Access to the Bart Gordon Papers

Written By Sarah Calise, Graduate Assistant

This post expands upon our previous Happy Birthday shout-out to former U.S. Representative Bart Gordon. The Albert Gore Research Center houses several significant political papers (beyond those of our namesake), and questions of access can often arise concerning such material. Have no fear, I’m here to clear things up and, hopefully, inspire many of you to come research his papers.

Bart Gordon hanging out with some silly constituents.

Bart Gordon hanging out with some silly constituents.

Bart Gordon was born and raised in our very own beautiful Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He graduated from Central High School in 1967, and continued his education at Middle Tennessee State University, earning his degree in 1971. He entered law school at University of Tennessee-Knoxville, completing his degree in 1973. Wanting to serve his community, Gordon returned to Murfreesboro to practice law and to work for the Democratic Party.

His election to the sixth district in Congress in 1984 began a distinguished twenty-six year bipartisan congressional career with many efforts geared toward science and technology. Gordon played a key role in developing and passing the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, which encouraged the federal government to promote the transfer of nanotechnology breakthroughs from laboratories to commercial products. He was also involved in legislation regarding Civil War heritage, youth suicide prevention programs, and fair contracts for amateur athletes.

There are five series currently accessible to the public: Cosponsored Legislation, General Issues, Projects and Appropriations, Science Committee, and Rules Committee.

  1. The Cosponsored Legislation, arranged by Congress, contains material related to various legislation Gordon supported, such as Fair Food Labeling and Advertising Act, American Heritage Trust, and Education Day USA. The dates range from 1987 to 2004.
  2. General Issues contains documents covering a wide range of topics from 1998 to 2006, and are generally grouped together by subject.
  3. The Projects and Appropriation series pertains to specific projects on which Gordon worked or in which he took interest, and appropriations he attempted to obtain to fund such projects. Material from 1980s to 2006.
  4. The Science Committee contains material from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Science and Technology, which has jurisdiction over numerous areas of science and technology related fields. A large chunk of the documents involve NASA and space programs. Material from 1996 to 2004.
  5. The Rules Committee papers are Gordon’s copies of material generated by the rules committee or collected by Gordon during his tenure on the committee.

As one can see, Bart Gordon led a highly successful career in Congress. He continued his passion for giving back and working for his community–a passion that started in Murfreesboro.

For a full description of the Bart Gordon Papers, please read this finding-aid-in-process. Additionally, if you would like to research any of his materials, please contact archivist Jim Havron by email ( or phone (615-898-2632).



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