John W. Davis: Collection SummaryJohn W. Davis: Collection Summary

John W. Davis: Collection Summary

Descriptive Summary

Title: John W. Davis: Collection Summary
Creator: Davis, John W., 1916-1992
Dates: 1936-1975
Extent: 342.0 boxes (111.75 linear feet, 432 audiovisual items, 634 photographs)
Collection Number: RBRL/132/JWD
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: John W. Davis was a lawyer and judge who served in the U.S. House from 1961 to 1974, including service on the House Administration Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Science and Astronautics Committee. Davis's papers document his political career and includes correspondence, legislative files, speech and press files, and campaign materials.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

John W. Davis, Jr. was born in Rome, Georgia on September 12, 1916 to John Camp Davis and Era DeLay. He graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens with an A.B. in 1937 and an LL.B. in 1939. He was admitted to the bar in 1939 and commenced practicing law in Rome, Georgia. Davis served in the War Department Headquarters from July 1942 to December 1945, and was assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps, serving for a time in South America. He moved to Summerville, Georgia in 1946 and resumed practicing law. From December 27, 1950 to January 1, 1953, he served as solicitor general of the Rome Circuit. Davis was elected judge of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit for six years, and served from January 1, 1955 , until his resignation December 31, 1960. The following year, Davis was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-seventh and to the six succeeding Congresses (1961-1975). Davis served on the House Administration Committee (1965-1970), the House Foreign Affairs Committee (1971-1974), and the Science and Astronautics Committee (1961-1974), chairing the Subcommittee of Science, Research, and Development. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1974 to the Ninety-fourth Congress. He married Vivian Hawkins of Walker County, Georgia on February 6, 1944, and they had three children, Katherine, John W. Jr., and Mary Ellen. Vivian died in 1969, and, later in life, Davis married Bridget Christmo. Davis practiced law in St. Simons Island until his death on October 3, 1992.

Scope and Content

Davis's papers document his political career and includes correspondence, legislative files, speech and press files, and campaign materials. Commons subjects include science and technology, Georgia's infrastructure, water resource management, civil rights, and Watergate.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is organized into 18 series: Series I. Speech/Press Files, Series II. Political Campaigns, Series III. Personal, Series IV. Intra-Office, Series V. Legislative, Series VI. General File, Series VII. Yellows [CLOSED], Series VIII. Greens [CLOSED], Series IX [CLOSED], Series X. Case Mail [CLOSED], Series XI. Rivers, Harbors, and Watersheds, Series XII. Seventh District Federal Funding, Series XIII. Office Administration, Series XIV. Technology Assessment, Series XV. Scrapbooks, Series XVI. Artifacts and Memorbilia, Series XVII. Photographs, and Series XVIII. Audiovisual Materials.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

This series is open for research with the following exceptions:

Series III. Personal: The family files are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.

Series IV. Intra-Office: Mail logs are restricted to Russell Library staff use only.

Series VII. Yellows, Series VIII. Greens, and Series IX are restricted.

Series X. Case Mail is restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.

Series XVIII. Audiovisual: Though the series is open for research, reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.

Preferred citation

John W. Davis Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

User Restrictions

Library acts as a "fair use" reproduction agent.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Adriane Hanson and Jordan Graham (student assistant), September 2016.


Related Materials

Access Points

Busing for school integration--Georgia.
Civil rights--Georgia.
Electric power.
Legislators--United States.
Lockheed Corporation.
Metric system--Law and legislation.
National Science Foundation.
National school lunch program.
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
Panama Canal.
Roads--Georgia.
Supersonic transport planes.
United Nations.
United States. Congress. House.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Banking and Currency.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Housing and Domestic Finance.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Science and Astronautics.
United States. Congress. Joint Economic Committee.
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Prisoners and prisons.
Water resources development--Georgia.
Watergate Affair, 1972-1974.

Related Collections in this Repository

Maston O'Neal Papers

Robert G. Stephens, Jr. Papers

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Herman E. Talmadge Collection

Ben Blackburn Papers


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

Series I. Speech/Press Files, 1955-1974

Extent: 25.0 boxes (12.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The John Davis Papers, Series I. Speech/Press Files consists of clippings; grant files; insertions in the Congressional Record; newsletters; radio scripts and tapes; press releases; and speeches, addresses and statements by Davis on various topics. Some of the topics include: techonology, fire research and safety, Interstate 75, Daylight Savings Time, Coosa-Alabama River System, Watergate and Nixon, National Science Foundation, Lockheed, and Vietnam.
Arrangement note: Series I. Speech/Press Files is organized into three subseries: subject file, chronological file, and county file.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.



