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Matthew E. Welsh papers

Identifier: L608

Scope and Contents

The collection includes Welsh's papers as governor, including his correspondence on local and national issues, his correspondence with Indiana's Congressional delegation on state needs, reports and budgets of state agencies and commissions, legislation, speeches, schedules, press releases, newspaper clippings, recommendations, appointments and awards; correspondence, surveys, financial records, and other papers relating to the Indiana Democratic Party (1961-1965), including papers relating to Roger Branigan's 1964 campaign for governor, and Welsh's campaign against George Wallace in the 1964 presidential primary; correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, publications, clippings, and other papers relating to the Interstate Oil Compact Commission (1961-1964), particularly regarding cooperation between businesses and state regulatory agencies on the conservation of oil and natural gas; papers of the U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission, relating to the pollution of the Great Lakes (1966-1970); correspondence, speeches, press releases, and other papers relating to his 1972 campaign for governor against Otis Bowen; papers relating to his 1960 campaign for governor, and to the 1960 Democratic presidential primary and general election campaigns; his speeches, press relases, and other papers as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, as Indiana State Senator, and as unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve (circa 1943-1950s); and materials collected for Welsh's book View from the Statehouse. Also included are photographs, video and audio tapes (1956-1972); and papers relating to Birch Bayh's 1976 presidential campaign.

There are also oversize campaign posters from Matthew Welsh dating from 1972 (OB064; OBC105).

Correspondents include: E. Ross Adair, Birch Bayh, John Brademas, William G. Bray, Edmund G. Brown, Donald C. Bruce, Earl Butz, Winfield K. Denton, Vance Hartke, Ralph Harvey, Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Ray J. Madden, Nelson A. Rockefeller, George Romney, Richard Roudebush, J. Edward Roush, Earl Wilson.


  • 1925-1984


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Matthew Empson Welsh was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 15, 1912. His family moved to Vincennes, Indiana in 1924 where he graduated from Vincennes Lincoln High School in June 1930. Welsh graduated with B.S. degree in Economics during 1934 from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania; went on to attend law school at Indiana University from 1935 to 1936; graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1937 with a J.D degree.

Welsh married Mary Virginia Homann of Washington, Indiana in 1937. In 1942, they had twin daughters Kathryn Louise and Janet Marie.

Welsh was an attorney in Vincennes, Knox County (1937-1960); Democratic member, Indiana House of Representatives (circa 1940s);officer, U.S. Navy (1943-1946); U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Indiana (1950); member, Indiana State Senate (1955-1960); Governor of Indiana (1961-1965); member, National Governors Conference Executive Committee (1963); chairman, U.S. Interstate Oil Compact Commission (1963); Democratic National Committeeman from Indiana (1964-1965); candidate in the 1964 Indiana presidential primary, running against George Wallace of Alabama; chairman, U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission, dealing with common waterway problems (1966-1970); member, Indianapolis law firm (circa 1960s); co-chairman, State Constitutional Revision Commission (1967-1972); Democratic candidate for governor (1972); author, View from the State House: Recollections and Reflections (1981).

Welsh was a member of the board of trustees from Vincennes University for 51 years. He stepped down from that post in 1994. Governor Welsh passed away on May 28, 1995 and was buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Vincennes.


69.5 Cubic Feet (153 manuscript boxes, 3 cubic foot boxes; 5 oversize boxes, 9 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Matthew E. Welsh personal documents, 1944-1960

Series 2: Matthew E. Welsh political correspondence, 1960-1971

Series 3: Matthew E. Welsh speeches, 1940-1972

Series 4: Matthew E. Welsh press releases, 1959-1972; undated

Series 5: Matthew E. Welsh appointments, 1960-1965

Series 6: Matthew E. Welsh administrative files, 1956-1965

Series 7: Matthew E. Welsh, United States Chairman, International Joint Commission documents, predominantly 1965-1970; 1965-1980s

Subseries 7.1: Correspondence, 1965-1970 Subseries 7.2: Manuals and speeches, 1965-1969 Subseries 7.3: Subject files, 1964-1980s

Series 8: Matthew E. Welsh post-administration documents, circa 1970s

Subseries 8.1: Administrative documents, 1965-1976 Subseries 8.2: 1972 campaign documents, 1970-1972 Subseries 8.3: Drafts, published writings and supplemental documents, 1961-1980s Subseries 8.4: Committee documents, circa 1975-1980s

Series 9: Matthew E. Welsh newspaper clippings, 1941-1982; undated

Series 10: Matthew E. Welsh photographs, 1925-1984; undated

Series 11: Matthew E. Welsh oversize photographs, 1925-1970s

Series 12: Matthew E. Welsh negatives and slides, circa 1925-1984

Series 13: Matthew E. Welsh oversize documents, 1962-1972

Series 14: Matthew E. Welsh films, circa 1960-1970s

Series 15: Matthew E. Welsh audio tapes, circa 1960-1970s

Series 16: Matthew E. Welsh realia, circa 1960s

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Matthew E. Welsh in March 1973.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

OB064: Matthew E. Welsh oversize campaign posters

OBC105: Matthew E. Welsh oversize campaign posters

OH145: Matthew E. Welsh oral history

Processing Information

Collection processing completed during August 2015 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created during October 2015 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid updated on 2021/09/29, 2021/10/25 by Lauren Patton.
Matthew E. Welsh papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.