Called "the Carville of California" by the New York Times, Democratic political consultant Garry South has donated his extensive campaign archives to the UCLA Library.
Offering unique insight into the political process, the collection, which features materials from three of California Gov. Gray Davis' campaigns for statewide office, testifies to the secretive, arcane art of crafting successful campaign strategies and is thought to be one of the most complete campaign archives in existence.
South managed Davis' campaigns for California lieutenant governor in 1994 and governor in 1998 and 2002; advised on campaigns for Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman; and has had an extensive career in Democratic Party politics. For Davis' 1998 gubernatorial campaign, South was named “Campaign Manager of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants, an honor he shares with Karl Rove, James Carville and the late Lee Atwater.
"We are honored to accept this unique and timely collection," said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong. "Broad public knowledge about campaign operations is essential in a healthy democracy, and we look forward to making these materials widely accessible to students, scholars and the general public."
The collection contains research files, correspondence, campaign materials, poll data and clippings, as well as recordings of commercials, news coverage and debates. Of particular note are extensive research files on Davis' opponents in primaries or general elections, including Al Checchi, Jane Harman, Dan Lungren, Bill Simon and Richard Riordan.
South has also given the UCLA Library the copyright to the materials so that they can be digitized and made available for nonprofit educational and informational uses. The collection is housed in UCLA Library Special Collections.
"I am delighted to donate my campaign archives to such a world-class facility as the UCLA Library," South said. "Too many campaign documents routinely end up in the dumpster or shredder after the election. As someone with a degree in American history, I thought it was important to make these materials permanently available for study by those seeking to better understand the campaign process."
On Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m., the UCLA Library will host a panel discussion featuring South and UCLA professors Jeffrey B. Lewis, Mark A. Peterson and Lynn Vavreck. The panelists will offer inside details on "how the sausage is made" in political campaigns and discuss the importance of public knowledge about campaign operations in a healthy democratic society.
The event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Admission is free, but space is limited; R.S.V.P. to 310-206-8526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCLA Library Special Collections administers the UCLA Library's rare and unique materials in humanities and social sciences, life and physical sciences, medicine, performing and visual arts, and UCLA history. Its collections encompass rare books and pamphlets from the 15th through the 20th centuries; extensive manuscript holdings; drawings, including original architectural drawings; early maps and atlases; oral history recordings and transcripts; photographs, prints and paintings; and administrative records.
The UCLA Library, ranked among the top ten research libraries in the U.S., is a campus-wide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. Its collections encompass more than 9 million volumes, as well as archives, audiovisual materials, corporate reports, government publications, microforms, technical reports and other scholarly resources. More than 100,000 serial titles are received regularly. The UCLA Library also provides access to a vast array of digital resources, including reference works, electronic journals and other full-text titles and images.