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Irving J. Stolberg Personal and Political Papers

Identifier: RG069_161

Scope and Contents

Series 1. Personal and Political Papers, 1961-2006 The items in this series do not directly relate to Stolberg’s legislative duties and are arranged in eight sub-series. His personal papers, in Sub-series 1, include personal correspondence, documents from his early overseas travel and activism, syllabuses and materials from his teaching career, documents from his court case when terminated from Southern Connecticut State University, and evidence of his interest in sports and African art.

Sub-series 2, Political Papers, consist primarily of correspondence, arranged chronologically, the bulk of which are thank you notes or letters of congratulation to election victors. Some letters of congratulation have been filed separately but still remain within chronological order. There are also letters he sent to constituents remarking on personal milestones they reached (birth of a child, death of a husband), or to individuals he met at one of his overseas visits or conferences. Invitations sent to Stolberg as well as ones he sent asking constituents or friends to attend various events, are included in this sub-series and can also be found in his Constitutent Files in Series 3. Sub-series 2 also contains his calendars, schedules and itineraries which combine his legislative, personal and political activities.

Campaign files, in Sub-series 3, document Stolberg’s own electoral campaigns, and include constituent mailers, surveys, his Re-election Committee records, mailing lists and bumper stickers.

Political Party Files in Sub-series 4 detail his participation in fellow Democrats’ campaigns at the state and national levels. The materials include party platforms, records of the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, canvassing reports, endorsements, bumper stickers and campaign mailers, while in Series 5 are publications and handouts from Stolberg’s participation in the Democratic National Conventions (DNC) between 1976 and 1992. There may be overlap in these two series when the correspondence related to particular presidential candidates; some may have been filed with Political Party files and others with the DNC. Sub-series 5, Leadership Files, primarily consist of records for the National Council of State Legislatures, including correspondence, nominating committee minutes and appointments, meeting agendas, fundraising material, publications, and plans for and memorabilia from Stolberg’s international junkets. They are found in Sub-series 6. Some correspondence related to the Council may also be found in Stolberg’s Legislative and Constituent Services files (Series 2 and 3). All materials related to overseas travel with the exception of that in the 1960s are found in this Sub-series.

Stolberg participated with a myriad of other progressive political and educational associations and evidence is found in Sub-series 7, arranged alphabetically. There are materials related to the Campaign for New Priorities, The Center for Policy Alternatives, the Council for Excellence in Governance, Council of State Governments, International Liaison Forum of Peace, Leaders Advanced Management Program, the National Association of Jewish Legislators, various peace councils, a member’s list of Progressive Legislators, and documents from his serving as overseer of the Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast and Islands.

Series 2. Legislative records, 1964-1992 Legislative records are divided into five sub-series with general information first, followed by bill files, committee records, correspondence, reference materials and subject files. General files include House of Representatives seating plans and journals, voting records, requests to and responses from the Office of Legislative Research and Fiscal Analysis, and amendments proposed by Stolberg to various bills. Sub-series 1 contains copies of bills which Stolberg studied before voting on and bills he proposed or co-sponsored. Stolberg served on nearly every major committee in the House and his activities and interests are documented in sub-series 2, Committee files, along with information from commissions on which he served. Sub-series 3 contains correspondence. The bulk of the reference materials he collected are in sub-series 4 and were on marketing and intergovernmental relations. Subject files in sub-series 5 are arranged alphabetically and include topics ranging from aging and the elderly to welfare reform.

Series 3. Constituent Services Files, 1969-1992 Incoming letters, both for and against particular issues, and Stolberg’s responses are arranged chronologically in this Series. Issues about which his constituents voiced their opinions included worker’s compensation, instituting an income tax, the State budget, communism, smoking in public, the war in Vietnam, amnesty for those who avoided the draft for Vietnam, the death penalty, the welfare system, and President Nixon’s resignation. He received the most mail from people criticizing Stolberg’s call for President Nixon to resign and against creating a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. This series also includes invitations and announcements, correspondence with legislators and committees, and casework files on local topics such as the dump in Hamden, a trailer park in Berlin, and the Connecticut Children’s Museum in New Haven. There is some overlap with Personal and Political Papers, Sub-series 2, where there are some invitations asking Stolberg to speak at panels, forums, and other events.

