Collection Summary

Creator: Mortimer M. Caplin
Title: Mortimer M. Caplin Collection
Accession: MSS 04-5
Description: 6 boxes; 3 linear feet
Location: Special Collections
Photograph Collection: View 14 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 14 objects
Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions.

Collection Description & Arrangement

This collection of memorabilia donated to Sepecial Collections during the months of Febraury to July of 2004 reflects Mortimer M. Caplin's life during his years as a student at the University of Virginia and as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. It consists primarily of awards, photographs, certificates, articles, interviews, and newspaper clippings.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 2004

Content List


Box 1 [oversized box]

  • Commission as Ensign, United States Navy, March 21, 1942.
  • Certificate of Satisfactory Service to Lieutenant Mortimer M. Caplin on active duty as member of the United States Naval Reserve during World War II, December 19, 1945.
  • White House Letter dated October 6, 1961 and pen used by President John F. Kennedy to sign  the account numbering legislation (heart of IRS computer system).
  • Two framed White House Letters dated October 17, 1962 and pens used by President John F. Kennedy to sign 1962 Revenue Laws H. R. 10620 and H. R. 10650.
  • Time Magazine, cover photograph, February 1, 1963.


Box 2 [oversized box]

  • United States Treasury Department Alexander Hamilton Award in recognition of Distinguished Leadership in the Treasury Department, July 9, 1964.
  • Tax Executive Institute Distinguished Service Award, September 20, 1964.
  • Certificate of the Commonwealth of Virginia appointing Mortimer M. Caplin member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, March 18, 1992.
  • George Washington University Resolution on Service on the Board of Trustees, May 21, 1992.
  • Certificate of the Commonwealth of Virginia appointing Mortimer M. Caplin member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, March 18, 1993.
  • The Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award Plaque, Washington, D. C., May 11, 1993.
  • Certificate of Service on University of Virginia Board of Visitors, March 2, 1997. 


Box 3 [oversized box]

  • Congressional Record Tribute to Mortimer M. Caplin on Caplin Pavilion Dedication, signed by Sen.  John Warner, June 12, 1997.
  • University of Virginia Law School Foundation Resolution on Service on Board of Trustees, November 3, 2000.
  • Congressional Record Tribute to Mortimer M. Caplin on Jefferson Medal in Law Award, Jul. 16, 2001.
  • Plaque: “A man of purpose”, Washington Business Journal, Vol. 22, No. 15, April 15-21, 2003.
  • Congressional record Tribute to Mortimer M. Caplin on University of Virginia Commencement Speech, signed by Sen. Jon Warner, October 17, 2003.
  • University of Virginia Law School: “Profiles in Philanthropy”.  Tribute to Mortimer M. Caplin...., n.d.



Box 4 [oversized box]

  • 1. Photograph of Robert Kennedy and letter to Mr. Caplin.  (Framed, signed)
  • 2. Photograph of Justice Earl Warren.  (Framed, signed)
  • 3. Photograph of Secretary Treasurer Douglas Dillon.  (Framed, signed)
  • 4. Photograph of U. S. Circuit Judge Armistead  Dobie (Framed, signed)
  • 5. Photograph of Mr. Caplin introducing Sen. Robert Kennedy at the AAAS Israel Congregation in Washington, D. C., May, 1964 (Framed) 
  • 6. Photograph of President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the Internal Revenue Service, with Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon and Mortimer Caplin, May 1, 1961.
  • 7. Photograph/ tribute to Mortimer Caplin.
  • 8. Photograph of President Lyndon B. Johnson and letter. 
  • 9. UVA boxing team member.  1935-1937.  (Framed)
  • 11. Caplin  UVA Board of Visitors Photograph (1992-1997)
  • 12. Five photographs of UVA Boxing Team.
    • a. Mortimer Caplin.  Southern Conference Championship  Boxing Team. 1936
    • b. Mortimer Caplin K. O., North Carolina, 1937
    • c. UVA boxers and two coaches with Elissa Landi at  M.G.M. Studio, Returning from National Intercollegiate  Boxing Championship in Sacramento, CA., 1937
    • d. UVA Boxing Team, 1934-1935
    • e. UVA First Year Boxing Team, 1933-1934.
  • 13. Photograph of 1952 Law School Faculty (framed)


