It Happens Every Four Years...

by Mark Wolfe - February 28, 2012

The ME Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives announces the opening of a new exhibit entitled It Happens Every Four Years: U.S. Presidential Election Campaigns from the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy.

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As 2012 will witness a U.S. presidential election, the media, political observers and commentators, academic analysts and ordinary Americans will focus on the election at key points throughout the year. This includes the primaries and caucuses, the campaign trail for the general election, the nominating conventions, and the election in November.

Presented in this exhibit are political photographs, correspondence, books, pamphlets, research, memorabilia, and other archival materials from more than a dozen collections. These items document the many facets of U.S. presidential elections during the past century. Some are well-known, like trade union outreach on behalf of candidates, cultivating media endorsements or ongoing campaign appearances to shake hands with potential voters. Other materials highlight less familiar aspects of the election for the contemporary audience, such as a political party’s selection of a candidate at the nominating convention and not before.

There are many notable and creative pieces of memorabilia such as campaign buttons, posters, a record entitled Rockin for Rocky sung by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller supporters, a ruler promoting General Dwight Eisenhower and even a paper dress worn by female supporters of Governor George Romney of Michigan in 1968. There is a display of photographs illustrating presidential politics at the University featuring appearances by President Bill Clinton in 1994, campaigning by Nelson Rockefeller in 1968, and the awarding of diplomas at the mid-year closing exercise of the State Normal School by President-elect Grover Cleveland in 1885.

Jodi Boyle, User Services Archivist, selected items from the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy which features more than 100 collections related to public servants and politicians.

The exhibit is located in the Department of Special Collections and Archives Exhibit Foyer on the third floor of the University at Albany’s Science Library. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5pm.

All of the collections in the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy are accessible in the Department of Special Collections and Archives. Further information is available at: