The Center on the American Governor has prepared this preliminary inventory of the status of archives and other collections of gubernatorial records in the 50 states with two objectives in mind. The more immediate is to assist current researchers with interest in specific states or governors but the second is equally important: To promote the future of gubernatorial studies by encouraging consideration of changes in preservation practices that would ensure greater maintenance of, and access to, the material necessary to fully portray, analyze and compare any particular gubernatorial administrations.
This inventory, which the Center believes to be the first of its kind, was compiled by Melissa Jane Kronfeld and Donald Linky. The objective description of each state’s current practices is supplemented by their subjective assessments of the material they found, with special attention to its online accessibility. While they identify numerous resources across the country for valuable information about past and present governors, they also foundno uniformity to the way in which gubernatorial records are collected and maintained. Not only do standards and procedures vary from one state to the next but they are also applied inconsistently within many states, resulting in dramatically differing treatment of one governor’s administration from those of his or her predecessor and successor.
A complete introduction, describing varying state standards and practices, including best practices, is available here.
Inventory of Gubernatorial Archives and Records
• State-by-State, listed alphabetically
Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) has an extensive digital archive with a search option that allows you to look for documents, images and other materials pertaining to the Office of the governor. The excellent search tool provides thumbnail images of relevant sources for prior governors. A search for holdings related to Governor George Wallace (1963-1967; 1971-1975; 1975-1979; 1983-1987), for example, identified a total of 233 items, including 133 Photographs; 33 Negatives (Photographic); 21 Correspondence; 14 Group Portraits; 5 Telegrams; 5 Studio Portraits; 4 Speeches; 3 Copy Prints; 2 Fliers (Printed Matter…; and 2 Leaflets. The materials include such historically important documents as the Governor’s May 13, 1963 statement reacting to President Kennedy’s sending federal troops to deal with unrest relating from civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham. The site also provides a ‘My Favorites’ folder to allow users to bookmark online materials of special interest. Overall, this site appears to have one of the most extensive digital collections and be one of the best-designed state archival sites.
Alabama State Archives
The Alabama State Archives also has a special online exhibit called “Lurleen Burns Wallace: From Childhood to Alabama’s Governor” which contains 13 photographs from the life of Alabama’s first female Governor. (Governor Lurleen Burns Wallace (1967-1968))
Alabama Mosaic, sponsored by Auburn University, allows searches for documents pertaining to the Office of the governor across twenty different digital collections including the ADAH (see above), the Alabama public library system and more than a dozen Alabama based universities.
The Alaska Public Library System
The Alaska Public Library System maintains non-digitized state archives including, selective letters, 1824-1826, concerning the Atka Division from the correspondence of Governors General, communications received with translations; Governor George A. Parks papers, ca. 1976-1981; Governor Lyman E. Knapp papers, ca. 1889-1894; Papers of Alfred P. Swineford, Governor of District of Alaska, and Agnes Swineford Shattuck, 1885-1931; Personal correspondences of the Governor Scott Bone Family; Governor A. P. Swineford Papers, 1869-1916; Memorabilia, invitations to Gala, Governors tea, dinner honoring governors, flag raising program, Governor’s Legacy Dinner videos, 2009 as well as a photograph collection that includes individual and group portraits; government activities, from 1959 on; Official portraits and views of Territorial Governors; the Governor’s mansion in Juneau and Photographic portraits of John Weir Troy (1868-1942), Governor of the Alaska Territory, portraits of prominent Alaska politicians and businessmen, and photographic images of peace negotiations between Sitka and Chilkat clans mediated by Territorial offices.
Alaska’s Digital Archives
Alaska’s Digital Archives maintains digitized archival material for the state. A search for “Governor” yielded pictures (for example, “Special license plates identify autos of the governor and members of Alaska’s congressional delegation. The Governor is presented the license plate by Dana Ingram of the Department of Revenue, 1959” and “Herbert Hoover addresses an audience. President Harding and Governor Bone stand behind”), memorabilia (including a pamphlet of speech “By Ernest Gruening, Governor of Alaska, 1939-1953. Alaska the United States Colony Keynote address Alaska Constitutional Convention University of Alaska, College, Alaska, November 9, 1955”), video clips (“Title frame reads: “Opening remarks of Governor Egan addressing a joint session of the Alaska Legislature”. Governor Egan evokes laughter and applause with his remarks; 45-second film clip, color/sound”) and a few documents, including reports, inaugural initiations and letters. User friendly website with a wealth of material pertaining to Alaska governors and other subjects.
