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Rutgers to open exhibit of Frank Lautenberg papers

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The Alexander Library at Rutgers University-New Brunswick will launch a public exhibit of the Frank Lautenberg Papers beginning Feb. 21.

Lautenberg was New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator and died while in office in 2013. His papers encompass 2,250 boxes of hats, buttons, campaign stickers, vinyl records, paper documents and other artifacts that would stretch the length of seven football fields.

The documents have been curated and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries

The exhibit will include a letter from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, thanking Lautenberg for his condolence note after the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., and photos taken by a volunteer after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. 

The collection will stay permanently among the Rutgers library system’s Special Collections & University Archives.

Lautenberg was an advocate and champion for Rutgers University, supporting federal funding for areas such as student aid and cutting-edge research. For his efforts, the university awarded Lautenberg in 2000 the Rutgers Medal, which will be part of the exhibition.

A Democrat, Lautenberg was elected to five terms and served in the Senate for more than 28 years. He wrote laws that banned smoking on domestic airline flights, raised the legal drinking age to 21 and prevented individuals convicted of domestic violence from owning guns.

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David Hutter

David Hutter


David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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