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Richard W. Bolling Papers

Identifier: MS-0001

Scope and Contents

The Richard W. Bolling Collection was gifted to the UMKC Miller Nichols Library in 1992 from Nona Bolling, wife of the late U.S. Congressman from Missouri who served from 1949 to 1983. Housed in LaBudde Special Collections (audio/visual materials are located in the Marr Sound Archives), the collection is an invaluable primary resource in such areas as 20th-century history, political science, and particularly U.S. Congressional history; and has been consulted by a variety of researchers. Areas of interest have included Sam Rayburn, Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill and other House Speakers; the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, and even the home Bolling resided at in Silver Spring, Maryland. The collection has proven especially useful for comparing Congressional reform during the 1940s, 1970s, and 1990s. In addition, the collection has provided valuable research material related to Hale Boggs, John McCormack, and Bolling's House leadership battle against Carl Albert in 1962.

Housed in over 500 boxes, the collection consists of nine series of material related to Congressman Bolling. Making up the largest series and arranged roughly by term, his personal and professional papers contain internal memos, letters, legislative items, published and unpublished reports, appointment schedules, invitations, invoices, constituent requests and other documents related to and generated during his time in office. His papers provide original, firsthand insight into a variety of national issues, including civil rights, labor reform, the federal budget process, liberalism and, in particular, Bolling's most direct and lasting influence as a participant in the efforts to reform Congress in the early 1970s. The remaining series include gavels, awards and honors, illustrations and cartoons, miscellaneous memorabilia, scrapbooks, constituency correspondence index cards, audio/visual material and over 2000 photographs.

An addendum to the collection was a gift of Bolling's daughter Andrea in August 2012. The addendum collection contains an extensive array of writings, by Bolling and others, documents, photographs, and audio and video tapes, much of which come from the later period of Bolling's life, after his retirement from Congress. Chapters from at least one book, proposed but not accepted for publication (Mr. President: A Legislative Primer for Presidents and Others), is here in unfinished draft form, as well as drafts of memoirs, articles, speeches and lectures by Bolling. Typed transcriptions of oral history interviews with Bolling are also here, and mostly from the 1980s, post-retirement. In addition to correspondence, the collection contains a great many historical documents, including congressional records, election statistics, and newspaper clippings. Photographs, some of which are signed by the likes of Bobby Kennedy, Tip O'Neill, and Dick Gephardt, round out the collection, along with some audio and video tapes. This addendum provides a more extensive view of Bolling's life, by chronicling the last decade of his life in more comprehensive detail.


  • 1931 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

Scrapbooks in box 436, covering 1948-1983, include correspondence and other documents with original signatures of several United States Presidents and other political leaders. Direct supervision by staff is required to view this material. Restriction statements also can be found at the item-level description in the finding aid

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status is unknown.


616 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 445 manuscript boxes, 46 photo boxes, one oversized drawer, one 60-drawer card catalog cabinet.)

40 Linear Feet (Marr: 235 1/4-inch open reel audiotapes, 181 compact cassettes, 5 LPs, 12 microcassettes, 19 VHS tapes, 11 U-matic tapes, 2 1-inch open reel videotapes, 12 2-inch Quad videotapes, 201 16mm films, 2 8mm films.)

Language of Materials


  • Item 368 in A/V Box 7 “Bolling w/ Jim Bolling and Florence Bolling: Women’s Lib” 1971 [1/4in x 600ft. tape] Removed from collection
LaBudde: Eric Fair, Amy Leimkuhler (supervising archivist); Addendum: Jeff Borowiec, Stuart Hinds (supervising archivist).
LaBudde: 1995; Addendum: September-October 2012.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Special Collections and Archives Repository