The Arizona Memory Project
The Arizona Memory Project maintain digitized archival material including executive orders from the Governor, (695 results), publications produced by Arizona territorial and state agencies (2035 results), state archives, including agency records from boards, commissions and departments, as well as executive, legislative and judicial branches from 1863 to the early 1990s and local records from county and city governments from 1863 to the 1940s (82 results). The digital library also includes numerous photo collections that can be searched thought for those pertaining to the Governor. Overall about 4,000 digital entries – the vast majority official documents – are archived online. Collections are also cross-referenced by format, year, and topic enhancing the ability to search for relevant material. Good, easy to use website.
Arizona State Library
The Arizona state library maintains the official documents of the state including the full text of Executive Orders from 1965 to the present and an online photograph database with over 600 photos pertaining to the office of the governor. The Library also has the collected papers of Governor Ernest W. McFarland (in office 1955-1959); James McClintock; Governor George Hunt (in office 1911-1919, 1923-1929, 1931-1933); Governor Louis Hughes (in office 1893-1896) and Governor Dan Garvey (in office 1948-1951) in their manuscript collection.
Arizona State University
ASU Archives houses an extensive collection of non-digitized government documents.
The Arkansas Studies Institute
The Arkansas Studies Institute building (ASI) is a joint project between the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) located in Little Rock’s River Market District and is the state’s largest free-standing facility dedicated to the study of Arkansas. The ASI building houses the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture. Within ASI researchers may access papers of seven Governors, portions of which have been digitized.
The ASI building is also home to the Butler Center’s Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, an online source of information profiling the state’s heritage.
CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
This site provides a research portal for information and documents on Arkansas governors, including Govs. Thomas McRae (1921–1925) and Bill Clinton (1979-1981, 1983-1992).
UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
Carl Bailey (1937-1941); Winthrop Rockefeller (1967-1971); Dale Bumpers (1971-1975); Frank White (1981-1983); and Jim Guy Tucker (1993-1996).
University of Arkansas Special Collections
The University of Arkansas non-digitized collections include the papers of Governors Jeff Davis (1901-1907), Charles Hillman Brough (1917-1921), Sid McMath (1949-1953), Orval Faubus (1955-1967), and David Pryor (1975-1979)
University of Arkansas Digital Collections
Documents pertaining to the office of the governor can be searched for on the University of Arkansas digital collections. The collection includes a little more than 20 pieces of archival material for the governor including newspaper clippings, photos, the text of speeches and messages, and well as political and campaign memorabilia
The University of Central Arkansas Government and Politics Collections
The University of Central Arkansas has the papers of Governor Ben Laney (1945-1949) including “political papers, correspondence, speeches, photographs, personal correspondence, campaign issues, U.S. savings bond sales during world War II, Civil Rights issues, and many other important topics [from] 1942-1970” as well as an archive of non-digitized photos that has entries for three Governors: Jeff Davis (1901-1907), Elisha Baxter (1873-1874) and Powell Clayton (1868-1871)
The Arkansas History Commission
The Arkansas History Commission has the non-digitized papers of Calvin Comins Bliss Joseph Robinson (1913-1913), Ozro Hadley (1871-1873), William Savin Fulton (Gov. of AK territory, 1835-1836), Uriah Rose; Tom Rerral; James Sevier (1836-1840); Harvey Parnell (1928-1933), Henry Rector (1860-1862), and Harris Flanagin (1862-1864), the family bible of Elisha Baxter (1873-1874) and William Kavanaugh Oldham (1913-1913) plantation records.
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas website has a listing of every Governor with his official portrait and biographical information as well as links to further research.
California State Archives
Legislation enacted in 1988 now provides for the management and retention of Governors’ Records in California by the State Archives. This legislation added gubernatorial records to the California Public Records Act, including bill files, press releases, speech files, and writings related to applications for clemency or extradition. Most of these records are open to the public as soon as the governor leaves office, but a governor may restrict all other records for up to 50 years or the death of the Governor, whichever is later. Prior to this legislation, California Governors were required to preserve only a small group of records that were considered to be “public”. Most Governors, though not all, deposited these records at the State Archives. The first comprehensive collection of Governor’s records came to the State Archives in 1953 after Governor Earl Warren (1943-1953) left California for the United States Supreme Court, and voluntarily donated an unprecedented amount of his gubernatorial records to the State Archives. The Records of the Governor’s Office finding aid identifies the deposits made by each governor from 1849–1975 and is available in the California State Archives Research Room.
The Secretary of State maintains the State Archives, which holds the official non-digitized Governor’s papers. The Collection includes the collected paper of every Governor from 1959 to 1991, with the exception of Pat Brown (1959-1967) (at the University of California at Berkeley); Jerry Brown (1975-1983, 2011) (at the University of Southern California); Ronald Reagan (1967-1975) (at the Presidential Library); and George Deukmejian (1983-1991) (held by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University).
The Online Archive of California
The Online Archive of California provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 150 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California campuses. Most material is non-digital, but a few documents have been published digitally. Archival material in California is extensive and includes official government documents, portraits, photos, newspaper clippings and other types of non-digitized personal and administrative documents. For example, Governor’s Office Records 1849-1974 (“Major collections of administrative records are lacking for all governors except Hiram Johnson, Pardee, Olson, and Brown; Haight, Markham, Warren and Knight”), Governor Culbert Levy Olson (1939-1943) letters to Fulmer Mood, 1941 June 18/July 24; Governor Jerry Browns (1975-1983, 2011) initial reflection committee records and the collected papers of Goodwin Knight (1953-1959); the official Papers of the Governors of Alta California, 1804-1846; Messages of Governor Edmund G. Brown (1959-1967) to the legislature of the state of California, 1961-1966; William Irwin papers, 1848-1877; Warren (Earl) Papers 1924-53, Portraits of California Governor James N. Gillett and his son, 1900-1915 (this list is not exhaustive). Excellent website.
The University of California at Los Angeles Oral History Project
The UCLA Oral History Project has a series of five interviews chronicling the life and career of Governor Ronald Reagan (1967-1975), including one with his brother. Unlike other interviews on the website, these are not available for downloading and transcripts are not published online
The Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley
The Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley has a non-digitized collection of interviews from the Ronald Reagan’s (1967-1975) years in the Office of the governor.
The University of California at Los Angeles Digital Archives
The UCLA Digital Archives has a digitized collection of campaign literature from 1908-1939, with some material available from 1940 and 2000. A search for “Governor” yielded 54 photos.from its archive of the Los Angeles Times photographs, with over 5,000 pictures from a full 3 million sources online. Searches for individual Governors also yielded results.
The California State Library
The California State Library maintains the official government documents of the state. The Library has announced its desire to digitized the documents – a long term goal for the state library system – but has yet to do so. A listing of governors with biographical information, a picture, and the text of some speeches, are available at the Library’s “Governors’ Gallery.”
The University of Southern California Digital Library
The USC digital library has a digitized photo collection with over 500 pictures pertaining to the office of the governor
The University of Southern California Library
The USC Library maintains the non-digitized papers of Governor Jerry Brown (1975-1983, 2011), and the official state papers relating to the 1965 Los Angeles riots.
The Governor Gray Davis Digital Library
The Governor Gray Davis (1999-2003) Digital Library is apparently maintained by his current law firm, Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles. It includes a biography; summaries of his accomplishments in specific issue areas; online press releases; speeches; and a calendar of his recent and upcoming public events and media appearances. This site appears to be the only privately-sponsored site found for an individual governor.
The Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration
The Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration has an extensive non-digital archive of governors from 1861 to 1975. The websites provides a picture, biography and a detailed description of the available archives (reports, speeches, oral testimony, etc) related to each governor. For example, Goverbnor Alva Adams’ collection includes a picture of the Governor, a “Scope and Content Note (which reads in part, “The Alva Adams Collection comprises approximately 21 cubic feet of material spanning his terms from 1887-1889 and 1897-1899. There is also material from his several months as governor in 1905. Record series in the collection include extraditions and requisitions; correspondence; the Executive Record; reports; speeches and messages to the General Assembly; and a special series entitled “Oral Testimony in Recontest for Office of Governor”), a brief biography, a detailed bibliography of available archives, a “Series Descriptions” detailing the category or type or archival information available (which reads in part, “Executive Record: The Executive Record contains executive orders; appointments; legislative messages; pardons; extraditions and requisitions; honorary citations; and proclamations which were issued by Governor Adams. James Peabody’s (1903-1905) letter of resignation is also on record March 17, 1905; Extraditions and Requisitions: This series includes documentation concerning the surrendering of alleged criminals to a different jurisdiction for trial. Documentation may include the application for extradition, the warrant for arrest, and correspondence from the Attorney General’s office concerning the extradition; Correspondence…) and instructions on accessing the material from the state are also available on the site. Excellent website, easy to use.
The Colorado State University Library
The Colorado State University Library has a digital archive relating to Colorado’s agricultural policy that has some materials, including pictures, a few public documents and handwritten notes pertaining to the Governor.
The Connecticut State Library
The Connecticut State Library houses the archives of the Governors. The website provides a easy to use chart of every governor that includes, name, biography, portrait, dates of service, residence, political party and a PDF guide to archival records, which begin in 1817 with Oliver Walcott, Jr. The PDF guides are extremely detailed and explain what information is available and where it can be accessed in the library. Some documents (like handwritten notes, legislative acts or pictures) appear in the PDFs, although the archives are not digitized in full. The archive also includes images of the Web sites of recent governors as they appeared while they were in office. Excellent website, easy to use.
The University of Connecticut Oral History Office
The University of Connecticut Oral History Office has three interviews with Governors Ella Grasso (1975-1980), and William O’Neill (1980-1991), but they are not accessible online. Information for obtaining the interviews is available on the website.
Connecticut History Online
This is a digital collection of over 15,000 digital primary sources, together with associated interpretive and educational material. The four current CHO partners, the Connecticut Historical Society, Connecticut State Library, Mystic Seaport, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. represent three major communities – libraries, museums, and historical societies – who preserve and make accessible historical collections within the state of Connecticut. Their combined assets include book and periodical volumes, manuscript materials, photographs and graphics, oral histories, maps, artifacts, and broadsides. Now in its tenth year, CHO is embarking on a collaboration with the Encyclopedia of Connecticut History Online (ECHO) to serve the needs of scholars, K-12 and post-secondary teachers and students, genealogists, and the general public. Results for “Governor” included photos and official government documents.
The Delaware Public Archives
The Delaware Public Archives contains little digitized information on the governors other than basic biographical information and dates of service. For example, a search for Governor Nathaniel Mitchell contained the following description: “This Federalist served as the governor of Delaware between 1805-1808. He was born in Laurel in 1752, attended Old Christ Church, and is buried in this churchyard. Mitchell was commissioned as adjutant of militia 1775, promoted captain in 1776, and appointed brigade major in 1779. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress 1786-1788 and was a member of Delaware’s General Assembly 1808-1812.” Later Governors have brief descriptions of archival material including dates of material and types of material. Searches for certain types of Governor documents, like “emergency orders” or “coastal fisheries” allows researchers to see a limited description of the archival material available.
The Archives also has a small collection of 13“Historic Audio Selections”, three of which pertain to the Governor: Governor Bacon addresses the opening session of the 115th General Assembly (1949); Interview of former Governor Carvel by former Senator Roger Martin on voting problems (1996); Interview of former Governor Carvel by former Senator Roger Martin related to Carvel’s working relationship with Governor Bacon when Carvel was Lt. Governor (1996). The audio is available for downloading as an mp3.
The Archives additionally maintains an online digital exhibit entitled “100 stories” which chronicles, through photographs, the history of Delaware. There is not a search engine for the specific collections, and a researcher would be required to go through each picture individually via the website. One example included a photograph labeled, “To commemorate the opening of the new St. George’s Bridge in 1942, Governor Bacon and several other state dignitaries traveled in the first car across the new span.”
The Florida Memory Project
The Florida Memory Project, maintained by the State Library and Archives of Florida, is very comprehensive with provides detailed descriptions of available archival material, including over 163,000 digitized photographs from the Florida Photographic Collection. Each Governor is listed along with basic biographical information, relevant links, published materials and available archival material both at the state library and in other collections. The site is one of the few to include text profiles of major events in state history. The online catalog search option allows for categories of governor’s issues to be searched for, rather than just individual governors. Another excellent feature is text accompanying handwritten materials. Excellent website with attractive design and intuitive features for locating and viewing material.
The State Archives of Florida
The State Archives of Florida, part of the Division of Library and Information Services of the Florida Department of State, maintains the state’s official archives including the official records of the governor. Searching the Archives Online Catalog for governor yields catalog records for over 700 record series including reports, correspondences, proclamations, etc., from Florida’s first territorial governor to the present.
The Georgia State Archives
Georgia’s Virtual Vault, a section of the State Archives in the office of the Secretary of State, publishes extensive materials – including pictures and historical documents – that are fully digitized. A search for “Governor” revealed pictures, legislative documents, and diaries – all of which can be clearly viewed, in its entirety, online. Excellent website, easy to use.
The Digital Library of Georgia
The Digital Library of Georgia, maintained by the University System of Georgia, has a vast online collection that can be searched for documents and images pertaining to the office of the governor. The portal connects users to a million digital objects in more than 200 collections from 60 institutions and 100 government agencies. For example, a search for Governor “James Jackson” turned up 93 hits that included political cartoons and other historical media reports, official documents, photographs and letters. Categories of collections under the “Government and Politics” page – that includes diaries, photographs, newspapers and collected family papers – can also be searched for documents pertaining to the Office of the governor. The site also links to the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive comprised of over 67,000 fully searchable newspapers pages from 1847 to 1922. Excellent website, easy to use.
The Hawaii State Archives Digital Collection
The Hawaii State Archives Digital Collection has some information on governors, including names and dates of service. Government documents also can be searched for those pertaining to the office of the governor on the Hawaii State Archives Catalog page. All of the documents appear to be public record but none are digitized, although instructions for obtaining the documents are available. Note that access to the digital collections is currently limited, as indicated on the state archives homepage.
Idaho State Library
Government documents, letters and pictures relating to the governor are available in the digital archives of the Idaho State Library.
The University of Idaho
The University of Idaho has a digital archive that spans more than a dozen individual archives. A search for “Governor” yielded over 200 results, including pictures, government documents and media reports.
Idaho State Historical Society
Idaho State Historical Society maintains a limited digital collection. A search for “Governor” yielded 61 hits including government documents, transcribed oral histories and pictures that can be downloaded in PDF form. The documents are clearly labeled and solid descriptions of what the document contains accompany them.
Boise State University Archives
Boise State University maintains a digitized collection of 75 pictures of Governor Len Jordan (1950-1954) with descriptions selected from the Len B. Jordan Papers located in the Special Collections department at the Albertsons Library.
The University of Idaho
The University of Idaho maintains non-digitized archives and basic catalog for Governor’s C.A. Bottolfsen (1939-1941, 1943-1945), Brazilla W. Clark (1937-1939) and C. Ben Ross (1931-1937).
The Illinois State Archives
The Illinois State Archives has the digitized and non-digitized the official documents of the state.
The University of Illinois at Springfield
This is a gateway to a number of resources available at the University of Illinois at Springfield including special collections, regional archives, and digital collections. A search for “governor” returns results in a number of the collections.
University of Illinois at Springfield Oral History Database
Although not directly related to the governor, the University of Illinois at Springfield has created an oral history database of transcribed conversations with Illinois residents during 1971-1991. These transcribed conversations give insight into what the “common man or woman” in Illinois thought of the governor and, in some cases, their interaction with the governor – either as staff in the Office of or as a voter in a more specific situation. A search for “governor” from among the transcribed histories yielded numerous results.
Adlai Stevenson Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University
The Adlai E. Stevenson Papers document the public life of Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) as governor of Illinois (1949-1953), Democratic presidential candidate, and United Nations ambassador. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, writings, campaign materials, subject files, United Nations materials, personal files, photographs, and audiovisual materials on Stevenson’s career in law, politics, and diplomacy, primarily from his first presidential campaign until his death in 1965. There is an online finding aid to the collection, but no access to original source materials.
Indiana-Purdue University Library System
A fully digitized version of telegraphs sent to and from Governor Oliver P. Morton (1861-1867) during the Civil War are accessible from the Indiana-Purdue University Library System. 17 books are available for download in PDF form, but must be done so page by page. The books bear no description of what the telegraphs they contain but are chronologically assembled.
The Indiana Historical Society
The Indiana Historical Society maintains a digital database of pictures, documents, government and personal documents pertaining to the Office of the governor. A search for Governor yielded 348 results including, for example, documents and pictures.
