Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Rob Seal:
October 12, 2011 — Former U.S. Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. of Connecticut will be at the University of Virginia's Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture and Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Oct. 19 to unveil an expansive archive of his senatorial career and to preview a forthcoming online oral history.
"Controversy and Leadership: The Senatorial Papers and Oral History Project of Lowell P. Weicker Jr." will be presented from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Harrison auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
The event Wednesday marks the completion of that archive, which will soon be ready for scholars to research original materials chronicling Weicker's important work during the Watergate hearings, and his efforts in support of the National Institutes of Health, disabilities laws, constitutional rights, small business and anti-apartheid legislation.
"For over three years, the University of Virginia has devoted countless hours to making my Senate career come alive," Weicker said. "Though the times were challenging, the responses on both sides of the aisle were inspiring. My thanks to all those at the University for reminding us what we can be."
After serving one term in the U.S House of Representatives starting in 1969, Weicker, then a Republican, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1971 and held the post until 1989. He was elected governor of Connecticut as an independent in 1990 for one four-year term.
In addition to the three years spent organizing his senatorial papers and creating a searchable, digital guide, library staff are also working to develop an innovative website that serves as an oral history of Weicker's career.
"Historian Phyllis Leffler has interviewed Senator Weicker and many of his former staffers to talk about his work in a time of great change in America," said Hoke Perkins, director of the Harrison Institute. "The oral history is basically a living discussion of the policies that are an important part of his legacy."
Wednesday's event will include a preview of that website, which will be publicly available in 2012, Perkins said. It will also include a discussion with Weicker, and a reception will follow.