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Joseph Taylor Robinson Papers

Identifier: MS R563 18

Scope and Content Note

The Joseph Taylor Robinson papers (primarily 1900-1937) contain correspondence, memoranda, speeches, legislative bills, business and financial records, legal files, scrapbooks, clippings, photographs, and other materials created or received by or pertaining to Robinson's life and career, especially to his service as U. S. Senator from Arkansas, 1913-1937.


  • Creation: 1900-1954
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1900-1937


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Access restrictions apply: The original photographic prints in series 14 are restricted due to condition. Access copies are available for researcher use.

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No use restrictions apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Joseph Taylor Robinson was born in a log cabin near Lonoke, Arkansas, in 1872. He attended the University of Arkansas for two years and then read law with Judge Thomas C. Trimble before taking a law degree at the University of Virginia in 1895. Even before he was called to the Arkansas bar he was elected to the Arkansas General Assembly. In 1902 Robinson was elected to Congress from the Sixth District of Arkansas and served five terms. He supported progressive measures to reform government and control big business and voted for the income-tax and woman-suffrage amendments.

In 1912 Robinson was elected Governor of Arkansas on a platform of fiscal and administrative reform. He was inaugurated on January 14, 1913, ten days after the death of Jeff Davis, U.S. Senator from Arkansas. On January 28, Robinson was elected Senator by the Arkansas General Assembly, so serving as Congressman, Governor, and Senator within a two-week period. He was the last Senator to be elected by vote of a state legislature.

Robinson was re-elected to four more Senate terms. In 1928 he was nominated for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with Al Smith of New York, but Herbert Hoover was elected President. He was Majority Leader under Franklin Roosevelt from 1932 until his death in 1937, and the leading spokesman for the Roosevelt New Deal in Congress. He died of a heart attack while working for Roosevelt's "court-packing" proposal in 1937.


216 Linear Feet (433 Boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Material is arranged and described in 14 series:

  1. Series 1. Personal papers, 1900-1937, 1950
  2. Series 2. Records pertaining to congressional election campaigns, 1901-1910
  3. Series 3. Records pertaining to gubernatorial election and to gubernatorial administration, 1911-1913
  4. Series 4. Records pertaining to Senatorial election campaigns, 1913-1936
  5. Series 5. Records pertaining to Presidential elections, 1912-1937
  6. Series 6. Records pertaining to constituent services and legislative matters, House of Representatives, 1902-1912
  7. Series 7. Records pertaining to constituent services and legislative matters, Senate, 1913-1922
  8. Series 8. Records pertaining to constituent services and legislative matters, Senate, 1922-1933
  9. Series 9. Records pertaining to constituent services and legislative matters, Senate, 1922-1937
  10. Series 10. Records pertaining to veterans and military affairs, 1910, 1913. 1920-1937
  11. Series 11. Records pertaining to patronage and to applications for employment, 1913-1917
  12. Series 12. Personally identifiable case files, 1921-1937. Restricted
  13. Series 13. Records pertaining to speeches, press releases, and other statements by JTR, 1901-1937
  14. Series 14. Photographs, 1923-1938

Acquisition Information

The Joseph Taylor Robinson Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by H. Grady Miller, Jr., Robin Miller Hartley, and Emily S. Miller in May 1976.

Processing Information

Processing completed in 1979 by Walter R. Baggs with the assistance of Randall G. Roelfs. A separate finding aid describes the second accession.

Joseph Taylor Robinson Papers
Walter R. Baggs with the assistance of Randall G. Roelfs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444