TOBY ROTH PAPERS
1974-1997, undated

Scope and Content


The Toby Roth Papers are divided into six (6) series:

Series 1: Personal and Political Papers, 1974-1997, undated (14.1 cubic feet), embraces many kinds of documents. The series contains a large amount of correspondence with persons both inside and outside Roth’s district.  A tiny portion of the correspondence is with family and personal friends. A larger share consists of correspondence with the White House and with Administration officials.  An even larger segment of the correspondence comprises letters sent to Roth from across the country, mostly supporting, but sometimes denouncing, his position on English as the nation’s official language. The series contains some campaign files on each of Roth’s election campaigns; the amount of information varies from campaign to campaign. A sizeable chunk of this series is taken up with subject files that Roth’s office maintained on a number of political issues important to the 8th District. Notable issues include Indian spearfishing rights and the status of the Fox Locks. The series also contains an incomplete run of appointment books and daily schedules prepared by the congressman’s offices in Wisconsin and in Washington DC. Roth received many plaques and awards and pieces of memorabilia during his time in Congress. The Marquette Archives chose not to retain such items, but it did photograph the objects, and these photos are available in this series. Roth’s trip files and a small number of office and personnel records round out the series.

Series 2: Legislative Records, 1979-1996, (8.1 cubic feet), documents Roth’s legislative work in the U.S. Congress. The series contains bill files related to legislation with which Roth was involved and subject files on legislative topics that concerned him. A record of Roth’s votes is preserved in the series, except for the years 1988-1990: that information was not among the materials received by Marquette.  Also of note in the series are “Dear Colleague” letters sent by Roth to other representatives and senators, most commonly to enlist their support on some matter.

Series 3: Constituent Services, 1980-1996 (2.7 cubic feet), documents Roth’s communication with constituents in the 8th Congressional District. The series contains incoming issue mail as well as the congressman’s master library of outgoing correspondence, mailed to constituents on a wide range of issues. Also documented in the series are the eight “Senior Seminars” that Roth hosted during his congressional career. The seminars focused on improving the quality of life of senior citizens in the 8th District, and each one featured a notable celebrity speaker, such as Ann Landers or Dr. Joyce Brothers.  The series also contains records concerning grants and projects undertaken in Roth’s district. Constituent case files were not retained in the collection, except for those relating to Lee Mirecki (see Series 6), whose case received national attention.

Series 4: Press and Media Activity, 1979-1996 (11.9 cubic feet), is a large series, encompassing a variety of press and media formats that document Roth’s congressional career.  The series includes published writings by Roth (mostly newspaper editorials), newsletters, public speeches prepared for the congressman, as well as press releases issued by his office. The series also contains a library of newspaper clippings about Roth’s activities, from a wide range of local papers in his district. Researchers will also find a large collection of photographic prints and negatives in this series, arranged in roughly chronological order. Photos of routine constituent visitors to Roth’s office were not retained in the collection (e.g., a family of constituents vacationing in the nation’s capital or a constituent attending a convention in Washington). Finally, the series contains a large amount of audio visual material: video cassette recordings of some of Roth’s public appearances, as well as audio tape recordings of the congressman, mostly as a guest on radio programs.

Series 5: Great Lakes Conferences on Exports, 1983-1995 (0.9 cubic feet), documents the conferences Roth hosted almost annually to encourage Wisconsin companies to export to foreign markets. Includes planning documents, agenda, and marketing materials. Each conference had a particular theme, often focusing on a specific region or nation (e.g., Japan). Of special note, where available, are the After Action Reports, which provide a succinct summary/analysis of the conferences. All of the conferences are documented except for the first annual event.

Series 6: Lee William Mirecki Case Files, 1988-1992 (1.5 cubic feet), documents Roth’s involvement in the widely publicized investigation into the death of Lee William Mirecki, a Wisconsin sailor, and native of Roth’s district, who died on March 2, 1988, during a U.S. Navy training exercise at Pensacola, Florida. Included in the files are correspondence, press releases, news clippings, and copies of U.S. Navy reports.