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Abner J. Mikva Papers

Identifier: BC460

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, speeches, reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters, campaign pamphlets, questionnaires, surveys, press releases, financial papers, corrections reform legislation, gun control, ethics legislation, court cases, opinion slips, law clerk files and manuals, published articles and textbook, foreign travel, CEELI, American Bar Association meetings, teaching materials, awards, honors, and post retirement speaking engagements and related activities.


  • Created: 1950-2010
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1973


Conditions Governing Access

Open for access.


203.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Illinois Democrat state legislator for the tenth district (Cook County), United States congressman, an appellate judge, District of Columbia, White House counsel under Clinton, and law professor at various law schools. Holds the distinction of serving in all three branches of government. Married to Zorita Wise in 1948, has three daughters.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in five series: Legislative File, Congressional File, Court File, Personal File and Post-Retirement File.Series I: Legislative File, 1956-1966 (Boxes 1-34) contains campaigns and constituent literature, legislative bills, research, trips, committees, and information related to terms in office. During his tenure as a legislator Mikva worked on a variety of issues related to fair labor practices, job discrimination, human rights, the environment, and community improvement.Series II: Congressional File, 1969-1973, 1975-1979 (Boxes 35-59) contains correspondence, campaign literature, various bills related to crime, prison reform, gun control, economic relief, and environmental measures.Series II: Congressional File, 1969-1973, 1975-1979 (Boxes 35-59) cont. – rights, addressed a variety of issues that included obscenity laws, censorship, women’s rights, military surveillance, wiretapping, and subversive activities that infringed on human rights.Series III: Judicial File, 1979-1995 (Boxes 59-139) Includes Mikva’s judicial confirmation, hundreds of court cases, slip opinions, court dockets and calendars, correspondence, conferences and meetings attended related to his judgeship, the American Bar Association, the Judicial Conference, published articles, newspaper articles, law clerk files, intern and extern files, field trips and reunions with law clerks, various committees, trips, and activities related to the judicial branch.Series IV: Personal File, 1950-2002 (Boxes 139-179 plus 13 oversize scrapbooks) contains campaign literature, newspaper clippings, correspondence, speeches, writings, textbook materials, memberships, trips abroad, work with CEELI, church and community work, and various holiday cards and thank you notes. The series contains numerous award, honors, and certificates received by Mikva from various groups he was affiliated with or had gained recognition for his many contributions to their particular mission or organization. The file also contains the textbook chapters, correspondence, and other related materials for the legislative textbook written by Mikva and Patty Saris. Also included in the file are other published works that Mikva had written for professional law journals and magazines. An oral history transcript is included in the personal file and corresponding tapes have been placed in the audio visual section.Series V: Post Retirement File, 1950-2010 (Boxes 180-197), consists of miscellaneous files from various organizations, correspondence, teaching materials from Northwestern Law School, and Mikva’s Arbitration and Mediation work.

Accruals and Additions

1980, 1982, 2008, 2009, 2011

Separated Materials

8 cassettes, 7-5” reel to reel, 2-“Stenorette” tapes, 27-7” reel to reel, 113 photographs, 8 slidesand 90 campaign buttons (Transferred 5/1980)5 reels film, 4 VHS tapes, 3 cassettes, 1 mini cassette, 324 photographs, 14 oversize items, 21 campaign pins. (Transferred 12/15/2009)58 tapes –Tape Collection; 552 photographs (Transferred to Audio-Visual Department)94 photographs in 3 albums (Transferred to Audio-Visual Department 5/30/2014)438 photographs, 3 DVD’s, 2 CDs, 1 disk, negatives(Transferred to Audio-Visual Department 1/6/2015)
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
(217) 558-8923