Joseph M. McDade Congressional Papers Collection
The Honorable Joseph M. McDade, member of the House of Representatives, 10th District of Pennsylvania, who retired from the House after a distinguished 36-year career, has donated his congressional papers to The University of Scranton.
The 400 cubic feet of papers consist of legislation, correspondence, case and project files, newsletters, memorabilia, campaign materials, subject files, audio-visual materials, and other items documenting Mr. McDade's career from 1963 through 1998. The materials record the Congressman's legislative involvement, specific initiatives, economic revitalization efforts in northeastern Pennsylvania, and relations with constituents and political figures.
Upon their arrival in December 1998, the McDade papers were stored in a specially renovated room in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library where they are being arranged and described by a project archivist. The project archivist will also create finding aids to the collection. The University has created a graduate assistantship to provide funding for this position and a learning experience for a graduate student interested in contemporary history and archival methodology.
Congressional collections such as the McDade Collection are archivally challenging due to their size, the complexities of arrangement, and to privacy concerns. For example, the case files of Congressman McDade's district contain case files of coal miners who suffered from coal workers pneumoconiosis (Black lung disease). These files may contain medical information as well as personal accounts of mining and resulting disabilities. Items such as these are of potential interest to economic, industrial, and medical historians.
Due to privacy issues, portions of the collection, such as previously mentioned black lung case files, will not be opened to the public for a number of years. Other materials will become available for research as soon as the collection is processed.
The McDade Study Room
The Weinberg Memorial Library has designated a third floor room as the Joseph M. McDade Study Room. This room contains a portrait, photos and memorabilia from the Congressman's career, including a University of Scranton pennant taken into space by Senator John Glenn on the shuttle Discovery in 1998.
A Quiet Man of Country
Joseph M. McDade was born in Scranton on 29 September 1931. He attended St. Paul's School and Scranton Preparatory School and was graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 with a B.A. in political science. He received his LL.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956. He is married to the former Sarah Scripture and has five children.
After serving as city solicitor of Scranton in 1962, Mr. McDade began his tenure in Congress in 1963. He retired as the ranking Republican in length of service in the House of Representatives. During his years of public life he served as the vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, vice chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on National Security, and as a member on the Subcommittee on the Interior.
Regionally, Mr. McDade was the principal advocate for the Tobyhanna Army Depot and was instrumental in establishing the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, the Steamtown National Historic Site, and the National Fishery Laboratory in Wellsboro.
Mr. McDade is a long-time supporter of The University of Scranton. From 1989 to 1998, Mr. McDade helped the University obtain four federal grants totaling $28 million, which helped create the Center for Technology Transfer, the Institute Of Molecular Biology and Medicine, and the Electronic Commerce Resource Center. Further, Mr. McDade was instrumental in securing funding for research conducted by the Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine. He has also established a scholarship to assist local students in pursing government service.
The University has honored Mr. McDade by naming the McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts (1993) and creating the McDade Center for Technology Transfer. The University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Law degree in 1969. Now a study room on the third floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library is dedicated in honor of Mr. McDade. Mr. McDade served on the University's Board of Trustees from October 1977 to September 1983 and was named one of the University's two trustees emeriti in 1999.
Joseph M McDade Collection Box and Folder List (PDF format)
Telephone: (570) 941-6341
Fax: (570) 941-7817
Email: Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian