Statesman and Governor Bill Richardson Donates Papers to UT Austin’s Briscoe Center
AUSTIN, Texas — Bill Richardson, a former congressman, ambassador, Cabinet secretary and New Mexico governor, has donated his professional and political papers to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin.
Richardson, who has also served as an international negotiator and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on four occasions, announced the donation with a visit to UT Austin on March 9.
“I chose the Briscoe Center as the permanent home for my papers because it is one of the largest and most significant history research centers in the United States,” Richardson said. “The center has visionary leadership and an ambitious reach in its acquisitions, with ever-growing collections of national significance. I’m honored that my papers will reside in the same repository as those of such historically notable figures as Sam Houston, Walter Cronkite, James Farmer and Henry B. González.”
For more than 30 years, Richardson has led a distinguished public service career as a U.S. congressman (1983–97), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1997) and secretary of energy (1998–2001) under President Bill Clinton. As a diplomat and special envoy, Richardson successfully won the release of hostages and American servicemembers in North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan. As governor of New Mexico (2003–11), he helped move the state forward in several important areas including education, transportation, health care, immigration and environmental protection. Richardson ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008.
“I’m delighted that Gov. Richardson has chosen the Briscoe Center as the home for his papers,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “The Richardson papers cover the career of this internationally known, groundbreaking public servant. I am also pleased that Gov. Richardson has expressed his strong interest in a continuing relationship with the center and the university community. I look forward to benefitting from his advice and support.”
The Richardson papers include annotated remarks from throughout his career; news clipping files; correspondence, campaign documents and materials related to his 2008 run for president; dossiers on select political issues; memos, negotiation transcripts and travel documents from diplomatic missions; photographs; audio and video recordings; digital files; ephemera; and research materials related to books he has published. The papers will be accessible to researchers once they are processed and cataloged.
“UT Austin is a global university, and the Briscoe Center’s acquisition of Gov. Richardson’s papers is one more confirmation of that,” said Bill Powers, president of the university. “I’m heartened that figures of international importance like Bill Richardson increasingly see UT’s Briscoe Center as the best home for their archives.”
“We expect the Richardson papers to grow over the next decade as more material becomes available,” said Carleton. “The governor is keen to build upon this newly established relationship with the university, connecting with scholars and students on important political and global issues.”