Several sizable additions to the papers of Senator Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings have been received in the past year as Hollings closed his Senate offices and retired from public life. Hollings’ career of service included thirty-eight years as a United States senator, following fifteen years in South Carolina state government as governor, lieutenant governor, and a member of the General Assembly. In 2004 some seven hundred forty linear feet of papers plus additional awards and other materials were transferred to the Library from his offices in Washington and South Carolina. These additions bring the total volume of material received by the Hollings Papers Project since its inception in 1991 to almost three thousand linear feet.
The additions consist chiefly of legislative files and constituent corre¬spondence, ca. 1990- 2004; campaign records, 1974-1998; a substantive set of personal files, replete with Hollings’ own notes on key issues of the past four decades; and audiovisual material and ephemera from throughout his tenure in the United States Senate.
Among the items of note are files on transportation and domestic security legislation in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, defense appropriations records, and files on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Among the campaign memorabilia are colorful bumper stickers from the 1960s proclaiming “It’s Fritz,” blue and red “Hollings” aprons, and a “Hollings Home Team” jacket from his 1984 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Hollings’ personal files on issues which came before the Senate will be of particular value for future research. His work as Chairman and Ranking Member on the Commerce Committee is well represented in files on such issues as trade, textiles, communications, technology, oceans, and space exploration. These materials demonstrate Senator Hollings’ extensive research on and expertise in such issues. His key role on the Budget and Appropriations committees and his command of the federal budget process are reflected in the substantive volume of material relating to appropria¬tions, taxes, and the budget. Several versions of the large “Hollings’ Budget Realities” chart were received. Hollings frequently took these charts onto the Senate floor to illustrate his analysis of federal spending. Speaking of the often-used chart in a 2004 video tribute, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota), current ranking member on the Budget Committee, remarked fondly, “We’ve done literally hundreds of charts to try to make the point [about fiscal responsibility] but Fritz has only needed one.”
The video tribute features a compilation of interviews with Senate colleagues, politicians, and journalists sharing their memories of Hollings and is one of the items recently added to the audiovisual series. An accompanying DVD contains extended versions of the interviews. In addition, numerous photographs and scrapbooks illustrate Hollings’ travels to places such as Turkey and Vietnam.
The Modern Political Collections staff, under the direction of Hollings Papers project archivist Lori Schwartz, continues the work of processing the collection. Senator Hollings’ long record of public service and his signifi¬cant role in modern South Carolina history ensure that his collection, once opened to research, will be one of the most valuable and important resources at the University of South Carolina.