Skip to main content

Republican National Convention Records

Identifier: spe-rnc

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of press releases, campaign literature, speech and interview transcripts, newspapers, biographies, directories and schedules. Through this material, some of the disagreements among the different factions of the Republican Party can be discerned. Of note is the material from Republican women’s groups and the speeches delivered by women.


  • 1958 - 1960
  • Majority of material found within 1960


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

The 1960 Republican National Convention took place July 25-28 in Chicago’s International Amphitheatre. It was the 100th anniversary of the 1860 Convention, also in Chicago, that selected Abraham Lincoln as the Republican presidential candidate. In 1960, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was finishing his second term in office, and so he could not run for reelection. The Democratic National Convention had happened a few weeks earlier, choosing John F. Kennedy, a Senator from Massachusetts, as the Democratic nominee for president. The Republican National Convention met to select his Republican opponent.

Vice President Richard Nixon was the leading favorite for the nomination, but a few challenges existed. Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater represented the right wing of the Republican Party, and he was running against Nixon for the nomination. New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller represented the left wing of the Republican Party, and though he had withdrawn from the race the preceding December, in the weeks leading up to the Convention, he made his displeasure with the platform known, hinting at leading a challenge from the Convention floor.

In an effort to circumvent this challenge, as well as to gain the support of more liberal Republicans, Vice President Nixon secretly flew to New York on July 23 to meet with Rockefeller. The two met in Rockefeller’s 5th Avenue home and discussed the party platform all night. Nixon agreed to adopt many of Rockefeller’s planks in exchange for Rockefeller’s support. The published statement describing the platform was released under Rockefeller’s name; Nixon issued a statement of support.

This clandestine meeting did not sit well with the Convention Platform Committee or with Goldwater. Ultimately, though, it was successful in unifying the Party during the Convention, and Nixon handily won the nomination. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., a former Senator from Massachusetts and then ambassador to the United Nations, was chosen to be his running mate. Nixon went on to lose the presidential election to John F. Kennedy in November of that year. Nixon was later elected president in 1968 and again in 1972. He resigned mid-term in 1974 following the Watergate scandal.


3 Linear Feet (in 3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The 1960 Republican National Convention, held in Chicago, determined that Richard M. Nixon would be the party’s presidential candidate. As the incumbent vice president, Nixon was always a leading contender, but he worked with New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to adopt platform planks that would appeal to the left wing of the Republican Party. Opposing Nixon was Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater who represented the right wing of the Republican Party. Some of this internal party division can be seen in these records which document the events of the Convention.


The collection is arranged in 5 series. Folders within series are arranged alphabetically.

Series 1: Republican National Convention Records, 1959-1960; Series 2: Candidates, 1958, 1960; Series 3: Speeches and Statements, 1960; Series 4: Related and Participating Organizations, 1960; Series 5: Press Response, 1960

Physical Location

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least 24-hours prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in collection; no documentation concerning the provenance of these materials exists.

Related Materials

Democratic National Convention Records

Guide to the Republican National Convention Records
Johanna Russ. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.
December 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875