Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers: Collection SummaryRobert Lindsay Thomas Papers: Collection Summary

Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers: Collection Summary

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers: Collection Summary
Creator: Thomas, Robert Lindsay, 1943-
Dates: 1975-1996
Extent: 184.0 boxes (188.5 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/179/RLT
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Robert Lindsay Thomas served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1938 to 1992, where he served on the Agriculture Committee, Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, and Appropriations Committee, and gained a reputation for supporting environmental causes. His papers document his career in Congress and include constituent correspondence, committee and legislative files, press files, and subject files.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Lindsay Thomas, a Democrat, was elected in 1983 to represent the First Congressional District of Georgia in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his terms, he served in different capacities on the Agriculture Committee (1983/1984; 1985/1986), Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee (1983/1984; 1985/1986), and Appropriations Committee (1989/1990; 1991/1992), and served as co-chair for the Wetlands Task Force and the Forestry 2000 Taskforce. Thomas gained a reputation for his middle-of-the-road views and for supporting environmental causes. He chose not to run for another term in 1992.

After leaving the House, Thomas first worked as director of governmental affairs for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. He became president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 1996, building the organization into a powerful lobbying force for Georgia businesses. From 1998 to 2002, he served as the federal commissioner of the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Tri-State Water Compacts, and in 2002 he became senior vice president of governmental affairs for AGL Resources.

Robert Lindsay Thomas was born on November 20, 1943 in Patterson, Georgia and earned a B.A. degree in English from the University of Georgia in 1965. Prior to his political career, Thomas worked as an investment banker and stockbroker until 1973, when he took over management of a farm he inherited. He also served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972.

Scope and Content

The Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers document his career in the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-1992) and include constituent correspondence, committee and legislative files, press files, and subject files. Common subjects include the U.S. military and appropriations for military construction, taxation, energy policy, the judicial system, the post office, education, and the environment.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is organized into 10 series: Series I. District Office, Series II. Political, Series III. Personal, Series IV. Legislative, Series V. Constituent Services, Series VI. Press Relations and Media, Series VII. Office Administration, Series VIII. Photographs, Series IX. Artifacts, and Audiovisual Materials Series.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

This series is open for research with the following exception:

Audiovisual Materials Series: 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.

Preferred citation

Robert Lindsay Thomas 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.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Agricultural laws and legislation--United States.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska)
Courts--United States.
Educational law and legislation.
Energy policy--United States.
Environmental law.
Legislators--Georgia--Correspondence.
Taxation--Law and legislation--United States.
United States--Armed Forces.
United States. Congress--Constituent communication.
United States. Congress. House.
United States. Department of Agriculture.
United States. Post Office Dept.

Related Collections in this Repository

Williamson S. Stuckey Papers, Series III: Legislative

Braswell D. Deen, Sr. Papers

Thomas W. Hardwick Papers

J. Roy Rowland Papers, Series II, Subseries A: Legislative Directors’ Files

J. Roy Rowland Papers, Series II, Subseries B: Legislative Assistants’ Files

Herman E. Talmadge Collection, Subgroup C, Series VIII: Legislation


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

Series I. District Office, 1975-1991

Extent: 3.0 boxes (2.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series I: District Office documents the work of Thomas's district office in Savannah, GA. The series consists of constituent correspondence, interoffice memoranda, printed material, press releases, and speeches. The constituent correspondence, which represents the chief role of the district office, covers topics such as social security, health care benefits, immigration, military service, and FMHA and FHA home loans. The rest of the series includes copies of speeches and press releases, administrative files on staff appointments and running the office, and published materials the office collected on topics of interest to his constituents such as the environment, health, housing, and retirement.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into seven subseries: A. Constituent Services, B. Speeches and Press, C. Administrative Files, D. District Committees, E. Reference Files, F. Event Files, and G. Environmentally Related Files.
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. Constituent Services, 1984-1991

Extent: 1.0 box
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. Speeches and Press, 1984-1991

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. Administrative Files, 1983-1991

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. District Committees, 1984-1989

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. Reference Files, 1975-1991

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. Event Files, 1982-1991

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 G. Environmentally Related Files, 1985-1988

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 II. Political, 1982-1996

Extent: 13.0 boxes (13 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The majority of the Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series II: Political is composed of materials about Thomas's campaigns for election and re-election as the U.S. House representative for the First District of Georgia. The campaign records include files on fundraising efforts, financial reports for the Federal Election Commission, publicity materials, election results, and voter opinion surveys. Memorabilia from the campaigns is located in Series IX: Artifacts. The series also includes notes, which were written by Thomas and record his thoughts from meetings, conferences, and Congressional orientation sessions, and subject files. The subject files are the papers of Thomas's Executive Assistant Patrick Haynes and contain memos and reports about committees and subjects of interest, notably hunting, fundraising, and Congressional procedures. The series also contains appointment books, logs of phone conversations, the newsletter "Forum for the First" that he sent to his supporters, and memos and reports related to his involvement with the Democratic Party.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into eight subseries: A. Campaigns, B. Caucus and Committee Files, C. "Forum for the First", D. Notes, E. Phone Call Logs, F. Schedules, G. Subject Files, and H. Democratic Party.
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. Campaigns, 1982-1992

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. Caucus and Committee Files, 1984-1992

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 C. "Forum for the First", 1984-1991

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. Notes, 1982-1985

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 E. Phone Call Logs, 1983-1991

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. Schedules, 1983-1992

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 G. Subject Files, 1984-1996

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 H. Democratic Files, 1984-1991