The University of Iowa Libraries
The University of Iowa Libraries maintains a non-digitized archive of papers for Governor’s Clarke, George W. (1913 – 1917); Turner, Daniel (1931 – 1933); Herring, Clyde (1933 – 1937); Kraschel, Nelson (1937 – 1939); Blue, Robert Donald (1945 – 1949); Hoegh, Leo (1955 – 1957); Loveless, Herschel (1957 – 1961); Erbe, Norman (1961 – 1963); Hughes, Harold (1963 – 1969). Each Governor has listed a basic catalog of archival material and instructions for obtaining materials from the library. Documents include official government papers, personal papers, notes, photos, speeches, etc.
The Kansas Historical Society
The Kansas Historical Society has a digital archive called Kansas Memory. A search for “Governor” yielded over 1000 results including pictures (for example, one labeled, “300 Mile Race over New Santa Fe Trail: Date: May 26, 1913: Kansas. Seated in the Buick are the following individuals from left to right: M.P. Newton, O.M. Wilhite, Ralph Faxton, in the middle, Kansas Governor George H. Hodges, and Fred Trigg”), letters (for example, “A. J. Dyck to Arthur Capper: Date: April 23, 1918: Governor Arthur Capper of Topeka, Kansas, concerning the Third Liberty Loan drive and its impact on the German American community…) campaign literature (for example, “Ahead with Avery: Date: 1964: A campaign brochure for William Henry Avery, the 1964 Republican candidate for Kansas governor”), official government documents, telegrams, speeches and personal notes. The quality of the documents and their descriptions are excellent and the website is user friendly.
Territorial Kansas is a digitized repository of historical documents maintained by the Kansas State Historical Society and the University of Kansas. Archival material is available for territorial Governors Andrew H. Reeder (1854-1855); Daniel Woodson ; Wilson Shannon (1855-1856); John White Geary (1856-1857); Frederick Perry Stanton (1857); Robert John Walker (1857); James William Denver (1857-1858); Hugh Sleight Walsh (1858); Samuel Medary (1858-1860) and George Monroe Beebe (1860). Documents include official reports, letters, photographs and speeches. Good website, easy to use, excellent descriptions. Entries also utilize “tags” or “keywords” which appear at the bottom of each listing, allowing the researcher to cross-reference content.
The Kansas State Historical Society
The Kansas State Historical Society also maintains a non-digitized archive of Governors starting with Robinson, Charles (1861-1863); Carney, Thomas (1863-1865); Crawford, Samuel Johnson (1865-1868); Green, Nehemiah (1868-1869); Harvey, James Madison (1869-1873); Osborn, Thomas Andrew (1873-1877); Anthony, George Tobey (1877-1879); St. John, John Pierce (1879-1883); Glick, George Washington (1883-1885); Martin, John Alexander (1861-1889); Woodring, Harry Hines (1931-1933); Huxman, Walter Augustus (1937-1939); Schoeppel, Andrew F.; Carlson, Frank (1939-1943); Hagaman, Frank L. (1943-1951); Hall, Fred (1955-1957); Anderson, John, Jr. (1961-1965); Docking, Robert B.; Bennett, Robert F. (1967-1979) with a standard finding aid for the Governors serving in those periods and instructions on how to obtain the materials from the Historical Society.
Columbia University Oral History Project
The Columbia University Oral History Project maintains non-digitized interviews (called “Reminiscences”) with Governor Alfred Landon (1933-1937) from 1968.
The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives maintains an online archive of governors from 1996-2006 that were, at one time, on the websites of the respective governors. Included are text, audio and images on the following categories: inaugurations, the Kentucky Derby, photographs, media events and conference, press releases, speeches and website snapshots.
The Kentuckiana Digital Library
The Kentuckiana Digital Library includes images of official Governor portraits, the Governor’s mansion and the governor going about the business of the state. Also included are newspaper clippings, but without descriptions, a researcher would have to go through the newspapers individually to find information. The library also maintains the “Governor’s official correspondence file – executive journals, 1792-1808”. The site also provides access to the University of Kentucky’s Oral History Project. Interviews with audio and transcript are available for Governor Edwards T. Breathitt (1963-1967). The Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project database has interviews with Governors Wendell Ford (1971-1974) and Julian Carro (1974-1979). Simple layout and easy to use website.
The University of Louisville Oral History Project
The University of Louisville Oral History Project has a non-digitized interview with Governor Bert Combs (1959-1963) (15 minutes).
Kentucky Historical Society
The Kentucky Historical Society has a digital archive that includes approximately 200 items related to the Office of the governor including official Governor portraits, photos, some primary documents including reports and speeches as well as extensive photos of the Governor’s mansion.
