Former U.S. Rep. and Queens College alumnus Gary Ackerman has announced that he will donate his personal papers to Queens College’s Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library. The papers will be arranged and described by Queens College archivists and made available to researchers as one of the school’s special collections.
Ackerman’s documents include 12 boxes of material containing personal and professional papers that tell the story of his political career as well as photographs, albums, scrapbooks, original audio and video files in various formats, and other objects and artifacts, such as campaign memorabilia. The material will eventually be digitized and made available online.
“Congressman Ackerman has mightily contributed to the best interests of our city, this borough and the college throughout a long and distinguished career in the roles of school teacher, businessman, newspaper publisher and media executive, elected official and alumnus,” Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said. “We are honored that he has chosen Queens College as the home for his personal and public papers, so that this rich history of service and the city’s political record will benefit future generations of students and researchers.”
By placing his papers in the library, Ackerman hopes to ensure that they will be studied by generations of researchers in the context of his political career. He will also take part in an oral history with the college to be included as part of Queens Memory, a project by Queens College and the Queens Library project designed to collect stories, images and artifacts documenting life in the borough.
“These papers have a tremendous public research value as well as pedagogical value to the Queen College faculty and students,” said Queens College Chief Librarian Kristin Hart.
Ackerman, who founded the Queens Tribune in 1970, was a city school teacher who acted as a member of the state Senate from 1979 to 1983, when he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until retiring in 2013.
Queens College’s personal papers archive includes contributions from state Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin, U.S. Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal and Queens College founder Judge Charles S. Colden.