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Karl Braithwaite papers

Identifier: MC088

Scope and Content Note

The majority of the papers are related to Braithwaite's work for the Tower Commission, including a copy of the audio journal Braithwaite kept while working for the Commission.

The collection also includes a small number of files related to Braithwaite's work in academia, both before 1970 and after 1990.

Documents related to Braithwaite's work on the staff of the U. S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works can be found in the Edmund S. Muskie Papers (MC105), Series V.C: Senate Office Staff and Committee Staff Files.


  • 1968 - 2003


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Historical Note

Karl R. Braithwaite was born in St. George, Utah in 1942. He earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah, followed by an M.S. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin. After teaching for several years at Duke University, Braithwaite went to work in the Senate office of Joseph Montoya (D-N.M.) in 1970. He also worked briefly in the Senate office of Frank Moss (D-Ut.).

From 1973 to 1980, Braithwaite was on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which handled national environmental legislation including amendments to the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and Superfund. During this time, he also worked for Senator Muskie as a speechwriter and on his 1976 campaign.

After leaving the Senate committee staff in 1980, Braithwaite served as Director of Government Relations at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. While there, Braithwaite was appointed to lead the staff supporting the President's Special Review Board, or Tower Commission, which President Reagan charged with investigating the Iran-Contra affair.

From 2001-2005, Braithwaite served as Dean of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Maine. In 2005, he accepted a position at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


2.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection includes papers related to Karl Braithwaite's work as a speech writer for Senators Edmund S. Muskie and Joseph Montoya, and his work as Staff Director of the Tower Commission, which was charged by President Reagan with investigating the Iran-Contra affair.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into three series: I. Political campaigns and speeches; II. President's Special Review Board (Tower Commission); and III. Academia.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of Karl Braithwaite, 2005. Accession No.: 05-063, 05-100.

Processing Information

Processed by Christie Peterson, 2008.

The first 5 folders in Series I were moved to the Muskie papers, Series V.C. Box 104__September 2009

Guide to the Karl Braithwaite papers, 1968-2003
Edited Full Draft
Christie Peterson
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Description is in: English
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library Repository

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Lewiston Maine 04240 United States of America
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