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Basil Lee Whitener papers, 1889-1968 150 Linear Feet — circa 297,300 Items

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Basil Lee Whitener (1915-1989) was a U.S. Representative from Gastonia, N.C. Collection includes correspondence between Whitener and his constituents, other congressmen, and government officials, legislative materials, drafts of bills, financial papers, speeches, invitations, printed material, clippings, photographs, and other papers, chiefly from congressional files (1957-1968), relating to issues of national importance during the 1960s, including the Vietnam War, crime legislation, gun control, riots, civil rights legislation, foreign aid, social security, and the Taft-Hartley Act. Correspondents include Sam Ervin, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, and Strom Thurmond.

Basil Lee Whitener Papers primarily contain the office files of Congressman Whitener when he was the U. S. Representative for the Eleventh District (85th - 87th Congresses) and Tenth District (88th -90th Congresses) of North Carolina. Although the papers span the years 1889-1968, the bulk of the papers covers Whitener's years in office, 1957-1968. Some of the early files from the 81st through the 84th Congresses, are the papers of Woodrow Wilson Jones, Whitener's predecessor in office.

luded in the papers are such Items as correspondence, printed material, invitations, speeches, clippings, financial papers, photographs, as well as legislative materials and drafts of bills. Much of this collection consists of correspondence between Whitener and his constituents, other Congressmen, and government officials.

The papers are divided into the following series:

  • Political
  • Correspondence (General)
  • Correspondence (Legislative)
  • District of Columbia
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary Committee
  • Speeches
  • Subject
  • Case Files
  • Textile Imports
  • House of Representatives
  • Military and Veterans
  • Military Academy
  • Trips
  • Post Office
  • Grants
  • Invitations
  • General Information
  • Office Files
  • Office Information
  • Personal

By far the largest category is the Correspondence (General), even though it was weeded extensively. The Correspondence (Legislative) Series is also rather large. Both of these series contain extensive correspondence with constituents. Other large series are the Personal Series, which pertains more directly to Whitener's private and unofficial affairs, and the Office Files Series, containing files which seem to have been in active use by Whitener's office staff at the time he left office.

There are information and opinions in the collection on a variety of issues of national importance during the 1960s. Included are the Vietnam War, civil rights legislation, riots, crime legislation, gun control, foreign aid, Social Security, and the Taft-Hartley Act. Other subjects are the U. S. Congress and various bills and laws. There are a variety of letters from prominent persons, such as John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Sargent Shriver, Strom Thurmond, and Sam Ervin.

The views of Whitener on many national and state issues are revealed within the collection. He supported legislation to combat crime and civil disobedience, a strong national defense, and exerting every effort to bring the Vietnamese Conflict to a successful conclusion. The Congressman was opposed to civil rights legislation, deficit spending, foreign aid spending, and the proliferation of domestic and social programs. Concerning North Carolina issues, Whitener wanted restrictions on textile imports in order to protect jobs, and supported the concept of a balanced economy in the state. As a member of the Committee on the District of Columbia, he authored bills to curb the crime rate in the District of Columbia and a bill to establish a modern rail rapid transit system in the District. In general, Whitener seemed to exhibit the views of conservative Southern Democrats.

Specific subjects are noted in more detail in the inventory. There is some overlap of subjects among the series.

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Benjamin Everett Jordan papers, 1896-1974 and undated 110 Linear Feet — circa 104,000 items

Textile manufacturer, politician, and United States Senator from North Caroina (1958-1972). Collection includes Senate office files from Jordan's Washington office consisting mainly of correspondence, committee and legislative files, speeches, memoranda, clippings, photographic negatives, and background materials. Topics include public works projects in North Carolina, especially those related to water resources such as rivers, harbors, beaches, inland navigation, flood control, the B. Everett Jordan Lake, and the New Hope Dam. Other subjects represented in the files are U.S. foreign relations, in particular with the Middle East as well as the Vietnam War; agricultural laws; civil rights; school desegregation and busing; pollution; the National Park Service; transportation and highways; social security; public health; the United Nations; the Senate Rules Committee investigation of Bobby Baker, 1963-1966; labor laws; economic policy; library legislation; and economic conditions in North Carolina.