Series 4. Press files, 1969-1992 Press files contain information about issues important to Stolberg as well as articles and clippings related to his own office, his re-election campaigns and the presidential candidates he supported, editorials, and press releases from his office. Subject clippings reflect many of the constituent issues addressed in the correspondence in Series 2, but also include land use and planning, business taxes, higher education, family planning, lead poisoning, Connecticut’s gun industry, toll removal, bussing, the new Legislative Office Building, and Route 34 in New Haven. National issues and events such as the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, the fuel crisis, the war in Vietnam, Social Security, and Reaganomics are also found in this Series. In addition to clippings, there is a log of press releases for the House Majority, 1982, political cartoons, magazine covers, speeches given by Stolberg, and information on redistricting and reassignment. Oversize items are stored separately and consist primarily of complete newspaper issues.

Series 5. Photographs, 1954-2000 Primarily family photographs, portraits of Stolberg, and group portraits of legislators.

Series 6. Artifacts. Campaign signs, posters, buttons and banners, and photographs, cartoons (oversize), name plates, a podium and gavel with Stolberg’s name on the front, artifacts from the Legislative Office Building, awards and commemorative items, credentials from Democratic National Conventions.


  • 1954-2014

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Biographical Note

Irving J. Stolberg was born September 24, 1936, in Philadelphia, the son of Ralph and Lillian Blank Alpert Stolberg. He graduated from the University of California at Lost Angeles with a B.A. in International Relations and from Boston University with an M.A. and A.B.D. in Geography and African Studies. After teaching at Southern Connecticut State University and Quinnipiac University, he entered politics, winning election as a State Representative for the 93rd District in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1970. He continued to serve his New Haven constituents until 1992, when he retired. While in the General Assembly, he served two terms as Speaker of the House, one term as Minority Leader, chaired every major committee, and sponsored numerous bills. His legislative interests included finance, progressive tax policies, the environment, social services, foreign trade and international relations. He also helped establish Connecticut Hospice and was instrumental in overseeing the construction of the Legislative Office Building.

Stolberg’s interest in politics led him to participate in the National Conference of State Legislatures, serving one term as president. In addition he created the Foundation for State Legislatures, chaired the Caucus of New England State Legislatures, founded the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, served on the executive committee of the Council of State Governments, was president of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, and was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions from 1968 to 1992. He also served as the Connecticut Campaign Chairman for George McGovern in 1972 and Morris Udall in 1976.

His interest in international affairs inspired him to travel to 90 countries, with particular focus on Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria. He also worked tirelessly to bring democracy to Bulgaria. He was a progressive, and lobbied strenuously for peace, and against the Vietnam War, nuclear proliferation and apartheid.

In his personal life, Stolberg was an avid mineralogist, a collector of African art, a passionate tennis player, and a devoted father. He died at Connecticut Hospice in Branford on February 13, 2009.


35 cubic feet


Papers and documents from the private and public life of Connecticut Representative and Speaker of the House Irving J. Stolberg.


Series 1. Personal and Political Papers,

Series 2. Legislative Records,

Series 3. Constituent Services Files,

Series 4. Press Files,

Series 5. Photographs,

Series 6. Artifacts,


These records were donated by Robert Stolberg to the Connecticut State Library on , 2012.

Processing Information

Lara Day processed boxes 1-9 with additional processing by Barbara Austen in July 2017. A box list of the remaining collection was created by Allen Ramsey in August 2017.

RG 069:161, Irving J. Stolberg Personal and Political Papers
An inventory
Finding aid prepared by Barbara Austen.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository