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Monday - Friday:
9 am - 4:30 pm

Other times by appointment

Location

The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

Contact Information

Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-4483
fax (757) 683-5954

 

THE PAPERS OF THOMAS JOSEPH REILLY

BIOGRAPHY

Thomas Joseph (Tom) Reilly (1915-1976) was a political reporter for the Ledger-Star (Norfolk, Va.) and the Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch for twenty-six years. He graduated in 1933 from Maury High School in Norfolk and became a part-time copy boy on the Ledger-Dispatch a year later. In 1935 he began to work full-time for the newspaper and the following year he was assigned to cover the police and fire departments. He also wrote on sports and he was subsequently assigned to courts. In 1939 he was assigned to cover the military and waterfront beat. Soon after reporting the departure of the first contingent of draftees sent to Army camps from the Norfolk Union Station, Reilly joined the military himself. His first assignment was to start a public information office with the Army Air Corps at Goodfellow Field, Texas. He received his commission in 1942 and was sent to Casablanca during the North African invasion to assist in building an airfield for the 52nd Fighter Group. He remained with this outfit for thirty-two months through the campaigns of North Africa, Sicily, Corsica, and Italy.

Reilly left the service with the rank of captain. He returned to the Ledger-Dispatch as a general assignment reporter and was soon appointed assistant city editor, a position that he held for four years. He began to cover the General Assembly in 1948 on a part-time basis and two years later he covered the entire session. His reporting of the General Assembly and state and local politics over the next generation was distinguished for its accuracy, clarity, and balance. He expressed his philosophy of political reporting in the following words:

"It takes time to get to know them [public figures] and they're understandably very sensitive. If they feel they're getting a fair shake, that's really all they expect and want . . . I don't concern myself if a story is going to be favorable or unfavorable to any particular candidate. It's going to be written on the basis of fact, not opinion . . . "

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The papers, dating from 1925-1976, include newspaper columns from the Ledger-Star (Norfolk, Va.) dealing with state and local politics, especially the sessions of the Virginia General Assembly. Contains some clippings of columns from other newspapers regarding General Assembly sessions and small amounts of background material used in preparing certain of these columns. Of note are the State Publications: Election Results (1924-1973); Manuals of the Senate and the House of Delegates (1950-1974); and miscellaneous publications regarding General Assembly (1942-1976).

PROVENANCE

Gift of Mary McPhillips Reilly May 27, 1976

ACCESS

Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

SIZE

5 Hollinger document cases

COLLECTION NUMBER

MG - 8

CONTAINER LISTING

Box 1 Miscellaneous; Newspaper Column (Clippings)

Folder 1 General Correspondence, 1974
Folder 2 Newspaper Clippings about Reilly, 1961-1975
Folder 3 Memorabilia: Telephone Directory, 1968 Republican Convention
Folder 4 Pictorial Records: Miscellaneous Photographs

Folders 5-11 Newspaper Columns: Ledger-Star (Norfolk)

Folder 5 Miscellaneous, 1972
Folder 6 Miscellaneous, 1973
Folder 7 Miscellaneous, 1974
Folder 8 Miscellaneous, 1975
Folder 9 Miscellaneous, 1975
Folder 10 General Assembly Session - 1975
Folder 11 General Assembly Session - 1976

Box 2 Newspaper Columns (Clippings)

Folder 1 Material for Ledger-Star "Sidelights" Column: 1976 General Assembly Session - 1971-1976
Folder 2 Ledger-Star Year-end Wrap-ups, 1966-1969
Folder 3 Ledger-Star Year-end Wrap-ups, 1970-1973
Folder 4 Miscellaneous Material for Year-end Wrap-ups, 1971-1973
Folder 5 Interview with Porter Hardy, Jr. for column; miscellaneous material re. Hardy, 1944-1972
Folder 6 Material for Entry in Slover Contest, 1975
Folder 7 Miscellaneous Columnists: Wrap-ups of 1975 General Assembly Session
Folder 8 Richmond Columnists: 1976 General Assembly Session
Folder 9 Virginian-Pilot Columnists: 1976 General Assembly Session

Box 3 State Publications: Election Results

Folder 1 1924-1929
Folder 2 1930-1938
Folder 3 1940-1949
Folder 4 1950-1952
Folder 5 1953-1955
Folder 6 1956-1957
Folder 7 1958-1959
Folder 8 1960-1963
Folder 9 1964-1965
Folder 10 1966-1969
Folder 11 1970-1973

Box 4 State Publications

Bound Manuals of the Senate and the House of Delegates, 1950-1974 (every two years)

Box 5 State Publications

Folder 1 Reference Book: Virginia House of Delegates, 1942
Folder 2 Acts of the General Assembly, Extra Session, 1969
Folder 3 Constitution of Virginia, 1971
Folder 4 Biographies of Members of the Senate and the House of Delegates, 1974
Folder 5 Virginia Senate: Procedures Manual
Folder 6 Senate: Rules, 1976
Folder 7 Lists of Members and Districts of General Assembly, 1976
Folder 8 General Assembly Committee Assignments, 1974
Folder 9 General Assembly Committee Assignments 1976
Folder 10 Addresses, Phone Numbers of General Assembly Members, 1974, 1976
Folder 11 Campbell Commission Report of Suffrage Laws, 1946
Folder 12 Virginia Election Laws, April 5, 1974
Folder 13 Virginia Election Laws, July 1, 1975
Folder 14 The Virginia State Capitol, 1974