The papers of B. Everett Jordan span the years 1936 to 1974, with the bulk of the items dating from his years of service in the United States Senate, 1958 to 1972. The collection consists strictly of files from the Senator's Washington office; there are no personal or business papers or materials documenting his political campaigns, the activities of his Senate offices in North Carolina, or political activities prior to 1958. The few pre-1958 items in the collection include background information on several topics and a few files of Jordan's predecessor Senator W. Kerr Scott.

The papers are organized into ten series, most of which are divided into topical subseries. Consisting largely of correspondence, memoranda, legislative documents, and background materials, the collection confirms Jordan's reputation as a diligent and concerned public servant, who was considered by his colleagues to be reliable, genial, and hard-working.

Beginning his service in the Senate at the age of 62, Jordan quickly demonstrated his political savvy and areas of legislative interest. He labored throughout his Senate career on behalf of the interests of agriculture, education, and manufacturing and was proud of his record of doing "the little things" to help his constituents. He worked particularly to encourage the enhancement of water resources in North Carolina, continuing the efforts of W. Kerr Scott on public works projects. His stance on most issues was conservative to moderate. Although usually in accord with his North Carolina colleague Senator Sam Ervin, Jordan at times took an independent stand, casting votes in opposition not only to Ervin but the bloc of other Southern Senators as well, especially from 1964 on.

The Legislation Files contain a complete or nearly-complete record of bills which Jordan sponsored or co-sponsored or on which he participated in debates. In most years, Jordan fell into the bottom third of Senators in terms of numbers of bills which bore his name as sponsor or co-sponsor, though his activity increased over the years. He was a strong proponent of a broad range of major agriculture bills including nutrition programs, farm credit and insurance, agricultural and forestry research, crop marketing, and especially tobacco programs. In the area of natural resources, the files show Jordan's active support for the creation of the Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras National Seashores in North Carolina. Some of the larger files in the Legislative Series contain extensive constituent correspondence related to particular bills. As in most of the series, correspondence with other senators found here is largely routine in nature. There is considerable overlap of topics among the Legislation, Committee, and Subject series, with related material often located, too, in the Writings and Speeches Series and among the Clippings.

The Committee Files are fullest for the Agriculture and Forestry Committee. Documentation of Rules and Administration Committee activity is somewhat limited during the period of Jordan's chairmanship, at least in part because committee chairmen's files are maintained by the committee or with committee records at the National Archives. As Rules Committee chairman Jordan received the most national exposure of his Senate years--and engendered the greatest partisan controversy--presiding at the televised hearings investigating the financial dealings of Robert G. (Bobby) Baker, the former Senate staff member considered a protege of Lyndon Johnson. Although the material in Jordan's papers about the Baker affair is very limited, substantial records of the investigation are preserved at the National Archives (as part of RG 46, Records of the U.S. Senate). The Public Works Committee files are also sparse, and only minimal information survives here about Jordan's minor committee assignments.

The Subject Files are the largest part of the Jordan collection; the bulk of these papers consists of constituent correspondence and examples of Jordan's replies, which were most often handled by form letters. Samples of out-of-state mail were also retained in many subseries. The sections on Agriculture, Foreign Relations, and Public Works contain the fullest documentation of Jordan's activities. Other topics of less central concern to Jordan or files containing many repetitions of Jordan's or constituents' opinions, have been sampled, with ten to thirty percent of the original size of the subseries retained. The Foreign Relations files are overwhelmingly devoted to the war in Southeast Asia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jordan's incoming mail on this topic shifted increasingly to anti-war opinions with each passing year, and in June 1970, following the invasion of Cambodia, Jordan became the first Southern senator publicly to renounce the Nixon Administration's military policy. The Public Works Files document, often in considerable political and technical detail, Jordan's efforts on behalf of flood control, navigation, and beach protection projects. Notable among the best-documented projects is the New Hope Dam and Reservoir Project in the Cape Fear River Basin, which in 1973 was renamed Jordan Lake in honor of the Senator. Among the smaller files, the Judiciary Files are important in illustrating major concerns of the period, notably civil rights, civil unrest, gun control, and school prayer. While Jordan took a conservative states' rights position on many of these issues, the papers also show that he supported the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972.

