WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Rep. Mike McIntyre, leaving Congress after nine terms, is donating his official papers and other memorabilia to UNC Wilmington's Randall Library.
"There are all kinds of different memorabilia that symbolize our efforts to try to help and serve the people of southeastern North Carolina," the Democrat from Lumberton said during a news conference Monday.
The library expects to receive about 75 boxes of memorabilia and 30-40 boxes of papers, Special Collections Coordinator Jerry Parnell explained.
McIntyre said the items tell the story of his 18 years of accomplishments, including the tobacco buyout, passage of Farm Bills and the establishment of new healthcare clinics for veterans.
Starting next fall, the items will be available to researchers, including students in UNCW's new campaign management minor.
Earl Sheridan, chair of the public and international affairs department, said its helpful for researchers to have access to McIntyre's correspondence.
"You can see exactly what was being said, what was being thought," Sheridan said. "It's not filtered through a book. It's not filtered through a newspaper article.
Officials say UNCW is a natural home for McIntyre's papers. Since his election, the university has received more than $100 million in federal money and contracts, according to a UNCW press release.
Chancellor Emeritus Jim Leutze, who led the university from 1990-2003 taught McIntyre history at UNC-Chapel Hill, years before relying on the congressman for support in Washington.
"He was our go-to guy for southeastern North Carolina, and we don't have somebody like that now," Leutze said. "Whether he runs for senator, whether he runs for vice president, it would be good to know that we've got a friend in high places."
McIntyre, who remains tight lipped about his plans, said he hopes the collection allows southeastern North Carolinians to connect with their history.
"...they can see the story of their own lives, their own communities, our own beaches and military bases and the things that we've worked on through these years."
The university said McIntyre made a contribution to help offset the cost of processing the collection.