Subseries A. Subject File, 1964-1974

Extent: 6.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This subseries consists of speeches and statements by Davis on a particular topic taken mainly from news clippings.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries B. Chornological File, 1955-1974

Extent: 15.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This subseries consists of the following types of publicity materials relating to Davis: clippings; grant files; insertions in the Congressional Record; newsletters; radio scripts; press releases; and speeches, addresses and statements.
The researcher should be aware that the press file, particularly press releases, may overlap with materials from other files. For instance, there are press materials on Davis campaigns interfiled with campaign correspondence in series II. political campaigns. There is also a fair amount of overlap in C. Grants and V. Legislative, Appropriations Committee; VI. C. General Counties; and XII. Federal Funding.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries C. County File, 1960-1973

Extent: 3.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This is divided into four subseries: Grants-Newsclippings; General clippings; General newsclippings; and Grant notices. The folders in Grants-Newsclippings were marked "grants," but they appear to be the same type of clippings found in the next subseries. The General clippings cover fewer couties and are arranged alphabetically by county and thereafter chronologically, latest date first. General newsclippings, arranged by county and thereafter chronological, is mostly grant information with some non-grant material. Grants notices contains short statements about the amount and date of grants and was probably used to figure the total amount of grants per county for certain periods (adding machine totals are included).
Arrangement note: It is arranged by county and thereafter chronologically, latest date first.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.
 

Series II. Political Campaigns, 1954-1974

Extent: 11.0 boxes (4 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The John Davis Papers, Series II: Political Campaigns contains clippings, campaign files, and memorabilia documenting Davis' campaigns from 1954 to 1974.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into six subseries by campaign.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.



Subseries A. 1960 Campaign

Extent: 5.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries B. 1962 Campaign

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries C. 1964 Campaign

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries D. 1974 Campaign

Extent: 3.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries E. 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 Campaigns, 1966-1972

Extent: 2.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries F. 1954, 1956, 1958 Campaigns, 1954-1958

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.
 

Series III. Personal, 1961-1974

Extent: 21.0 boxes (8.75 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The John W. Davis Papers Series III: Personal contains correspondence, invitations, thank you letters, and other personal materials.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into six subseries: congratulations and condolences, invitations, thank you letters, Davis family, flight logs, and correspondence.
Conditions Governing Access note: The Subseries D. Davis Family is restricted for 75 years from the date of creation.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.



Subseries A. Congratulations and Condolences, 1961-1986

Extent: 6.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This contains carbon copies of letters, sometimes accompanied by newsclippings, sent by Davis to constituents that had made news for social achievement. The file also contains a few awards or certificates given to Davis.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries B. Invitations, 1960-1974

Extent: 13.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This contains 1) Accepted 2) Delined 3) Sponsored 4) Pending Invitations for social events and speaking engagements.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries C. Thank You's, 1967-1974

Extent: 2.0 boxes
Arrangement note: The subseries is arranged chronologically, latest date first.
Scope and Contents note: This contains incoming and outgoing correspondence between Davis and his constituents and professional associates.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries D. Davis Family, 1905-1973

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries E. Flight Logs

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries F. Correspondence

Extent: 2.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.
 

Series IV. Intra-Office, 1954-1976

Extent: 2.0 boxes (1 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series IV: Intra-Office files contains nine appointment books which record the hourly appointments (9:00-6:00) of Davis' Committee and Club meetings and his speaking engagements for 1961 to 1965 and 1970 to 1974. There are also two guests books.
Arrangement note: The Intra-Office files are divided into two subseries: appointment books and mail logs. The mail logs are not available for research.
Conditions Governing Access note: Mail logs are restricted to Russell Library staff use only.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.



Subseries A. Appointment Books, 1961-1974

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.



Subseries B. Mail Logs, 1972-1974

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Conditions Governing Access note: Restricted to Russell staff use.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.
 

Series V. Legislative, 1961-1975

Extent: 91.0 boxes (43.75 linear feet)
Scope and Content: This series is arranged by Congress and contains legislative material and correspondence for the 91st, 92nd, and 93rd Congresses (1979-1974). It contains Davis Bills from 1961 to 1974. Topics include Watergate, NASA, the National Science Foundation, fire research and training, metric hearings, energy, and the Panama Canal.
Arrangement note: Each Congress is arranged by House Committee followed by Davis's Committees (ones he served on) and Subcommittee followed by Davis's bills.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series VI. General File, 1941-1974