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, 1981-1995

Extent: 15.0 boxes (15 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Papers, Series III: Personal contains personal correspondence, accepted invitations, certificates for awards he received from governmental and civic groups, and papers related to his involvement with various organizations, notably the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. The personal correspondence is with Congressmen and constituents and includes thank you notes, exchanges of pleasantries with colleagues, sympathy notes after a death, and brief informational letters. The series also includes correspondence with his family, the transcript of an interview with Thomas during his first year in Congress, and his journal entries from November 29 to December 8, 1982 after he was elected to Congress for the first time.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into six subseries: A. Personal Correspondence, B. Awards, C. Biographical and Family, D. Subject Files, E. Invitations, and F. Olympics.
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. Personal Correspondence, 1983-1992

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 B. Awards, 1983-1995

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. Biographical and Family, 1983-1992

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 D. Subject Files, 1983-1991

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. Invitations, 1983-1992

Extent: 8.0 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. Olympics, 1985-1992

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. Legislative, 1977-1994

Extent: 32.0 boxes (32 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series IV: Legislative documents Thomas's committee service and his research on legislation, especially on bills related to the environment. The committees include the Appropriations Committee, particularly on military construction, the Committee on Agriculture, and the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. The research includes copies of reports, hearings, testimony, drafts of legislation, and dear colleague memos between Congressmen. The series also includes Thomas's voting record for the 100th, 101st, and 102nd Congress (1987-1992).
Arrangement note: This series is organized into five subseries: A. Committees, B. Bills, C. Correspondence, D. Subject Files, E. Voting Record. The rest of Thomas's Papers are described in separate finding aids.
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. Committees, 1977-1992

Extent: 17.0 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. Bills, 1980-1991

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 C. Correspondence, 1983-1992

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 D. Subject Files, 1982-1991

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 E. Voting Record, 1984-1991

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 V. Constituent Services, 1978-1992

Extent: 94.0 boxes (93.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series V: Constituent Services is composed of correspondence between Thomas and his constituents. The constituents wrote Thomas with their concerns about topics or pending legislation, and they also wrote about visiting him, sending him information, congratulations, and other pleasantries. Significant subjects include the U.S. military, agriculture, taxation, energy policy, the judicial system, the post office, education, and to a lesser extent public works, foreign affairs, veteran affairs, and transportation. The series also includes files on grants and special projects taking place in Georgia that Thomas was helping to succeed.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into three subseries: A. Issue Mail, B. Grants, and C. Special Projects. The rest of Thomas's Papers are described in separate finding aids.
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. Issue Mail, 1980-1992

Extent: 94.0 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. Grants, 1979-1986

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 C. Special Projects, 1978-1989

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 VI. Press Relations and Media Activities, 1980-1992

Extent: 11.0 boxes (11 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series VI: Press Relations and Media Activities contains text for Thomas's speeches, press releases issued by Thomas's office, newspaper clippings from media coverage of Thomas's political career, and materials documenting the interaction between Thomas's office and the press. Common topics of his speeches include agriculture and rural issues, the environment, and forestry, as well as general updates on the state of the government. Press administration is largely composed of requests from the press for information and materials prepared for the press about Thomas's upcoming events.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into 4 subseries: A. Speeches, B. Press Releases, C. Press Clippings, and D. Press Administration.
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. Speeches, 1980-1992

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 B. Press Releases, 1983-1992

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 C. Press Clippings, 1982-1992

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 D. Press Administration, 1984-1992

Extent: 4.0 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. Office Administration, 1981-1992

Extent: 3.0 boxes (3 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series VII: Office Administration documents the work of Thomas's Washington D.C. office. The series includes correspondence, records from event and travel planning, office policies, staff lists, and information that the staff gathered to serve Thomas and his constituents.
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, 1989-1992

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 B. Events, 1983-1989

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. Information, 1981-1992

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 D. Policies, 1983-1991

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 E. Staff, 1984-1992

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. Travel, 1984-1991

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.
 

Series VIII. Photographs, 1982-1992

Extent: 4.0 boxes (3.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series VIII: Photographs series is composed of images of Thomas at events, with constituents and Congressmen in Washington D.C. and in Georgia, delivering speeches, and campaigning. The events include meeting groups at his D.C. office, visiting military personnel, meeting with students, and participating in parades, awards ceremonies, and fundraisers. The series also includes photographs of Thomas with his family and hunting. The photographs can be either in color or black and white, in a variety of sizes, and the series also includes contact sheets, slides, and negatives.
Arrangement note: This series is arranged chronologically by year.
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 IX. Artifacts, 1982-1996

Extent: 9.0 boxes (16 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Series IX: Artifacts contains memorabilia from Thomas's campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives and his service in Congress, awards certificates, and other items that Thomas collected. Items of particular note include certificates commissioning Thomas as a Congressman, artwork for a political cartoon after Thomas won his first election, drawings by Thomas's son of the Smurfs endorsing Thomas, a banner from the 1996 Olympic Games, and a football signed by Erk Russell, University of Georgia Defensive coordinator and Georgia Southern head coach.
Arrangement note: This series is organized into two subseries: A. Political and B. Personal.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from thie series, visist the finding aid for this series.



Subseries A. Political, 1982-1992

Extent: 8.0 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. Personal, 1983-1996

Extent: 4.0 boxes
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subseries, visit the finding aid for this subseries.
 

Audiovisual Materials Series, 1986-1993

Extent: 144.0 items
Scope and Content: Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, Audiovisual Materials includes 47 audiocassettes, 41 quarter-inch open reel audio tapes, three Umatic videocassettes, and 53 VHS videocassettes documenting campaign ads, speeches, press appearances, and policy-related activities.
Arrangement note: Robert Lindsay Thomas Papers, 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.