Common Sense Foundation records, 1983-2008 and undated

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Collection is open for research with some exceptions. Electronic records have been migrated to a library server. To request access to these, please contact Research Services before coming to use...
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Summary

Creator:
Common Sense Foundation
Abstract:
Progressive policy think-tank based in North Carolina. Spanning the years 1983 to 2008, the Common Sense Foundation (CSF) Records contain manuscript, print, audiovisual, and electronic materials related to the foundation's administration and work on various policy initiatives, which include the death penalty, taxation and economic justice, the environment, gay rights, health care, testing in public schools and other education issues, the tobacco industry, and North Carolina politics. The collection primarily contains clippings, reports, administrative documents, and correspondence, including emails, and is organized into the following series: Administrative Files, Audiovisual Materials, Board of Directors, Photographs, Printed Materials, Research Files, Staff Files, and Website. The largest group of materials relates to CSF's research on public policy. Several thousand electronic files in the collection have been migrated to a library server. Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive at Duke University.
Extent:
19 Linear Feet
Approximately 11,625 Items
Language:
Material in English
Collection ID:
RL.00249

Background

Scope and content:

Spanning the years 1983 to 2008, the Common Sense Foundation Records contain manuscript, print, audiovisual, and electronic materials related to CSF's administration and work on various policy initiatives, which include the death penalty, taxation and economic justice, the environment, gay rights, health care, testing in public schools and other education issues, health care, the tobacco industry, and North Carolina politics, and many other civil rights issues. The collection primarily contains clippings, reports, administrative documents, and correspondence, including emails, and is organized into the following series: Administrative Files, Audiovisual Materials, Board of Directors, Photographs, Printed Materials, Research Files, Staff Files, and Website. The largest group of materials relates to CSF's research on public policy. Thousands of electronic files representing materials related to the series in the collection have been migrated to a library server. Files must be screened for confidential material before use can be granted.

Several series focus on the administration of the foundation. In addition to documenting the foundation's bylaws and history, the Administrative Files Series contains documents related to CSF's finances and membership, sponsorship of events, strategic planning, and personnel. Related material can also be found in the Staff Files Series. The administration and strategic plan of the foundation is also treated in the Board of Directors Series (closed until 2020), which contains minutes of board meetings and information about board members. The Photographs Series houses images of CSF events.

Other series document the foundation's policy initiatives. The Printed Materials Subseries contains copies of works published by CSF, clippings of articles written by CSF staff, and publications on related topics printed by other organizations. Organized by topic, the Research Files Series contains files related to the foundation's research and organizing work, principally on the death penalty, economic issues, fair testing in public schools, North Carolina politicians, and health care. Primarily containing clippings and reports, this series also includes letters written by incarcerated people to CSF, and includes the foundation's survey of lawyers who represented death row inmates. The Audiovisual Materials Series contains videocassettes related to CSF's policy initiatives and that document foundation-sponsored events. CSF's presence on the internet is documented in the Website Series, which contains both policy and administrative material.

Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive at Duke University.

Biographical / historical:

The Common Sense Foundation (CSF) was a progressive, nonprofit, public-policy organization incorporated in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1994. It sought to promote "fairness, justice, and opportunity in the state public-policy debate." Executive Director Chris Fitzsimon led CSF from 1994-2003. Among CSF's publications were the Journal of Common Sense from 1995 to 2001 and Common Sense Says... from 1998 to 2007. In 1997, CSF began offering a weekly email update, called the Common Sense Legislative Update, with a subscription base of over 500 people. CSF launched its website in 1998. Its primary policy initiatives included the death penalty and testing in public schools. In 2003, Research Director David Mills took over for Chris Fitzsimon as CSF's Executive Director. At its height, CSF had a membership of approximately 800 and a permanent staff of four. CSF dissolved in 2008.

Acquisition information:
The Common Sense Foundation Records were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 2010.
Processing information:

Processed by Kevin Modestino and Elizabeth Shesko, November 2010

Encoded by Kevin Modestino and Elizabeth Shesko, November 2010

Accessions 2010-0021 and 2010-0162 are described in this finding aid.

This collection has been given basic processing: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Contents

Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials


Restrictions:

Collection is open for research with some exceptions.

Electronic records have been migrated to a library server. To request access to these, please contact Research Services before coming to use this collection. Files must be screened for confidential material before use can be granted.

Also, original audiovisual materials are closed to use. Use of these materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

Terms of access:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Common Sense Foundation Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University