My wife and I very much appreciated the education that we received here, and this is one way that we can do that.”

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