The next two series, U.S. and N.C. Government Branches and Departments, further illustrate the diligent activity of Jordan's well-organized staff on behalf of constituents. Only a very few of the large numbers of case files documenting the problems of individuals as they tried to interact with the government have been kept. The letters in the retained files contain constituents' opinions and questions on local, regional, or national issues, along with the replies from Jordan's office and the government agency to which the letter was referred. The U.S. Government series is by far the larger and more informative set of records.

The Federal Loans and Grants Series contains widely varying amounts of information about projects. Some files hold merely notifications of action taken on grants; others contain documented grant applications, clippings, and correspondence which contribute to understanding the interaction of governments for local and regional development.

Miscellaneous Series (so labelled by Jordan's office) consist mainly of General files (correspondence from constituents covering multiple issues), Legislative files (correspondence about multiple bills), and a small number of Personal files (correspondence from personal friends and political allies, often on multiple topics). The letters in these subseries are largely similar to other constituent correspondence. The Personal files contain letters to and from Jordan in his senatorial role, not private correspondence.

The Writings and Speeches Series appears to be a nearly complete record of Jordan's speeches, statements, newsletters, and press releases. Remarks made on the Senate floor in connection with particular bills are filed in the Legislation series.

The Clippings Series was honed down substantially from the hundreds of envelopes sent to Jordan's office by clipping services. Editorials, major news and feature stories, Jordan's regular column ("Senator Jordan Reports"), and cartoons--nearly all from North Carolina newspapers--were retained; thousands of duplicates, minor news stories, and general background articles on most topics were discarded.

The single folder of oversize material contains several large maps of flood control projects and a full-page campaign advertisement from a newspaper.

The Photographs Series contains negatives for photographs taken of Jordan while he carried out his Senate duties, 1958-1972. Jordan is the primary subject of each photograph, although several photos feature Jordan with others, most often his wife, visitors, or fellow Senate members, including Sen. John Kennedy and Vice-president Lyndon Johnson.

The Jordan papers are useful for documenting Jordan's public career in the Senate and his views on many issues but not his personal life or private thoughts. In addition the extensive incoming correspondence provides an overview of public concerns on many issues of the period and documents the sense of regional and national crisis that was widespread especially in the mid-to-late 1960s. The correspondence throughout the collection includes scattered letters from a number of prominent North Carolina and national politicians, agricultural and business leaders, but these have not been indexed. The Jordan Papers are complemented by the papers of Senator Samuel J. Ervin, which are housed in the Wilson Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ervin's Senate service, from 1954 to 1974, closely paralleled Jordan's; the two collections together extensively document on a regional and national level many of the political, economic, and social concerns of the era.

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The Boyte Family Papers chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s.

Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. He wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. The Boyte Family Papers, 1941-1981 (bulk 1968-1977), chiefly contain printed material, including photocopies produced for meetings, conventions, and other group activities; periodicals, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, posters and booklets; correspondence; and reports, minutes, notes and other organizational records. Also included are drafts of essays and articles, photographs, notebooks, and audio tapes. While useful for a study of political and social activism and community organizing in post-World War II United States at local, regional and national levels, the collection contains little on the personal lives of the Boyte family. The collection focuses on the careers of Harry C. Boyte, political organizer and writer, in the 1960s and 1970s, and to a lesser extent his father, Harry G. Boyte, in the 1950s and 1960s. Social action organizations represented prominently in the collection include the New American Movement (NAM), the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Harry C. Boyte was involved in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and New American Movement, a national socialist organization with a Chapel Hill-Durham, North Carolina chapter. He was a member of the National Interim Committee for NAM, a steering committee for local groups. Literature from these and other groups with which Harry C. Boyte was affiliated, such as ACT in Durham, the New University Conference, the Southern Student Organizing Committee and Students for a Democratic Society is located in the Subject Files of the Harry C. Boyte Series. Together with publications in the early 1970s from other groups in the Printed Material subseries, these files represent issues including the Vietnam War and conscientious objection, socialism, feminism, labor rights, civil rights, gay and lesbian rights and the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon.

Harry C. Boyte wrote regularly for NAM and other socialist publications on socialist theory and organization. Drafts of some of his articles, along with correspondence containing critiques by his associates can be found throughout the NAM and DSOC files in the Harry C. Boyte Series. Correspondence in those files and in the National Democratic Left Relations folder between Boyte and his associates contains discussion of the implementation of socialist theories in contemporary American society. These exchanges were conducted more formally through Discussion Bulletins, contained in the files.

Papers in the Harry C. Boyte Series also relate to local organizing efforts in Chapel Hill and Durham, N.C., concerning health care, welfare, industrial safety and inflation. The information is contained in folders titled ACT, Health Care, Occupational Health, People's Association for a Cooperative Commonwealth, Utilities and Tenants' Rights. A small amount of material relates to student activism at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

There is some material on the women's movement and the career of Boyte's wife, Sara Evans Boyte, who received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became a professor of women's history. She was involved in a Chapel Hill women's group called Lollipop Power, a folder for which exists in the Harry C. Boyte Series. There is also material scattered through the NAM files about the Charlotte Perkins Gilman chapter, a socialist feminist group. Examples of feminist literature can be found in the Printed Material subseries and in the Robert P. McMahon Series.

Harry C. Boyte's father, Harry G. Boyte, left the American Red Cross to work in race relations. Eventually he was appointed the first white man on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Martin Luther King, Jr. Boyte's job search is documented by correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series. Contacts included the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League, SCLC, the Southern Conference Education Fund, and the Southern Regional Council. The letters provide background information on Boyte's previous experience in Civil Rights projects. While on the staff of SCLC, he headed Operation Dialogue. There is material in the Correspondence and SCLC files of this series about this program intended to foster interracial communication.

Correspondence in the Harry G. Boyte Series also covers the later years of Boyte's Red Cross career and his initial involvement in desegregation efforts in Atlanta. He served as chairman of HOPE, Inc. (Help Our Public Schools) and as Executive Director of the Greater Atlanta Council on Human Relations. He was also instrumental in organizing an Atlanta chapter of the Unitarian Service Committee. The bulk of the Education files of this series is comprised of material relating to Harry G. Boyte's work for the American Friends Service Committee.

There is material in the Clippings, Correspondence and Racial files of the Harry G. Boyte Series regarding civil unrest in Monroe, N.C., in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During his short stay there, Boyte and his family hosted Freedom Riders and lent support to local NAACP leaders. Racial files include material relating to other Civil Rights programs and events in North Carolina and Georgia conducted by groups such as the Southern Regional Council, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and SCLC. There is also some literature from CORE in a separate folder.

Robert McMahon was associated with Harry C. Boyte after becoming a member of the Chapel Hill-Durham chapter of NAM. He was also involved in the local chapter of the New University Conference and the Chapel Hill Peace Center. While a student at the University of Virginia, McMahon served as President of the Newman Student Federation, and as Chairman of the Southern Student Organizing Committee between the years 1967-1968. The Robert P. McMahon Series contains information on the organization, planning and programs of these two groups. Some documentation of his political involvements can also be found in the Harry C. Boyte Series.