  • Time, February 3, 1961, p.13
  • Newsweek, February 6, 1961, pp. 67-68
  • “IRS Boss Tries to Ease Nation’s Taxpayers into the Electronic Age”, Business Week, March 31, 1962, pp. 85-87   
  • “Vim and Vigah on the Frontier.  The President has Called for Vigor, and New Frontiermen Team in History Unless They Change Their Ways Quickly”, Sports Illustrated, August 13, 1962, pp. 16-19
  • Administrative Management, October 1962.   Cover page.
  • Time, The Weekly Newsmagazine, February 1, 1963
  • “Your Friendly Tax Collector”, Life, March 1, 1963, pp.69-74 [We photocopy from a photocopy, and it was incomplete]
  • “Mortimer Caplin: He Takes Your Money”, Post, The Saturday Evening Post, April 13, 1963, pp. 70, 72.
  • “Commencement 1964.  ‘Promises to Keep’”, Saint Michael’s Review, Saint Michael’s College Alumni News Quarterly, Summer 1964
  • The Washington World, March 30, 1964, p. 17
  • “What’s Wrong with Today’s Income Tax.  Interview with Mortimer Caplin, Just Retires as Nation’s Tax Collector,” U. S. News & World Report, August 17, 1964, pp. 66-70
  • Saint Michael’s College Bulletin, Vol. 61, No. 1, September, 1964.
  • “The Nation’s Former Tax Chief Discusses 10 Ways to Reduce Your Company’s Taxes”, Business Management, July 1965, pp. 38-43, 62.


Box 5 

Addendum [a]

  • 2002, June 3; Goodrich, George Herbert Judge - Note to Mortimer Caplin with photo of Prof. Caplin hitting a home run during the faculty-student softball game on May, 3, 1952.
  • 2005, June 10; Kennedy, Edward M. thank you note to Mortimer Caplin for giving the Erwin N. Griswold Lecture.  Congressional Record, Vol. 151, June 7, 2005, no. 74.
  • 1991; Nov. 18-19, 25; Internal Revenue Service Oral History Interview with Mortimer M. Caplin by Shelby L. Davis, IRS Historian and Kecia L. McDonald, Student intern.  93p. [Given to Special Collections by Law School Dean Robert C. Scott and added to Mr. Caplin Collection in 2011.
  • Mortimer Caplin.  College of Arts and Sciences 1937, School of Law 1940.  Presented to Mortimer M. Caplin with sincere appreciation from the University of Virginia. [Book given by Taylor Fitchett to Special Collections in Nov. 2011.  Signed by Mr. Caplin].

Photographs in Special  Collections Photograph Collection

  • 1944; 5 copy photographs of Mr. Caplin with peers during World War II in Normandy, France.  (5 photos, copies of originals).
  • 1945; Mr. Caplin as coach/ referee: Army-Navy Boxing Tournament, Plymouth, England.
  • 1956; Mr. Caplin Law School Professor.
  • 1962; Mr. Caplin at the Pentagon Gym, punching a boxing bag and jumping rope (2 photos, copies of originals)
  • 1962; Caplin, Mortimer with family: Ruth and the kids.  (Copy of original)
  • 1991; Caplin Thomas Jefferson Medal in Law
  • 1992-1997; Mr. Caplin UVA Board of Visitors photo.



Use Policy

Access There are no restrictions.
Use Restrictions There are no restrictions.
Preferred Citation
Unless otherwise stated, digital materials in our collections are available for use under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 License (CC-BY-4.0). For Use and Citation guidelines, see Special Collections Use Policy.