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Modern Political Archives (Special Collections): Howard Baker, Jr.

Guide to the collections at the Modern Political Archives


Howard H. Baker, Jr. served three terms as a United States Senator from Tennessee (1967-1985). He rose to national prominence during the Watergate Hearings of 1973-74 as vice chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee. He served as minority leader of the Senate from 1977-1981 and as majority leader from 1981 until he retired from the senate at the end of his third term in January 1985. He was a candidate for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination and served as President Reagan's chief of staff in 1987-88. He served as United States Ambassador to Japan from 2001 to 2005.

Archival Collections

Howard H. Baker, Jr., Papers,1964 - 1987 (MPA.101) Contains material covering Baker's senatorial career (1967 - 1985) and political campaigns, including his roles as senate minority and majority leader, his service as vice chairman of the Watergate committee, and his involvement in issues such as the Panama Canal and SALT II Treaties. Materials include correspondence, reports, memos, news clippings, case files, public opinion mail, speeches, manuals, photographs, film, video and audio recordings

Howard H Baker, Jr., Addendum, 1875-2005 (bulk 1965-1995) (MPA.101.001This addendum to the papers of former Senator and Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff Howard H. Baker contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, photographs, schedules, speeches and other material related to the Senator's career and personal life. While some papers in the addendum cover roughly the same time and events as the Howard H. Baker Papers (MPA.101), it also documents the Senator's political, legal and personal activities before and after his tenure in the Senate and White House.


Howard H. Baker, Jr., Second Addendum, 1960-2001 (MPA.101.002) Addendum to the papers of former Senator Howard H. Baker containing correspondence, schedules, speeches and other material related to the Senator's career and personal life. While most of the papers in the addendum cover the years after the Senator's political career, there are also some papers related to his earliest political campaigns.


James M. Cannon Papers, 1987 (MPA.0347) Papers of James Cannon, political advisor, author, and top-level aide to prominent Republican politicians, including Howard H. Baker, Jr. Along with other Baker advisors, Cannon was tasked with assessing the state of Ronald Reagan's White House at the time of Howard Baker's transition to White House Chief of Staff. This collection contains memoranda, notes, and briefing papers relating to the transition team's assessment, as well as documents concerning possible strategies for steering the Reagan presidency through a turbulent period.


Lee Annis Papers (MPA.0344) Materials related to Lee Annis, Jr.'s biography of Senator Baker. 

Other Resources at UTK Libraries

Books on Baker

Howard H. Baker, Jr., a Public Biography. E748.B264A54 1985a

Howard Baker: Conciliator in an Age of Crisis E840.8.B28 A56 1995

Howard H. Baker of Tennessee. E748.B264 H68 2001

Howard Baker's Washington: an intimate portrait of the nation's capital city. F195.B14 1982

No margin for error: America in the eighties. E839.5.B35 1980

Theses on Baker

Party leadership and floor management in the United States Senate. Thesis 96b .D395

Revealing leadership through roll call analysis: Howard Baker's effectiveness in the United States Senate 1977-1982. Thesis 96b .B56

Spokes, pyramids, and chiefs of staff Howard H. Baker, Jr. and the Reagan presidency.

Books on Congressional Leadership

Majority Leadership in the U.S. Senate : Balancing Constraints. JK1227

Understanding Congressional Leadership JK1067

Books Baker Contributed to

Justice in the Valley : a Bicentennial Perspective of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee KF8755.T2

The Randolph W. Thrower Symposium: Foreign Policy Issues Facing the New Administration: Plenary Address E183.8.R9 R22 2001

Big South Fork Country. F442.2.B34 1993

Personal Observations. TR647 .B35 1991

Jim Gray: Roads I’ve Traveled. N6530.T2G73 2000

Instead of Revolution. HN65.R55

The Terror of Tellico Plains : the Memoirs of Ray H. Jenkins. KF373.J44

Reflections on Sequoyah Hills. F444.K7 R445 1997

Leading the United States Senate. The Leader’s Lecture Series Y 1.3:S.PUB.105-63

The Original Library of Congress: The History (1800-1814) of the Library of Congress in the United States Capitol. Y 4.R 86/2:L 61

NATO--a Status Report: a Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate. Y 4.F 76/2:N 81 a/10

Tributes to the Honorable Howard H. Baker, Jr., of Tennessee in the United States Senate, Upon the Occasion of His Retirement from the Senate. Document / 98th Congress, 2d Session, Senate 98-38. E748.B264 T7 1984

Watergate [electronic Resource] : Chronology of a Crisis. Washington: Congressional Quarterly.

External Resources

Howard Baker @ Data on Howard Baker's legislative voting record, including searchable database of sponsored bills back to 1973

Howard Baker @ C-Span Footage from interviews and hearings featuring the Senator, 1981-2012

Text of Baker's "Leader's Lecture", 1988


Watergate at 40 (Washington Post)

Woodward and Bernstein Papers at the HRC

Nixon Library's Nixon White House Tapes

National Archives' Teaching with Watergate Documents

Luke Nichter's Nixon Tapes site