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David Newton Henderson papers, 1930-1976 218 Linear Feet — 439 Boxes

Correspondence, reports, speeches, drafts of bills, notes, newsletters, printed material, clippings, and other papers, relating to Henderson's service as representative from the 3rd Congressional district of North Carolina, including material relating to his work on the Post Office, Civil Service, and Public Works committees, and to civil rights, minimum wage, federal aid to education, the Vietnam Conflict, anti-poverty programs, foreign aid, tobacco, Watergate, the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and local affairs and projects in eastern North Carolina.

The David Newton Henderson Papers contain the office files of Congressman Henderson when he was the U.S. Representative for the Third District of North Carolina. The papers span from 1930 to 1976, but the bulk of the papers covers Henderson's years in office, 1961-1976. Henderson's predecessor, Congressman Graham A. Barden, left Henderson many papers on ongoing business, especially local projects.

The Henderson Papers contain correspondence, printed material, speeches, invitations, newspaper clippings, photographs, newsletters, financial statements, legislative reports and notes, and drafts of bills. The great majority of this collection is correspondence which Henderson's office exchanged with constituents, legislative officials, and officials of federal and state agencies.

The papers are divided into the following fifteen series:

Campaign Files

Case Files

Committee Files

Correspondence: Answer Copies

County Project Files


Federal and State Agencies


Military Academy Files

Newsletters and News Releases

Newspaper Clippings

Post Office Files


Subject Files

Oversize Box

The largest series are Committee Files, County Project Files, Federal and State Agencies, Legislation, and Subject Files. The Committee Files contain material relating to Henderson's various committee and subcommittee memberships and reflect the actual creation of legislation. The Legislation Series contains drafts of specific bills and legislative reports and notes. Subject Files contain mostly constituent mail on legislation, current issues, and various subjects. County Project Files concern projects and local affairs in the Third District. The Federal and State Agencies Series reflects Henderson's role as an intermediary between constituents' problems and requests and the appropriate governmental agency which could deal with their problems.

There is some overlap among series. For example, using the broad subject Agriculture, a constituent's letter supporting an agricultural price-support bill would appear under Subject Files. Agriculture. Drafts of that specific bill might be under Legislation. Material on an agricultural cooperative project in the Third District would be in the County Project Files. A constituent's request for exemption from certain federal regulations regarding crop measurement would be under Federal and State Agencies. Agriculture, Department of. For more information summarizing the contents of each category see the introductions at the beginning of each section in the inventory.

The papers reflect many types of public opinion: organized and repetitive pressure mail, professional lobbying activities of national interest groups, letters ranging from semi-literate constituents to well-known local and national leaders. The papers show a definite paper spiral during the 1960s and 1970s with the volume of Henderson's files increasing yearly.

The Henderson Papers illustrate many national trends of the 1960s and 1970s. Henderson's work on the Post Office and Civil Service and the Public Works committees made him instrumental in matters of national importance and brought him correspondence from around the nation. These papers particularly reveal trends in federal employment practices in the 1960s and 1970s. The papers contain much material about the reorganization of the Post Office Department into the Postal Service in 1969-1970. The papers reveal public opinion and legislative trends on such issues as civil rights, the Vietnamese War, the energy crisis of the early 1970s, and the Watergate affair. Henderson illustrates well the position of a conservative southern Democratic congressman voting against all civil rights legislation, opposing extension and raising of the minimum wage, federal aid to education, the War Against Poverty, and foreign aid. He consistently supported the presidents' positions on Vietnam, "right-to-Work" laws, and agricultural price supports.

The Henderson Papers contain rich information on local interests, affairs, and personalities in the Third District of North Carolina. Henderson vigorously supported local interests in Congress. He vehemently opposed restrictions on tobacco advertising and other "anti-tobacco" legislation. Henderson's correspondence and campaign material reveal the network of the Democratic political machinery in eastern North Carolina and his relationship with the local power structure.

Specific subjects are discussed in more detail in the inventory.

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Florence Moss Smith papers, 1916-1973 4 Linear Feet — circa 3,840 items

The Florence Moss Smith Papers span the period 1916 to 1973 and consist almost entirely of correspondence. The bulk of the collection consists of letters exchanged between Florence and Frank Smith during their courtship and after their marriage between 1942 and 1945 when Frank Smith was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While this World War II correspondence forms the crux of the collection, the papers also chronicle Florence Smith's life from her undergraduate days at Duke University until the marriage of her children more than three decades later. One of the greatest research values of the collection, is its depiction of the impact World War II had upon families.

A theme running throughout Frank and Florence Smith's correspondence from 1942 to 1945 was that of forced separation brought on by the war. Their letters document the difficulties presented to both Florence Smith, who is without "masculine support", and her husband, who was far removed from the circle of family and the births and rearing of their two sons, Frank Jr. and Howard. In addition, one sees the importance of the letter as the principal, often sole, method of communication during the war which "made the waiting endurable."

Frank Smith trained at the U.S. Naval Training School (Indoctrination) at the University of Arizona in Tucson and also near Boston, before being assigned to overseas duty. He was commissioned as a lieutenant and served primarily in the South Pacific, the Philippines, and Japan, before he returned to the states after the war in late 1945. There is a lengthy letter from him dated Sept. 28, 1945, describing how his ship took occupation troops into Japan. He described the port city of Wakayama, his opinion of the Japanese people, and the effects of the B-29 bombings on the area.

Two of Florence's brothers, Howard and John Moss, also served in World War II. Howard Moss, who was in the Army, was stationed in the European theater and John Moss, a doctor in the U.S. Navy, served in a military hospital on Guam in 1945. Several of their letters, chiefly to their parents, are included in the collection.

The legacy of war shadowed the next generation of Florence Smith's family after her son Howard joined the U.S. Army. Eventually obtaining the rank of captain, he served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971. There are similarities in the war experiences of both generations of the family. A letter dated Aug. 15, 1968, from Frank Smith to his son Howard, who is grieving over the death of a friend killed in action in the Vietnam War, relates a similar experience during World War II when a friend of his was killed.

The early correspondence, 1928-1941, consists chiefly of exchanges between Florence Smith and her parents while she was an undergraduate at Duke University and later while she was employed at Duke. Her correspondence with Frank Ferrell Smith, also a Duke graduate, began around 1938 while he was working for the Soil Conservation Service in Arkansas. The letters became more frequent and intimate after their engagement, particularly between April and May of 1941 shortly before their marriage.

There is a gap in the correspondence from 1949 to 1958. In 1960, soon after the correspondence begins again, there are several letters of sympathy to Frank and Florence Smith. The letters were occasioned by the death of the Smith's eldest son, Frank, in an automobile accident in March 1960. The later correspondence is mostly among Florence and Frank Smith, their parents, their two other sons, and their daughters-in-law.

While correspondence comprises the bulk of the collection, there are also a few miscellaneous items, including a small group of unidentified photographs and a few printed materials.

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University Committee on ROTC records, 1970 - 1971 4.5 Linear Feet — 4500 Items

The University Committee on ROTC was formed in 1970 to formulate recommendations on the future of ROTC at Duke University. The collection includes correspondence, minutes, testimony, reports, printed materials, reports from other institutions, student course evaluations and questionnaires, notes, and other materials. Major subjects include the role of the Naval and Air Force ROTCs on Duke's campus, the Vietnam War, the draft, and intellectual freedom on university campuses. English.

Collection includes correspondence, minutes, testimony, reports, printed materials, reports from other institutions, student course evaluations and questionnaires, notes, and other materials related to the Committee's investigations during 1970-1971. One of the Committee's major endeavors was a survey of students who were enrolled or had previously been enrolled in ROTC courses. These student evaluations make up approximately half of the collection.