Speaker Newt Gingrich donates congressional papers

Newt Gingrich’s congressional papers consist of more than 3,450 boxes of materials from his 20 years in Congress and 40-year political career.

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, a Tulane University alumnus, has donated his congressional papers to the university’s Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC).

The collection, which consists of more than 3,450 boxes and spans 1,600 linear feet, includes campaign files, legislative work, news coverage, videos, audio tapes and correspondence from major political and governmental figures during Gingrich’s 20 years in Congress.

Newt Gingrich portrait
Newt Gingrich’s congressional papers consist of more than 3,450 boxes of materials from his 20 years in Congress and 40-year political career. (Photo courtesy of Newt Gingrich)

Gingrich, who earned his Master of Arts and a PhD in European history from Tulane, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978. He was the House majority whip from 1989-1995 and served as the 50th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 until 1999. In 2012, Gingrich campaigned for the Republican nomination for president. Gingrich is the chairman of Gingrich 360, a multimedia production and consulting company. He is a frequent contributor to major news media and has authored 43 books, including 18 fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers.

“This donation will provide one-of-a-kind insights into the legislative history of our country during a pivotal time period, giving researchers and students a wealth of specialized information and background on one of the most consequential political figures of our times,” Tulane President Michael A. Fitts said. “The addition of these papers adds to the growing stature and academic significance of Tulane University Libraries collections as a global research destination.”

“As a proud Tulane University alumnus, I am honored to build upon my alma mater’s scholarly legacy,” Gingrich said. “By donating my papers to Tulane’s archives, my sincere hope is that these documents will inspire future generations not only as historical records, but also as springboards for active participation in our democracy and for embarking on their own intellectual pursuits and citizenship.”

“As a proud Tulane University alumnus, I am honored to build upon my alma mater’s scholarly legacy.”

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Gingrich authored the Contract with America, a legislative agenda advocated by the Republican Party during the 1994 Congressional election campaign. The agenda led the Republican Party to victory in congressional races that year, creating the first conservative majority in the House of Representatives in 40 years.

The donated papers feature key moments from Gingrich’s political career, including:

The Contract With America — Hundreds of boxes, thousands of pages, revisions, notes and meetings on the contract’s ten proposed reforms.

The Strategy for the Republican Revolution — Meetings and notes on strategy that led to Republicans taking control of the House in 1995.

Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 — Information related to the major capital gains cut that led to the creation of the Roth Individual Retirement Account.

The collection also includes information related to former Sen. Robert Dole, former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, President Ronald Reagan, the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party of Georgia, the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977, the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, the Food Stamp Program, prayer in public schools, the Clean Air Act, the 1981 air traffic controllers strike and the Congressional Space Caucus (1981-89).

“Newt Gingrich is one of the most impactful and influential individuals in the history of United States politics,” said Robin Forman, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Tulane. “I am excited about the work ahead, making this extraordinary collection accessible to researchers, students and others who want a deeper understanding of a transformational time in American politics.”

The collection is scheduled to be available to the public later this year or in early 2025.

black and white photo of Newt Gingrich, in glasses, teaching in 1969
When Newt Gingrich was a Tulane graduate student in 1969, he taught a class titled “When You Are 49: The Year 2000,” disussing what the world would be like at that time. (Photo courtesy of Tulane Archives)

For the past 40 years, the Ingram Library at the University of West Georgia was the custodial home of the Gingrich Congressional Collection. During that time, a dedicated team of archivists and librarians provided stewardship for the collection. This team diligently worked to organize the behemoth collection, grappling with the immense congressional legacy represented by the extensive documents. Blynne Olivieri Parker and Interim Dean CJ Ivory were key figures instrumental to this effort. Tulane University Libraries collaborated closely with them to facilitate the smooth transfer of the collection.

“The Gingrich Congressional Collection is more than just history – it’s a step-by-step exploration, a deep immersion into a series of tactical legislative processes that reshaped American politics and created the speakership as we understand it today,” said Lindsay Cronk, dean of Tulane Libraries. “We’re proud to preserve and open such resources at Tulane University Libraries, and we’re eager to see what researchers do with the papers.”

The Louisiana Research Collection is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive research center in New Orleans and the second largest in Louisiana, with books, maps, ephemera and archives about Louisiana, including the papers of Louisiana governors, members of Congress, mayors of New Orleans, Civil War generals, southern writers, the records of women’s organizations, LGBTQ organizations and church and synagogue records. The collection also preserves one of the finest 19th-century Louisiana libraries, an excellent map collection and extensive original Carnival float and costume designs.