Scope and Content

The Reibman Papers (1955-1998) document the pioneering political career of Jeanette Fichman Reibman and trace the developing role of women in U.S. politics from the 1950’s to the present.  Reibman became Pennsylvania’s first woman elected to the State Senate in 1966, the first woman elected to Senate Leadership as Minority Caucus Administrator in 1990, and the first woman to serve on the Lafayette College Board of Trustees in 1970.

Jeanette Reibman signs legislation with William Warren Scranton (seated to her right), Governor of Pennsylvania 1963-1967

While one of the earliest documents in the papers appears to be a photograph of Reibman as a toddler (ca. 1918), the bulk of the material dates from the late 1960’s to the early 1990’s and relates to Reibman’s political career in service to the state of Pennsylvania and the 18th Senatorial District. Topics of interest throughout the papers relate to education, economic development, the arts and the environment, as well as issues pertaining to women, children, families, and the elderly.

The papers (48.25 linear feet—42 record center cartons, 10 special format boxes) contain legislative files, speeches, press releases, clippings, reports, correspondence, appointment and guest books, and audio/visual materials. Papers are organized into seven series as follows:

I Legislative Files Box 1-5
II Publicity Files Box 6-12
III Campaign Files Box 13-14
IV Subject Files Box 15-36
V Correspondence Box 37-40
VI Appointment and Guest Books Box 40
VII. Audio/Visual Material Box 41-52

Jeanette Reibman with President Jimmy Carter

Series I houses the legislative files generated and collected by Reibman while in office. Subseries 1, Bills and Resolutions, contains printed versions of bills and acts supported by Reibman and also includes supplementary material such as analysis by legislative aids, written commentary and notes by Reibman, background research and documents, and related correspondence. Subseries 2, Reports, contains listings generated by the Pennsylvania Legislative Data Processing Center. These documents list bills co-sponsored and prime-sponsored by Reibman throughout her career. Subseries 2 also contains reports published within the Pennsylvania State Senate providing weekly updates on legislative actions and issues. Subseries 3, Roll Call Votes, offers a chronological voting record for Senator Reibman, also generated by the Pennsylvania Legislative Data Processing Center.

Series II includes publicity files generated during Reibman’s career. Subseries 1, Speeches, contains the bulk of Reibman’s remarks given at conferences, meetings, panel discussions, television and radio appearances, and events throughout the 18th Senatorial District. As such, they offer an excellent view of the important issues of her career. Besides copies of her remarks, these files contain supportive material such as letters of invitation, programs, and research generated by legislative aids in preparation for speeches. Subseries 2, Press Releases, is arranged chronologically and represents the Senator’s official viewpoints as reported by her office to the local media. Subseries 3, Clippings, chronicles Reibman’s political career in the form of newspaper and magazine clippings.

Series III contains various types of documents pertaining to Reibman political campaigns. Files include general campaign materials such as correspondence, endorsements, position papers, questionnaires, committee and contributor lists, and election results. Documents also summarize the primary issues of each campaign and provide information on Reibman’s opponents.

Series IV is the largest group of records within the Reibman Papers and is divided into three subseries. Subseries 1, General, contains documents generated and received by Reibman’s office pertaining to major issues of her career, such as education, children, the arts, and the environment. Documents include reports, correspondence, manuscript notes, photographs, and various types of printed supportive material. Large portions of this subseries are devoted to committees, task forces, and commissions on which Reibman served during her career. Subseries 2, Larsen Impeachment, contains the Impeachment Trial Committee Books, Managers’ and Respondents’ Exhibits, Stenographic Reports, clippings, and Reibman’s personal files pertaining to this court case. Reibman was appointed one of a committee of six senators to conduct evidentiary hearings regarding the 1994 Articles of Impeachment against Pennsylvania Justice Rolf Larsen. Subseries 3, Marks vs. Stinson Contested Election, contains court documents, exhibits, clippings, and Reibman’s personal files pertaining to the 1993-94 contested election for the Second Senatorial District in Pennsylvania. Reibman was appointed to the Subcommittee on the Election Contest.

The Senator attends the dedication of the Jeanette F. Reibman Mobile Satellite Distance Learning Facility, presented to the School District of Philadelphia.

Series V contains the much of correspondence received and generated by Reibman’s office. Subseries 1, General, is a chronological arrangement of correspondence maintained by Reibman’s legislative assistants. It includes incoming and outgoing constituent correspondence focusing on legislative issues and concerns. Subseries 2, Invitations, contains a chronological arrangement of invitations to political functions, conferences, and meetings received by Reibman while in office.

Series VI contains appointment and guest books maintained by Reibman from the mid-1970’s through the late 1980’s and record her attendance at political functions during this period.

Series VII houses audio/visual materials in the form of videocassette tapes as well as audiocassette and audio reel tapes. Videocassettes primarily record Reibman’s television appearances during the 1980’s through 1990’s. Audiocassettes and audio reels record Reibman’s participation in legislative hearings, forums, and meetings during the mid-1970’s through the early 1990’s.