Thursday, January 29, 2004

Curious Correspondence With The Kennedy Library

<<< 12/27/03 06:00PM >>>

To: JFK Library Archivist

I am a scholar looking for a paper that Robert F. Kennedy wrote in law school.

It is entitled "The Reserve Powers of the Constitution."

The book, "Robert Kennedy and His Times," by Arthur Schlesinger, notes in
footnote 65 of Chapter 4, The Third Son, that the paper can be found among the papers of Joseph P. Kennedy.

If you can be any help at all in tracking this paper down, I would greatly
appreciate it.

Thank you for your time,

Justin Ptak

<<< Response #1 >>>

Dear Mr. Ptak:

I've looked into both the Robert Kennedy papers and the finding aid for the
Joseph P. Kennedy papers (all of them that are currently open), but I have not found the paper you've asked about. For his book on RFK, Schlesinger worked from a fairly undifferentiated mass of material -- neither the RFK nor the JPK papers had been processed and opened for general research -- so his footnotes are unreliable.

Yours truly,

Reference Archivist
John F. Kennedy Library

<<< 01/10/04 09:12PM >>>

To: JFK Library Archivist

Surely this paper does in fact exist.

Can it possibly be that your library does indeed not have a copy?

Justin Ptak

<<< Response #2 >>>

Dear Mr. Ptak,

Yes, it is possible that this paper exists - we just don't have it in any of the places we would expect to find it. Because Mr. Schlesinger did have access to both the Kennedy's papers before they were processed, there is no telling where he saw it and if it was ever turned over to the Library.
In checking the obvious finding aids and boxes, we were not able to locate it. Sorry we couldn't be of more help to you with this.


Reference Technician
John F. Kennedy Library

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