Arlen Specter Collection

The Arlen Specter Collection will be made available for use by historians, students, and the general public as items are processed.**  Documents, memorabilia, electronic files, and audiovisual materials are in the process of being organized and preserved in collaboration with the Archives Service Center at the University of Pittsburgh. 

The Specter Archive consists of approximately 2,700 boxes of materials received from the Senator’s Congressional Office at the Hart Building, as well as his private office, “Hideaway”, next to the US Senate Chambers at the US Capitol. 

The collection contains personal notes, correspondence, files, memorabilia, pictures and personal possessions of the Senator collected over his career that spanned over five decades and covers a wide range of topics and areas of American history, including:

  • Affirmative Action
  • Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
  • Campaign Finance Reform
  • Clinton Impeachment
  • Health Care Reform
  • Homeland Security
  • Oklahoma City Bombings
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Ruby Ridge
  • Supreme Court Nominations

The Collection also includes a small amount of material from his tenure as Philadelphia District Attorney and his engagement in the Warren Commission that investigated President Kennedy’s assassination.    

Details about Philadelphia University’s other special collections are available on the Paul J. Gutman Library - Special Collections page.

In order to learn more about accessing the Arlen Specter Collection during processing, please contact Specter Center Curator Sarah Daub

** Access Policy during Collection Processing:

1. While this collection is being organized and processed at the University of Pittsburgh, access to the Papers for research purposes will by necessity be extremely limited.

2. Priority will be given to Philadelphia University and University of Pittsburgh faculty, students and staff research requests. Such requests will be fulfilled as possible on a case-by-case basis.

3. All other requests will be reviewed and addressed only if the relevant portion of the collection has been processed and is accessible physically.

4. We estimate that it will take approximately four years to process the collection. We appreciate your understanding as we work to transform this important collection into an outstanding research resource.