The Resource Norman Sisisky papers

Norman Sisisky papers

Norman Sisisky papers, 1982-2001
Norman Sisisky papers
Inclusive dates
  • Papers, 1982-2001, of Norman Sisisky (1927-2001), who represented Virginia's Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives. Includes legislative and project files, computer letter texts, press clippings and releases, speeches, campaign files, miscellaneous files, photographs, and special media
  • The legislative files include information on specific legislation or on general topics. There is correspondence from constituents, colleagues, public interest groups, professional organizations, administration officials, and local governments. Also included are internal memos and notes, drafts, final reports, and studies, copies of bills, publications, clippings, copies of letters co-signed by other legislators, press releases, and copies of testimonies by Sisisky and others before congressional committees. Some of the topics represented are asbestos abatement legislation, the balanced budget amendment and budget reconciliation, appropriations, campaign finance reform, colorectal cancer screening, defense issues relating to Fort Lee, Fort Pickett, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, defense business, base closure and realignment, issue papers, and military construction, "Fast Track" trade agreement negotiating authority, NAFTA, disaster relief, the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the presidential election of 2000, small business legislation, and velvet textile import tariffs. This series also contains awards and endorsements given to Sisisky, co-signed letters and co-sponsorship information, legislative activity guides, profiles, and status information distributed by the House Clerk, and voting record scorecards and publications from various interest groups
  • The project files includes material on the establishment, construction, renovation, or maintenance of projects of local interest in Virginia's Fourth Congressional district. Some of the projects, issues, or groups represented include the dredging of the Appomattox River, Army Corps of Engineers projects and Norfolk District overviews, the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway Bridge at Great Bridge, the City Point Unit of the Petersburg National Battlefield, Consolidated Launcher Technology, Elizabeth River restoration, defense conversion projects, empowerment zones, cleanup of the Former Nansemond Ordnance Depot, Hampton Roads light rail, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, housing projects and issues, Hurricane Floyd relief, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation and commemorative coin, the Lake Gaston pipeline project, the Petersburg tornado in 1993, Route 168 in Chesapeake and other transportation projects, and wetlands conservation. This series contains notes, clippings, correspondence, interoffice memoranda, background materials on specific projects, drafts, reports, feasibility studies, grant proposals and notifications, news releases, and publications. Copies of Sisisky's newsletter to constituents are also included in this series
  • The computer letter texts are drafts and final versions of form letters sent to constituents on specific legislation or issues. Some have approval sheets attached requesting review by Sisisky or senior staff. Various coding systems were used. Two have prefixes PF and GG (iinitials for two members of Sisisky's staff), followed by consecutive numbers. There is also a group numbered from 18000 to 30015, a series numbered A1-A22221 which includes a partial key, and finally a group with the letter notations AGBIL-WEREF, which includes a complete key
  • The press clippings cover the period from December 1982 to December 1995, and are arranged chronologically. There are very articles from 1996 to 2001. The series contains photocopies of articles on Sisisky and other members of the Virginia congressional delegation, and other stories of local or national interest. They are mainly from Virginia newspapers, but there are some from national publications as well. There are typed listings of each clipping at the beginning of each month for the years 1984 and 1985
  • The press releases contain statements by Sisisky on legislation or events of local or national importance. They are arranged chronologically. Many of the releases are announcements of grants to localities or organizations, upcoming mobile office schedules, and notifications of events where Sisisky would be appearing or speaking. There is a listing of releases issued for 1990 to 1995 at the beginning of each folder
  • The speeches contain copies of remarks delivered by Sisisky to various civic, religious, and cultural organizations, mostly in Virginia's Fourth Congressional district. There is also testimony by him before various House and Senate committees. There are copies of floor statements and testimonies for 1983 to 1987 at the end of the series. The arrangement of the speeches is chronological, but not strictly. There is a "speech index" that was prepared by Sisisky's staff at the beginning of each year, but not all of the speeches are included on the list. The researcher should consult the Library's finding aid for a complete listing. Most of the folders contain only copies of his remarks. There is very little supporting documentation, correspondence, research, drafts, notes, or invitations to the particular event
  • Most of the campaign files relate to Sisisky's first run for Congress in 1982 against incumbent Robert Williams Daniel, Jr. Included are a briefing book, clippings, campaign staff list, information on Daniel's contributors, his legislative and voting record, and ratings, as well as Sisisky's record in the Virginia House of Delegates, and campaign projects and events. Also included in this series are reports and public opinion surveys prepared by the firm Hamilton and Staff of Washington, D.C. in response to Sisisky's contemplating a run for Virginia governor in 1989. There are also briefing books for his 1992, 1994, and 1996 congressional campaigns
  • The miscellaneous files contain a compilation of Sisisky's congressional career by two members of his staff, miscellaneous memoranda and a staff directory, obituaries and condolences, and a visitors register covering the years 1993 to 2001
  • The photographs are arranged chronologically. They include images of Sisisky speaking at various events, photographs with constituents and colleagues, and of him on congressional trips. There is also a group of identified photographs with no date, and a group of unidentified images
  • The special media includes videtapes of Sisisky on local and national news programs and talk shows, local news coverage of issues affecting his district, campaign debates, and House floor debate. There are videotapes of local reaction to Sisisky's death, and coverage of his colleages tributes on the floor of the House. This series also contains cassette tape recordings of appearances by him at local events, reel to reel recordings of public service announcements, and computer floppy discs of staff memoranda and other files
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Norman Sisisky was born on 9 June 1927 in Baltimore. His family moved to Richmond, Virginia during the Great Depression. He graduated from John Marshall High School and enlisted in the Navy during World War II, serving through the end of 1946. At the completion of his service in the Navy, Sisisky returned to Richmond, where he enrolled in what today is known as Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1949, he received a B.S. degree in Business Administration. Sisisky married Rhoda Brown on 12 June 1949.
  • Before being elected to Congress in November 1982, Norman Sisisky was a businessman. He transformed a small Pepsi bottling company in Petersburg into a highly successful distributor of soft drinks throughout Southside Virginia. Norman Sisisky was elected to public office for the first time in 1973 as Delegate to Virginia's General Assembly representing Petersburg. He served five consecutive terms in the General Assembly before his election to Congress.
  • In 1982, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's Fourth District. Congressman Sisisky was a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on Small Business. Sisisky was also a member of the "Blue Dog Coalition," and worked to break partisan logjams on issues such as deficit reduction and campaign finance reform.
  • Norman Sisisky died at his home in Petersburg, Virginia on 29 March 2001. He is buried in Temple Beth-El cemetery in Richmond.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
See also: Norman Sisisky Papers (Accession 50791).
Norman Sisisky papers
Accession 50791 is interfiled with this collection, as box 11a (search Accession "40776, 50791" in Infolinx)
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Sisisky, Rhoda B.
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Legislative Files. II. Project Files. III. Computer Letter Texts. IV. Press Clippings. V. Press Releases. VI. Speeches. VII. Campaign Files. VIII. Miscellaneous Files. IX. Photographs. X. Special Media.
Reproduction note
Type of unit
cu. ft.



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
Processing Feedback ...