Extent: 76.0 boxes (38.25 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series VI: General File contains a variety of material and correspondence, reports, press releases, and grants especially in the early years. The General File, as well as, Legislative, reflect the increasing sophistication of Davis' filing system. In the years 1961 to 1968 (87th - 89th Congresses) General Correspondence-Subject Files includes legislative correspondence. The 1969 and 1970 material is filed together, as was 1971 and 1972. However, 1973 and 1974 were both filed separately (with the exception of the federal agencies and county files which were maintained together). Topics include roads and interstates (I-75), water resource management (Carters Dam and Coosa River), Lockheed Corporation, rural electrification, busing for integration and civil rights, county grants, housing, Medicare, and science and technology.
The correspondence contains correspondence, clippings, and reports, and 7th district cases and projects championed by Davis. Federal Agencies and Department files contain correspondence and material in which Davis attempts to facilitate communication between his constituents and the Federal government. Also housed here are agency clarification of policy and reports on agency activity in the Seventh District. The county files contain primarily constituent request for assistance in getting Federal funds, Davis grant releases (duplicates of ones found in Series I. Speech-Press), Federal agency releases, clippings about grants. Some non-grant correspondence about the county is also contained. For the years 1972 to 1974, the county file contains much of the same type correspondence as Series XII. Federal Funding. Though some shifting of material in the General File was done to establish consistency, the categorization of the files by years is not always precise. For example, some of the later months of 1968 are found in 1969 to 1970.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into three subseries: correspondence, federal agencies and departments, and counties.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.



Subseries A. Correspondence

Extent: 7.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries B. Federal Agencies, 1973-1974

Extent: 6.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.



Subseries C. Counties, 1973-1974

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.
 

Series VII. Yellows [CLOSED], 1961-1974

Extent: 52.0 boxes
Scope and Content: Yellow carbon copies of replies, by topic, made by John Davis from 1961 to 1974.
Conditions Governing Access note: Yellows are only available for Russell staff use.
 

Series VIII. Greens [CLOSED], 1961-1974

Extent: 27.0 boxes
Scope and Content: Green carbon copies of replies, by last name, made by John Davis from 1961 to 1974.
Conditions Governing Access note: The Greens are available for Russell staff use only.
 

Series IX [CLOSED]

Conditions Governing Access note: This series is restricted.
 

Series X. Case Mail [CLOSED], 1968-1974

Extent: 29.0 boxes
Scope and Content: Includes cases related to the armed forces, post office, social security, and veterans.
Conditions Governing Access note: Case mail is closed for 75 years after the date of creation.
 

Series XI. Rivers, Harbors, and Watersheds, 1963-1970

Extent: 1.0 boxes (0.25 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XI: Rivers, Harbors, and Watersheds files contain correspondence, clippings, news releases, and Department of Agriculture reports on the federal watershed projects in the Seventh District. The file was maintained separately in Davis' office and therefore was kept as a distinct series, although the file is small and somewhat similar to folders found in Series VI. General File.
Arrangement note: The series is arranged alphabetically by name of project, then chronologically within each category.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series XII. Seventh District Federal Funding, 1972-1974

Extent: 1.0 boxes (0.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XII: Seventh District Federal Funding files contain incoming and outgoing correspondence, notices, and lists of contacts regarding federal funding (from landfills to ballet projects) that Davis helped to obtain for the counties in his district from 1972 to 1974. These files represent a more complete set of records than is found in the "grants" portion of Series I. Speech-Press.
Arrangement note: This series is arranged alphabetically.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
 

Series XIII. Office Administration, 1970-1972

Extent: 1.0 boxes (0.25 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XIII. Office Administration files contain items Davis distributed to constituents, colleagues and friends. Also included are a few sheets of office stationery.
Arrangement note: The materials are arranged alphabetically.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series XIV. Technology Assessment, 1970-1976

Extent: 1.0 boxes (0.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XIV: Technology Assessment files contain documents that relate both to Davis's position on the Technology Assessment Board, while still in Congress, and his position in the Office of Technology Assessment, after leaving office in 1975.
Arrangement note: This series is arranged in reverse chronological order.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series XV. Scrapbooks, 1960-1970

Extent: 1.0 boxes (2 linear feet)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XV: Scrapbooks contains two scrapbooks. They are filled with news clippings and photographs which detail Davis's political life in the 1960s. One book deals with the 1960 election exclusively, while the other deals with various events in the 1960s.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series XVI. Artifacts and Memorbilia, 1936-1974 (Bulk, 1969-1974)

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XVI: Artifacts and Memorabilia include campaign buttons, name tags, printing plates, license plates, and plaques.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series XVII. Photographs, 1960-1974

Extent: 2.0 boxes (634 photographs)
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XVII: Photographs consist of images of John W. Davis focusing primarily on his political career. The photographs contain images of Davis as a young man, lawyer, jurist, and politician. Contents of this series range from photographs of Davis at fundraisers, formal dinners, and at work on various congressional duties.
Arrangement note: This series is arranged in chronological order.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Series XVIII. Audiovisual Materials, 1950s-1970s

Extent: 432.0 items
Scope and Content: John W. Davis Papers, Series XVIII. Audiovisual Materials includes one 16mm film, one phonodisc, 91 audiocassettes, 335 quarter-inch open reel audio tapes, and five two-inch video tapes, documenting campaign ads, speeches, press appearances, and policy-related media.
Arrangement note: John W. Davis Papers, Series XVIII. Audiovisual Materials is arranged by format.
Conditions Governing Access note: Though the collection is open for research, reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.