Bill To Facilitate Donation of FDR Papers Passes the House

On September 27, the House of Representatives approved a bill (H.R. 6669) to facilitate the donation of the papers of Grace Tully, personal secretary to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to the National Archives.

In 2004, the National Archives asserted a claim to a portion of the documents. The current owners, Sun Times Media, now wants to donate the entire collection to the FDR Presidential Library, but due to the Archives’ formal claim, they are prevented from receiving any type of tax deduction for the donation. The bill removes the legal tax barriers preventing the donation of the papers.

Grace Tully served on President Roosevelt’s secretarial staff for several decades and in 1941 became his personal secretary. After her death, her collection of personal papers passed on through her niece into the hands of private collectors, and finally, to the current owner, Sun Times Media, which bought the collection for $8 million in 2001.

Similar legislation (S. 3350) has been introduced by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) but it is uncertain whether the Senate will have time to consider the bill before it adjourns in the coming days