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Shawn Conner
IU Libraries

Last modified: Friday, September 9, 2011

IU librarian to share story of Lee Hamiltonís 9/11 papers

Sept. 9, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The 9/11 Commission papers of former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton will be the subject of a talk Monday (Sept. 12) at Indiana University. The event, at 5 p.m. in room 033 of the IU Wells Library, is free and open to the public.

Kate Cruikshank, political papers specialist with IU Libraries, will talk about the content of the Hamilton papers, how they came to be entrusted to Indiana University, obtaining security clearance for making them public, their conversion to digital form for widespread availability and other topics.

Kate Cruikshank

Kate Cruikshank with an exhibit on Lee Hamilton's 9/11 papers at the Wells Library.

Print-Quality Photo

Hamilton was vice chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission. Charged with making a complete accounting of the facts surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the commission issued its landmark report in July 2004.

Hamilton, who served 34 years in the U.S. House and now directs the Center on Congress at IU, assembled the papers personally to document the activities of the commission and its staff. They complement the official records of the commission and provide a livelier and more personal account.

"The papers are really a daily chronicle of the inner workings of the commission: staff memos, e-mails, working documents and so forth," Cruikshank said. "Lee Hamilton was intent, along with Tom Kean, the chairman of the commission, on showing that a bipartisan commission could come together and reach consensus on conclusions for the betterment of the country. And that is what he sought to document in his personal papers."

An exhibit highlighting the Hamilton papers will be on display in the Wells Library atrium through September. The digital collection was created through a partnership between the Modern Political Papers collections and the Digital Library Program, a collaboration of IU Libraries and University Information Technology Services. It can be seen at

On Thursday (Sept. 15), eight of the 10 members of the 9/11 Commission will be at IU Auditorium to discuss the response to the commission's report and how the nation has changed since 2001.

Cruikshank, the political papers specialist with IU Libraries since 2004, is in charge of a range of political papers in the collections, including the papers of Hamilton, former U.S. Reps. Frank McCloskey, J. Edward Roush and Steve Buyer, and U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh. She has conducted oral interviews with former staff of Hamilton and Bayh to complement the collections and is leading a two-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for detailed processing of Bayh's papers.

Monday's talk is co-sponsored by the IU School of Library and Information Science student chapters of the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists.