The 1980 Campaign Files are the materials that were in the Reagan Bush Headquarters when the offices were dismantled and the campaign organization closed out.

Collection Description

SERIES 01: Hannaford / California Headquarters (Boxes 1-83A)

The firm of Hannaford & Deaver handled Ronald Reagan’s public relations needs during the period after he left the Governor’s office, and before he took office as President.  The material appears to have been collected and maintained by Hannaford & Deaver at their firm in Los Angeles, and was subsequently transferred to Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign headquarters for use there.  Nearly all the files have to do with Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s public activities, rather than their personal lives.  This series is divided into six subseries: Ronald Reagan Files; Nancy Reagan Files; General Campaign Files; Briefing Files; Scheduling Files; Telephone Message Books; Clipping Files.


SERIES 01: SUBSERIES A: Ronald Reagan Files (Boxes 1-28)

This subseries consists of material reflecting Ronald Reagan’s public appearances, speeches, syndicated newspaper columns and radio broadcasts.  Of note is a card subject index to the radio broadcast recordings (discs).  Many of the documents were drafted or annotated by Ronald Reagan. 

SERIES 01: SUBSERIES B: Nancy Reagan Files (Boxes 29-35)

This subseries consists mostly of Mrs. Reagan’s correspondence and schedules related to campaign activities.  The majority of this material consists of thank you notes for gifts and letters which individuals sent to Mrs. Reagan to pass on to her husband.  There are no personal items included.

SERIES 01: SUBSERIES C: General Campaign Files (Boxes 36-51)

This subseries consists of correspondence, memos, reports and other information about campaign issues, including Ronald Reagan’s statements and political positions, the media campaign and the Republican National Convention.

SERIES 01: SUBSERIES D: Briefing Files (Boxes 52-57)

Briefing books usually contain demographic and political information about the areas RR was to appear.  “Briefings for Campaign Appearances” were created by James Stockdale, and included information about local personalities, donors, organizations, political controversy in the local community, local current events, political supporters and area history.  In later briefs the political analyses were very detailed, and included information about tensions and issues within the Reagan camp, and the state and local Republican organizations.  The briefing papers were widely distributed to campaign staff. 

SERIES 01: SUBSERIES E: Scheduling Files (Boxes 58–80b)

Material in this subseries consists mostly of correspondence, invitations, notes, and logistical material concerning RR’s travel to the event, fees, accommodations, and other related issues.  Filing practices were not entirely consistent, thus researchers may find that the “Turndown” files and “Reading” files contain the same type of material (both incoming and outgoing correspondence).  While most of the correspondence is routine, some of the correspondence contains Ronald Reagan annotations and post-scripts.  Researchers should note that some letters signed by Ronald Reagan may have been authored by Helene van Damm, one of his close assistants.

SERIES 01: SUBSERIES F: Telephone Message Books (Boxes 80b – 80c)
SERIES 01: SUBSERIES G: Clipping Files (Boxes 80d – 83a)

Photocopies of news articles about RR, widely distributed.

SERIES 02: Charles Black Files (Boxes 84-99)

Charles Black was the National Political Director and Deputy Campaign Director until the end of February 1980, when he was fired, along with Campaign Director John Sears and other key campaign staffers.  Most of the Charles Black files are expense materials of campaign staff.  There is also a cache of material that reflects the activities of the campaign at the state level.  Very few of the documents reflect campaign strategy or policy-making.  The series is divided into four subseries: A – Z Subject Files; Bank Account; Expenses; States.

SERIES 02: SUBSERIES A: A – Z Subject Files (Boxes 84 – 88)

Material includes financial information about the campaign, correspondence and memos with other highly placed campaign staff about various issues, administrative and office material.  Some of this material may be Charles Black’s RNC files.

SERIES 02: SUBSERIES B: Bank Account (Box 88)

This subseries consists of ledgers and bank statements for the campaign, including copies of receipts.

SERIES 02: SUBSERIES C: Expenses (Boxes 89 – 96)

Logs and receipts turned in by campaign staff for reimbursement.

SERIES 02: 4. SUBSERIES D: States (Boxes 97 – 99)

This series documents political situations in the states, events, activities of persons interested in helping the campaign or joining the staff, Ronald Reagan appearances, drives and fundraisers.  Also included are memos about primary elections in states, and setting up state campaign organizations.

SERIES 03: Ed Meese Files, 1976 - 1980 (Boxes 100-176)

The Ed Meese Files contain material reflecting his activities as Chief of Staff for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Presidential campaign.  The material dates back to Ronald Reagan’s 1976 campaign for the presidency, because Meese appears to have incorporated these files into the 1980 records.

At one point Meese used a complex filing system (copies available) of 39 series and sub-series, but it was not used at the time we processed these files.  Unable to re-create this system, Reagan Library archivists created an arrangement to direct the researcher to the type of material in the folders.  The Meese material is divided into 17 subseries.  Researchers should be aware that there is considerable duplication between subseries. 

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES A: Finance and Budget (Boxes 100-101)

These files were grouped together and reflect aspects of financing a presidential campaign.  The files include specific information about the finances of the 1980 campaign, particularly after the February 1980 re-organization and resignation of John Sears.  Additional material reflecting campaign finances is in other Meese subseries, notably Campaign Operations

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES B: Campaign Planning (Boxes 101-104)

These files contain notes, background material, agendas, and other material from meetings that took place during the campaign period.  Also included are campaign strategy memos, as well as minutes from the “Executive Advisory Committee” meetings which included high level advisers.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES C: Campaign Operations (Boxes 104 – 113)

These files comprise a large portion of the Meese Files, and draw together material that document the issues and activities that were important to the campaign.  The files cover the earliest campaign efforts through to Election Day 1980.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES D: Correspondence (Boxes 114 – 122)

These files consist of letters and memos covering a range of topics, including observations on campaign operations, Ronald Reagan’s image and problems with campaign staff.  To facilitate research, the correspondence files originally scattered through the Meese series were pulled together, and placed in chronological order.  Original folder titles (where they existed) were retained.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES E: Memos (Boxes 122 – 124)

In addition to folders containing memos, we found loose and unsorted memos in no apparent arrangement.  For ease of use we put them all in one place in chronological order, retaining all original folder titles.  




SERIES 03: SUBSERIES F: Ronald Reagan (Box 125)

These are materials about, created by, or annotated by Ronald Reagan and were grouped together.  Researchers should be aware that documents annotated by Ronald Reagan throughout the Meese series.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES G: Subject File (Boxes 125 – 136)

These files consist of reports, clippings, publications and other background material about issues associated with the campaign.  There are a limited number of memos and correspondence from industry and government people, distributed to the Reagan campaign to provide background information about issues of importance, controversial topics specific to the groups, and other information that would help Ronald Reagan prepare for meetings and events.  During processing, selected folders were moved to the series Campaign Operations, so that like material would be grouped in one place.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES H: Convention (Boxes 137 – 139)

These files reflect activities and issues associated with the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit, MI.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES I: Debate (Boxes 139 – 141)

These files reflect issues and activities associated with the debates in which Ronald Reagan was a participant.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES J: Meese Personal (Box 141)

This file contains items that were specifically marked “Personal.”   Documents within were not widely shared with campaign staff, and/or reflect Meese’s activities. 

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES K: Schedules (Boxes 142 – 143)

This series consists of memos, clippings, correspondence and logistical information about specific events.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES L: Tour Files (Boxes 143 – 147)

This series consists of memos, clippings, correspondence and logistical information about events and are very much like the Schedule Files.  They are mostly from the last three months of the campaign, when Ronald Reagan was doing a tremendous amount of traveling.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES M: Staff / Advisors (Boxes 147 – 152)

These files have information about campaign staff, consultants and advisors.  Most are from the period after the Republican National Convention.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES N: Speeches / Statements (Boxes 153 – 154)

This series consists of copies of selected speech and statement drafts, which Meese likely received because of his position as a high level advisor to Ronald Reagan.  Also included are memos re: speeches and speech strategy.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES O: Briefing Books (Boxes 155 – 158)

The briefing books contain memos, background and logistical information for trips that would likely be useful to Ronald Reagan and campaign staff.  Advocates and other campaign departments may have made use of these briefing books, as they were prepared to provide information about policies and issues as well as trips.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES P: Background Material (Box 159 – 162)

These files provide background on campaign issues.  Most of this material comes from published sources.

SERIES 03: SUBSERIES Q: Clipping File (Boxes 163 – 176)

This file consists of newspaper clippings drawn from clipping services, such as the Republican National Committee and Deaver & Hannaford.  The Reagan campaign itself generated clippings, and Meese’s copies are housed here.

SERIES 04: Richard Wirthlin - Political Strategy (Boxes 177-220). Richard Wirthlin was a key strategist and pollster for the 1980 Campaign.

Although Richard Wirthlin was one of Ronald Reagan’s key campaign advisors, these files do not reflect this role in the form of correspondence or memoranda.  Rather there are a small number of strategy documents, reports and analyses.  The bulk of the Wirthlin Files consist of the volumes of raw data – the results of polls developed by Wirthlin’s firm, Decision Making Information (D.M.I.).  The series is divided into two subseries: Planning and Strategy; D.M.I. Polling Books.

SERIES 04: SUBSERIES A: Planning & Strategy Files (Boxes 177 – 179a)

This subseries contains a copy of a campaign strategy, which we believe is the “master plan” for the campaign that Wirthlin was asked to prepare.  The rest of the subseries consists of strategies and analyses of target states, prepared by Public Associates, for the Reagan PAC Citizens for the Republic.

SERIES 04: SUBSERIES B: D.M.I. Polling Books (Boxes 179a – 220)

This subseries contains bound volumes of statistical data and reports compiled by Richard Wirthlin’s company, D.M.I. (Decision Making Information).  Organized chronologically, the volumes represent studies of voter attitudes on a broad variety of issues.  The studies polled voters nationally, as well as target states.  In some instances, the studies served to test advertising schemes.

SERIES 05: Peter Dailey (Media, Promotion and Advertising) (Boxes 221-237)

Peter Dailey, an advertising executive, ran the media arm of the 1980 Campaign.  These are working files, and do not appear to contain strategy or policy material.  The series is divided into 3 subseries: Media Campaign, Promotional and Advertising, Promotional / Promotional Department.

SERIES 05: SUBSERIES A: Media Campaign (Boxes 221 – 229)

These files contain memos, correspondence, reports and other documents documenting the various aspects of the national media campaign.  Of note are the original graphics for buttons, bumper stickers and stationary developed for the campaign.

SERIES 05: SUBSERIES B: Promotional and Advertising (Boxes 229 – 232)

These files are clippings, reports, brochures, and other handouts providing facts, figures and other information about the campaign.

SERIES 05: SUBSERIES C: Promotional / Promotional Department (Boxes 233 – 237)

These files contain information about the logistics of the television campaign, including scheduling and finances.  Also included are the storyboards for television spots.

SERIES 06: Debate Files (Boxes 238-247)

These files contain material about issues expected to arise in the debates, along with the transcripts of debates in which Ronald Reagan was a participant.  James Baker was assigned to coordinate debate activities, but there is nothing in these files that document Baker’s role.  It is not clear whether Baker or another campaign staffer assembled these files.

SERIES 07: Campaign Operations - Mike Deaver (Box 248)

Although Mike Deaver was a longtime associate of the Reagans, and was known to have acted in an advisory capacity to the 1980 campaign efforts, we do not have any of his files.  Organizational charts place Deaver as the head of Campaign Operations.  These folders, relating to voter groups, were in a box marked “Deaver.”  Archivists decided to preserve their provenance, even though it is not clear that Deaver created them or that his duties included voter groups.

SERIES 08: William Timmons (Director of Political Operations) (Boxes 249-257)

William Timmons was the Director of Political Operations, overseeing the efforts of the scheduling department, citizens and voters groups, and regional directors for the General election.  The files are divided into six subseries: Campaign Operations Staff, General, Issues, States/1980 Campaign Relations, Schedule Requests by State and Voter Groups.

Series 08: SUBSERIES A: Campaign Operations Staff (Box 249)

This subseries contains memos Timmons sent to and received from campaign staff on a variety of issues, ranging from routine logistical transmittal to key strategy decisions.

SERIES 08: SUBSERIES B: General (Boxes 249 – 251)

This subseries contains memos, correspondence, reports and other types of documents that reflected campaign operations.  Among the issues covered are Commitment ’80, an RNC program developed to help put Republican candidates in office; campaign strategy; coordination of regional campaigns.

SERIES 08: SUBSERIES C: Issues (Boxes 251 – 252)

This subseries consists of correspondence and memoranda ranging from routine unsolicited suggestions about specific campaign issues, to exchanges between advisors on how issues might work into campaign strategy.

SERIES 08: SUBSERIES D: States / 1980 Campaign Relations (Boxes 252 – 254)

This series consists of correspondence, memos, demographic information, statistics, resumes, clippings and published material which came to Timmons’ attention.  This material tends to reflect efforts to bring about party unity between Reagan and Bush campaigns, and state Republican organizations.

SERIES 08: SUBSERIES E: Schedule Requests by State (Boxes 254 – 255)

This subseries mostly consists of correspondence and memoranda about Ronald Reagan appearance requests, documents concerning routine logistical arrangements and discussions between advisors about whether to accept an invitation.

SERIES 08: SUBSERIES F: Voter Groups (Boxes 255 - 257)

This subseries contains correspondence and memoranda about campaign policies, events, Reagan speeches relating to specific voter groups.  Some of these documents analyze voter groups and provide strategies for winning votes.

SERIES 09: Charles Tyson - Advance and Scheduling (Boxes 258-298)

Charles Tyson headed the Scheduling and Advance Office for the Reagan campaign.  It is not clear when he took over this duty, which Jim Stockdale had handled early on in California.  Early scheduling files can be found in Series 01: Hannaford/California Headquarters. 

An organizational chart shows the Advance and Scheduling office to be a complex unit, with Tyson overseeing six department heads: Presidential Scheduling Director, V.P. Director of Operations, Advance Assignment Director (which included press advance and secret service), Family Scheduling Director, Advocate Scheduling Director, and Correspondence Director.  In addition, he liaised with Mike Deaver who was the Ronald Reagan “Tour Chief of Staff.”   The files do not reflect the organization chart and are arranged in six subseries: Debate Files; Schedule Files; Advance and Scheduling Files; Objectives Files; Personnel; Kay O'Dell Files.

SERIES 09: SUBSERIES A: Debate Files (Box 258)

This subseries consists mostly of invitations for Ronald Reagan to appear in debates.

SERIES 09: SUBSERIES B: Schedule Files (Boxes 259-283)

This subseries contains correspondence, memoranda, schedules, and briefing information about the schedules of Ronald Reagan, George Bush and their families.  The topics cover everything from invitations and brief responses to notes between advisors discussing the advisability of events.  There are also detailed schedules and information about Reagan tours.  The “Tour files” include press manifests, and these files may have been originally included with the files of the Press Unit.

SERIES 09: SUBSERIES C: Advance and Scheduling Files (Boxes 284 – 286)

This subseries contains memoranda, correspondence, notes, schedules, and published material used to complete advance work.  Topics include candidate and staff travel and lodgings for general and RNC convention travel.

SERIES 09: SUBSERIES D: Objectives Files (R. Andrews) (Box 286)

This subseries contains memoranda, correspondence, meeting minutes, notes and organizational charts, and appears to have been created to facilitate advance work.  It is not clear whether this file was ever used, since many of the folders are empty.

SERIES 09: SUBSERIES E: Personnel (Boxes 287 – 292)

This subseries consists of correspondence, notes, memoranda, resumes and forms relating to people who either worked for the advance office, or who expressed interest in doing so.  These files were categorized by: Resumes Not Reviewed; Advance; Advance (Rejected); Press Advance; Inactive; No Data; Not Yet Contacted; Office Personnel; Terminated; VIP Advancemen.

SERIES 09: SUBSERIES F: Kay O’Dell Files (Boxes 293 – 298)

This subseries contains correspondence and invitation review lists.  Although O’Dell is listed as the correspondence director, her duties included providing lists of invitations for the scheduling staff to review and possibly work into Ronald Reagan’s schedule.  The correspondence appears to be almost all thank-you notes, sent to individuals who helped with various events.

Last Updated: 05/31/2023 08:14PM

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