The University of South Alabama has been selected by former U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner to receive his congressional papers. Bonner made the announcement at the December USA Board of Trustees meeting.
The University’s Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library is proud to be the recipient of Bonner’s papers from throughout his accomplished 10-year career. The estimated 250 boxes that make up this collection of personal papers, correspondence with constituents, policy memos, manuscripts, video and audio tapes, pictures and mementoes will be an invaluable resource to current and future historians studying this region.
“Former Congressman Bonner’s congressional papers are extremely important to the University and the community,” said Dr. Joseph A. Busta Jr., USA vice president for development and alumni relations.
“Bonner’s papers join the papers of his predecessors, Rep. Jack Edwards and Rep. Sonny Callahan,” Busta said. “Thus, we have decades of congressional history for use by our citizens and faculty.”
During Bonner’s tenure in Congress, first as a senior staffer and then as Alabama’s First District Congressman, Bonner made USA one of his top priorities. He helped secure federal funding for the Mitchell Cancer Institute and several important University research projects. Bonner also understood the importance of higher education, and while in Congress, was a strong advocate for adequate student aid funding and supported many efforts to provide federal research funding to Alabama universities.
The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library at USA is already home to the papers of two former District One Congressmen; Jack Edwards, 1965-1985 and Sonny Callahan, 1985-2003. The McCall Library also houses the papers of a number of the area’s political leaders, including the papers of former mayor Lambert Mims, former school board member Jack Gallalee, and former state representative Maurice Downing.
The addition of Bonner’s papers will offer important continuity to historians, providing researchers with access to a half-century of the political record and national policies that affected this district.