The Edward W. Brooke III collection consists of photographs, correspondence, printed material, audio recordings, film and video recordings, professional material, personal memorabilia, artwork, and other items.
Photographs in the collection are extensive, and include prints (primarily black and white), negatives, and contact sheets. Most images depict Brooke with significant individuals, primarily from politics, but also from other fields; also present are some photographs of Brooke campaigning, giving speeches, at meetings, or in other situations, including his swearing-in ceremony as the thirty-fifth Attorney General of Massachusetts (1963) and after his swearing-in as a Senator (1967). Notable figures present include Pearl Bailey, Sarah Caldwell, Thomas E. Dewey, Gerald Ford, Alan Greenspan, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry Kissinger, Melvin Laird, Richard M. Nixon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nelson A. Rockefeller, and George Romney. Prominent Massachusetts politicians represented include Francis Bellotti, Robert Crane, Hastings Keith, Edward M. Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Endicott Peabody, Elliot Richardson, Leverett Saltonstall, Francis W. Sargent, Herbert E. Tucker, Jr., John Volpe, William Weld, and Kevin White. Other Congressional figures include Howard Baker, John H. Chafee, Everett Dirksen, Bob Dole, Jake Garn, Ernest Gruening, Orrin Hatch, Mark Hatfield, Samuel I. Hayakawa, Jesse Helms, Jacob Javits, Richard G. Lugar, Charles M. Mathias, Jr., Robert Packwood, John Pastore, Claiborne Pell, Charles Percy, William Roth, Richard S. Schweiker, Hugh Scott, Margaret Chase Smith, Strom Thurmond, John Tower, and Lowell P. Weicker.
Correspondence in the collection includes a letter to Brooke from Kevin White regarding Brooke’s Republican Senatorial nomination (1966); letters between Brooke and John Silber (1971); and an exchange of letters with Massachusetts Judge Joseph L. Tauro (1992-1993); among other letters.
Printed material in the collection includes various programs, booklets, newsletters, and articles. Items include material regarding the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity; newspaper articles regarding Brooke from 1962; a portrait of Brooke printed on a postcard by Howard University, commemorating Brooke’s Presidential Medal of Freedom award; a catalog for “Portraits in Black,” an exhibit at the Museum of Afro-American History in Boston (2004); obituaries for Brooke (2015); and other items. Printed works by Brooke include “King and Kerner: An Unfinished Agenda” (2008) and “The Next Civil Rights Battle” (2010), among others.
Audio recordings in the collection include reel-to-reel tapes, audio cassettes, and compact discs. Recordings include two concerts in West Tisbury, Massachusetts (1970 and 1971); a speech by Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy at the 73rd annual NAACP convention in Boston (1982); appearances by Brooke on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered (1983) and WBUR FM’s The Connection (2003); an interview with Brooke, conducted as part of the “National Visionary Leadership Project” (2001); and other items.
Film and video recordings in the collection includes a 32mm film reel, a DVD, and VHS, Beta and U-Matic format video cassettes. Topics include television appearances, speeches, interviews, and ceremonies, dating from 1976 to 2009. This series also includes a DVD of Brooke receiving the Congressional Gold Medal (2009).
Professional material in the collection consists of material pertaining to Brooke’s political career. Items include a report regarding the AMVETS annual proceedings (1955); various letters (1968-1970); daily planners kept by Brooke’s Senatorial staff (1969-1978); the public hearings schedule for the Select Committee on Equal Eduacational Opportunity (1970); travel arrangements and daily itineraries (1974); and research reports by Market Opinion Research regarding Brooke’s re-election (1978).
Personal memorabilia in the collection is very extensive. It includes numerous awards, honorary degrees, certificates, citations, and other items. Included are awards from the Boston University School of Law (1963, 1985), the Knights of Columbus (1966), the National Conference of Christians and Jews (1967), North Attleboro High School (1968), the 366th Infantry Veterans Association (1968), the NAACP (1970), the Boy Scouts of America, Boston Chapter (1972), the Republican National Convention (1972), the Capitol Press Club (1972), The University of Notre Dame (Humanitarian Award, 1973), Concerned Black Republicans (1974), the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity (1974, 1978), American Mizrachi Women (1975), the People’s Republic of China (1978), the National Abortion Rights Action League (1978), the Congressional Black Caucus (1979), the Hubert H. Humphrey Research Center at the Boston University School of Medicine (1982), and the National Council of Black Republicans (2000). Also present are certificates and citations from Howard University (1963, 1967, 1997), the Massachusetts Committee of Catholics, Protestants and Jews (1970), the Massachusetts State Senate (1979), and the Boston branch of the NAACP (2000), as well as Doctorates of Law (some including citations) and other honorary degrees from Boston University, George Washington University, Michigan State University, New York University, Skidmore College, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, the University of New Hampshire, Virginia State College, Williams College, and others. Notable items include Brooke’s Certification and Qualification as an Attorney and Councilor of the Supreme Court (1962); his Certificate for Elected Position of Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1964), and his Certificate of Induction into the U.S. Senate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1972).
Other personal memorabilia includes several items of academic regalia, worn while accepting various honorary degrees; an exact facsimile of the Magna Carta, printed on vellum and reproduced from the copy in the Reference Division of the British Library; Brooke’s name plate from his U.S. Senate chamber desk; a campaign ribbon; and some of Brooke’s horse-riding equipment.
Artwork in the collection consists of several original drawings of editorial cartoons regarding Brooke. Artists include Paul Szep of The Boston Globe, James Trelease of the Springfield Daily News, Dave Granlund of the South Middlesex News, James Dobbins of the Boston Herald American, and others.
Other items in the collection include Brooke’s manuscript of a narrative regarding his battle with breast cancer (ca. 2003); and six passports (1972-1996).