Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr. papers

Container List

This contents list has been split into subgroups:


The original extent of the Frear papers was substantially reduced in processing, as is often the case with large 20th-century congressional collections. The original files included many items suitable for simple appraisal decisions: mailing envelopes, carbons of office correspondence, duplicates of speeches, and government publications.

Sampling techniques were also used throughout the collection because of the volume of repetitive and redundant constituent correspondence. For example, it was not unusual for Senator Frear to receive several hundred letters on a single legislative issue, all expressing basically the same point of view. In some cases, Senator Frear received mimeographed form letters or post-cards, all repeating the same message. In response, Senator Frear often sent "robos" or form letters. The researcher may assume that representative samples of correspondence were saved throughout files of legislative issue mail. In some cases, processor's explanatory notes have been recorded on acid-free paper and interfiled in the correspondence.

In this collection, appraisal decisions were made at the series level for two entire series. Case files (series E. under the first sub-group of Delaware and Delawareans) were deemed highly personal in nature and of little research value, so the series was completely discarded. A more thorough description of original file contents for this series is available in the finding aid, so the Case files series has retained an intellectual place within the series outline for the collection.

A second series, "the Blues" was also entirely discarded. These were routine carbon copies of all outgoing correspondence filed in alphabetical order by name of recipient.

There was significant sampling throughout the collection, so the lessened index value of "the Blues" and the large size of the file were factors in the decision to discard the series. "The Blues" are not described in further detail and are not reflected in the series outline for the collection. (They would have appeared in the Administrative and Personal Office files subgroup.)

The congressional papers of Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr. have been organized into four sub-groups, the first three of which are comprised of filing series originally maintained in the Senator's office. The office staff used records management guidelines provided by the Secretary or some other office in the Senate. These guidelines assigned file number sequences to federal departments, agencies, and topics:

There is no hierarchical or otherwise logical arrangement to this filing scheme.

The arrangement of series in this collection closely follows the original numbering scheme, but also breaks the sequence into functional series; i.e., original file sequence 1 through 45, 47, 48, 50, 51, 59, and 60 comprise Federal Department files. Original file sequence 46, Delaware State files, has been separated as an independent series. Likewise, Case files (sequence 54), General Appointments (sequence 55), Post Office Files (sequence 56), and Academy files (sequences 63-65) have been separated as independent series.

The original filing sequence numbers have been retained in the contents list for the Federal Department files or otherwise explained in other series notes. Other series were not numbered in the original office filing system, but presented clear categories of material such as telephone logs, voting records, or photographs which could also be arranged functionally.