Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives

The Robert B. and Helen Stevenson Meyner Papers, 1910-1998

 Scope and Content Note
 For more detailed description, go to Series Descriptions & Inventories.
Bob and Helen Meyner at the Jersey Shore, ca. 1957.
The Robert B. and Helen Stevenson Meyner Papers (1910-1997) document the private and political lives of Robert Baumle Meyner (1908-1990), governor of New Jersey from 1954 to 1962, and Helen Stevenson Meyner (1928-1997), who represented New Jersey's 13th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979. The bulk of the papers (Box 18-78) consist of Helen Meyner's Congressional papers, including material on her four campaigns. Other materials document Helen Meyner's work with the American Red Cross during the Korean War, and Robert Meyner's college years and political campaigns. The papers include correspondence, writings and speeches, printed material, memorabilia, a large collection of photographs, scrapbooks, and phonographic records. The papers (102.5 linear feet - 97 record cartons, 13 oversize boxes, 5 file drawers) are organized into five series:

SERIES I contains Robert Meyner's personal papers and is organized into 5 subseries. Subseries 1, Biographical and Personal, contains several unpublished biographical essays, oral histories, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia. Subseries 2, Correspondence, primarily includes family correspondence, Meyner's personal correspondence as a college and law school student, and as a young attorney. This subseries also contains a file of Meyner's correspondence with prominent political figures, including Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Subseries 3, New Jersey Subjects, contains background files and patronage-related correspondence and reports, which Meyner gathered during his campaign and after being elected governor of New Jersey. Subseries 4, Political Campaigns, provides a glimpse of Meyner's various campaigns for political office at the state and national level. Of particular interest are press releases, and a report of the activities of nationalities groups during his 1953 campaign. Subseries 5, Travel File, contains itineraries, some correspondence, and related material documenting Meyner's official engagements and personal vacations in the United States and abroad.

For a more detailed description of Series I, click here.

SERIES II contains Helen Stevenson Meyner's personal papers and is organized into 6 subseries. Subseries 1, Biographical and Personal, contains various materials documenting Meyner's high school and college years, a large collection of diaries (ca. 1939-1977), newspaper clippings, and memorabilia. Subseries 2, Correspondence, contains extensive correspondence with her family, especially while she served with the American Red Cross (1950-1952) during the Korean War. There is additional correspondence with family members and friends. Subseries 3, Organizations, documents Meyner's membership in various political and philanthropic associations; and correspondence (1953-1955) with Trans World Airlines while she worked as their travel consultant. Subseries 4, Subjects, is a small file that contains primarily printed material regarding Meyner's various interests and hobbies. Subseries 5, Morven Files, contains correspondence and schedules and documents the civic and social engagements of the first couple of New Jersey. Subseries 6, Writings and Speeches, contains some poetry, essays, and Meyner's column in the New Jersey Star Ledger (1962-1969). The speech files are especially comprehensive in documenting Meyner's campaign speeches (1972-1978), and various other speaking engagements while she was serving in Congress (1975-1978).

For a more detailed description of Series II, click here.

SERIES III consists of Helen Meyner's congressional papers (1975-1979) and is organized into 11 subseries. Subseries 1, Bill Files, contains proposed legislation either sponsored or cosponsored by Meyner. Subseries 2, Legislative Reference Material, primarily contains printed reports and memoranda distributed to House members by the Democratic Study Groups of the U.S. House of Representatives. Subseries 3, Special Projects, contains correspondence, reports, and printed material and is an important subject-arranged file which documents research conducted by Meyner's staff on major legislative proposals and issues during Meyner's two terms. Subseries 4, Committee Files, contain a small number of background files which reflect Meyner's service on the International Relations Committee (1975-1979) and the Select Committee on Aging (1977-1978). Subseries 5, Voting Record, contains various sources that document Meyner's voting record and provide an analysis of her position on the legislative agenda of the 94th and 95th Congress. Subseries 6, Constituent Correspondence, the largest subseries, contains a sample of Meyner's successful nominations to the various service academies, and files containing incoming and outgoing constituent correspondence in response to legislative issues and other concerns. Subseries 7, Personal and Administrative, contains Meyner's personal correspondence, including thank-you letters to colleagues in the House and Senate, and victory telegrams from friends and constituents. This subseries also includes Meyner's correspondence with Congressional membership organizations, agencies and departments, and her appointment and guest books. Subseries 8, General Correspondence, consists of a chronologically arranged file of all letters sent out from Meyner's Washington Office. Subseries 9, Press Files, were maintained by Meyner's press secretary and contain reports, radio feeds, and press releases issued by Meyner's office to her constituents and the media. These files also contain some speeches, Congressional Record insertions, and a newspaper clippings file. Subseries 10, District Offices, documents the activities of Meyner's district offices, Lambertville and Dover, in the 13th District of New Jersey. These files primarily consist of background/research-subject files on various legislative issues. There is also a sample of the Dover office's casework files. Subseries 11, Campaigns Files, documents Meyner's four campaigns to represent the 13th District of New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives and contains correspondence, polling data and reports, press releases, financial records, and campaign literature and memorabilia.

For a more detailed description of Series III, click here.

SERIES IV, Photographs and Special Formats, contains a rich collection of individual and group photographs of Robert and Helen Meyner, scrapbooks, recordings, and oversize material and is organized into 5 subseries. Subseries 1, Photographs, includes approximately 2,500 photographs documenting the private and public lives of the Meyners. Subseries 2, Photographic Slides and Negatives, contains a small collection of black and white, and color slides and negatives, including pictures of the Meyners' wedding, the Governor's mansion, Morven, and Helen Meyner seated in her Congressional office. Subseries 3, Photograph Albums and Scrap Books, includes many personal photograph albums and scrap books, the bulk of which were assembled and annotated by Helen Meyner. Subseries 4, Audio-Visual Material, includes sound film, and phonographic recordings of Robert Meyner's 1953 gubernatorial campaign broadcasts. Subseries 5, Oversize Material, includes original editorial cartoons, the Meyners' oversize citations and awards, and memorabilia.

For a more detailed description of Series IV, click here.

SERIES V, Additions (9.5 cu. feet), is comprised of those materials added to the Meyner Papers following the original accessions received at Lafayette College between 1992 and 1996. Most of the materials, spanning the last thirty years of Robert Meyner's life, were files he continued to maintain at his legal office in Newark, NJ, until 1986, the year he fell ill. This series is arranged into 5 subseries. Subseries 1, Biographical & Personal, contains appointment calendars and address books, as well as miscellaneous awards, memorabilia, and publications Robert Meyner had collected over the years. Subseries 2,  Correspondence, covers mostly the 1970s-1980's and is subdivided into Family and General correspondence and arranged alphabetically. Subseries 3, Subjects, also alphabetically arranged, contains files documenting many of Robert Meyner's interests in his later years, especially those organizations and corporations for which he served as a board member, as well as his tenure as chairman of the New Jersey State Bicentennial Commission. Subseries 4, Cigarette Advertising Code, the cigarette industry's first attempt at self-regulation in advertising, documents Robert Meyner's role as Administrator, a position he held between 1964 and 1982. Lastly, Suberies 6, 1969 Gubernatorial Campaign, includes clippings, notes and position statements on various issues,  and materials on Meyner's Republican opponent, William T. Cahill.

For a more detailed description of Series V, click here.

 Meyner Papers Home
 Robert B. Meyner Biographical Sketch | Helen S. Meyner Biographical Sketch
Scope & Content | Series Descriptions & Inventories | Provenance & Access | Appendices

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Skillman & Kirby Libraries · Lafayette College · Easton, PA 18042
Last updated 16 August 2000