The Lilly Library at Indiana University in Bloomington recently announced that the Lee H. Hamilton Congressional Papers, 1965-1998, are now open to researchers.

Hamilton represented the largely rural 9th district in southeastern Indiana and built an extensive communications system with his constituents which is well documented in the papers. He was a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs for his full congressional career and was intent on reinvigorating the congressional role in foreign policy established in the Constitution, an effort to which he devoted himself particularly as chair of the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East from 1977-1994. He was also a member of the Joint Economic Committee, serving as vice chair for eight years and chair in 1989-90. Hamilton was a persistent proponent of congressional reform and self-monitoring, and earned a reputation for fairness and integrity that led to his being selected to lead the House committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair in 1987. Throughout his work in foreign policy he remained attentive to economic and community development in his district, as is attested by the substantial number of project files in the collection.

An extensive finding aid to the Hamilton collection may be accessed through the Indiana University finding aids site at by doing a simple search for Hamilton as the creator.

Supplementary material on Hamilton and his district is on the Lilly Library website at

An exhibition celebrating Hamilton's congressional career will open in the main gallery of the Lilly Library in January 2006.

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