Gaylord Nelson papers, 1954-2006 (bulk 1963-1980)

Nelson, Gaylord, 1916-2005


A limited number of items are shown. Click to view More

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Format Mixed Materials; Microforms; Sound Recordings; Photos, Drawings, Prints; Videos, Slides, Films
  • Physical Details
    • 491.6 cubic feet (464 record center cartons, 22 archives boxes, 7 flat boxes, 19 card boxes, and 16 oversize folders)
    • 30 reels of microfilm (35 mm)
    • 29 reels of microfilm (16 mm)
    • 141 tape recordings
    • 2 disc recordings
    • 62 film reels
    • 19 videorecordings, and
    • 1989 photographs
    • 128 transparencies and
    • 775 negatives in 9 boxes
  • OCLC ocn173699595
  • Finding Aids
    • Register


  • RESTRICTED: Access to the casework files in the Constituent Services series (Box 359-477, 506-508) is limited. Use of this material requires individual researchers to sign an "Agreement for Use of Restricted Materials" form which states that no individually identifiable information from the records be disclosed. See Reference Archivist for access.


  • Papers, mainly 1963-1980, of former Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, founder of Earth Day and Counselor of the Wilderness Society. His papers document his Senatorial career and his post-Senatorial activities, including his initial election to Congress and his subsequent re-election campaigns, legislative achievements and activities, relationships with other politicians and residents of his home state, the administration of his office and staff, personal and official finances, activities and interests in the environment after 1981, as the Counselor of the Wilderness Society; and the 20th and 25th anniversaries of Earth Day.
  • Most importantly, the Gaylord Nelson collection documents Nelson's involvement in the origins of Earth Day and legislation related to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; the St. Croix, Wolf, and Namekagon Rivers; Alaska Pipeline; Supersonic Transport (SST); environmental education; Mississippi Locks and Dam No. 26; Appalachian Trail; the pharmaceutical industry; Job Corps (Manpower); Project ELF (Project Sanguine); Kickapoo River Valley Dam; Menominee Indian Restoration; and tire safety. The collection also provides information about a number of issues as a result of Nelson's committee assignments and his own personal interests including small business, taxes, the pollution of the Great Lakes, actions of the Reserve Mining Company, the Vietnam War and the draft, and the Panama Canal Treaty. Other broad subjects covered include matters related to the environment, civil rights, transportation, poverty, foreign affairs, civil liberties, labor, trade, agriculture, consumer affairs, education, Indian affairs, social security, veterans' affairs, and the state of Wisconsin in general. Prominent correspondents include Wisconsin legislators, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, Hubert H. Humphrey, Ronald Reagan, Tom Eagleton, Stewart Udall, and William Proxmire.


  • Some of the films and videorecordings in this collection have been cataloged individually.
  • Portions of this collections are also available on microfilm.
  • Presented by Gaylord Nelson, Washington, D.C.; Kate Barbash; Carrie Lee Nelson; and John W. Reynolds.
Checking the Web...