Bernie Sanders‘ successful tenure as Mayor of Burlington in Vermont is codified and contained in 30 boxes kept at the University of Vermont library. The “Bernard Sanders Papers” are housed in the special collections department at UVM, maintained by perspicacious — and suddenly overworked — university librarians. What was once a mostly dormant bunch of documents has become hot type, as the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders has fired the imaginations and passions of an increasing number of supporters.
Bernie Sanders’ 30 boxes also works as a nearly perfect metaphor for the difference between him and the front runner he’s chasing, Hillary Clinton. Whereas Sanders’ far smaller cache of documents is neatly stored and freely accessible, Hillary Clinton’s massive email dump — famously from her personal server — is wearying in its size and full of (necessary) redactions. It’s as if Bernie’s 30 boxes stand as a shining example of his message’s simplicity, transparency and even old school values. (That the Sanders record lives on tangible paper, not digital servers, gives a sense of weight to the cache — though in 2015 digital/paper difference should be a moot point.) In any case, it’s suspected by some Vermonters that Bernie’s 30 boxes have drawn the attention of his opponents. SevendaysVT thinks some Hillary Clinton operatives have been snooping around in Bernie’s boxes.