The University of Louisville Digital Archives
The University of Louisville Digital Archives has a database of pictures and portraits of state governors. Numerous primary documents turned up in a search for “Governor” in the online catalog, but without descriptions, a researcher would have to go through each result individually. Good resource for images.
Louisiana State Archives
The Louisiana State Archives is a division of the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office mandated to identify, collect, preserve and make available those records and artifacts of the state’s history. Its Governors Collection includes an excellent multimedia archive of video clips converted from films and newsreels of governors going back to the 1930s, including stump speeches of colorful governors such as Huey Long (1928-1932) and Earl Long (1939-1940) (e.g. Hearst Metrotone News: “Death Plot Can’t Faze Huey Long- The Kingfish Takes Charge on Baton Rouge Front as Louisiana Seethes”). This is an excellent, interesting site.
Louisiana State Library
State documents pertaining to the Office of the governor are available through the State Library. A PDF catalog that lists official available documents since 1948 can be downloaded and instructions for obtaining archival material from the Library is available on the website.
The Louisiana Library System
The Louisiana Library System maintains a digital archive of historical documents that can be searched for those pertaining to the Office of the governor. A search for “Governor” yielded thousands of results, but those that could be considered relevant required searching through the results page by page. Successful hits included public opinion surveys on recent governors, photos and official government documents.
Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office
The Louisiana Secretary of State’s webpage includes brief, information biographies of the state’s governors from 1877 to the present.
The Long Legacy Project
A separate website is maintained for Huey Long by the Long Legacy Project through which pictures and information regarding his time as Governor (1928-1932) can be accessed.
Tulane University maintains the non-digitized archival papers of Governors David Treen Baron Hector de Carondelet (1792-1795), William Charles Cole Claiborne (1802-1815), Manuel Gayoso de Lemos (1797-1799), Luther E. Hall (1918), Sam Houston Jones (1939-1968), Francis Tillou Nicholls (1847-1893), and the William B. Wisdom Collection on Huey Pierce Long. Instructions for obtaining archival material from the University is available on the website.
Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University maintains the political papers of family members related to prominent Louisiana politicians; of particular interest are those pertaining to the Long family including Governors Huey Long (1928-1932) and Earl Long (1939-1940). Standard finding aids are available for download as PDF along with instructions on how to obtain the non-digitized material from the University.
The Columbia University Oral History Project
The Columbia University Oral History Project maintains non-digitized interviews (called “Reminiscences”) with Governor Carl Elias Milliken (1917-1921) from 1950.
The Maine State Library
The Maine State Library is the official repository for non-digitized State agency publications. A search for “Governor” among the official government documents yielded 430 results on all topics, including jobs, fisheries, energy, health, transcripts of hearings and speeches, legislative minutes, etc. The Library maintains a non-digitized archive for Governor Percival Proctor Baxter (1921-1925). “The Baxter Collection includes the personal papers, letters, and scrapbooks left to the Maine State Library by former Governor Percival Proctor Baxter (1876-1969). Subjects emphasized are Maine state government, conservation, and the history and development of Baxter State Park. The collection has its own special catalog as well as a printed guide. Percival Proctor Baxter was Governor of Maine (1921- 1925), a conservationist, and a preserver of Maine’s mountains and forests through his gifts of the lands which now comprise Baxter State Park.” Instructions for obtaining material from the library are available on the website.
The Maine Historical Society
The Maine Historical Society maintains and online database of archival material that can be searched through for documents pertaining to the office of the governor. It is a work in progress. Among the digitized documents a search for “Governor” yielded 901 records including, 186 object records, 532 archive records, 183 photo records. Objects consist mainly of memorabilia from campaigns, pictures of furniture used by the Governor and a drawing. The catalog of objects has more descriptions for objects whose images have not yet been uploaded, but even without the image, a researcher can still find out what is in the collection. Archive records have descriptions but no images yet uploaded yet. Archive records are document sets from governors across the United States and must be searched through for relating directly to Maine. Items are clearly labeled with good descriptions. Excellent website, easy to use.
The Maine Memory Network
The Maine Memory Network, also run for the Historical Society, is a repository for digitized resources. A special exhibit of Maine’s first governor has 13 records including documents and pictures. A search for “Governor” yielded 524 records including pictures, letters, handwritten speeches, and even troop instructions from 1721 accompanied by a full transcript of the document available for download as PDF.
The University of Maryland
The University of Maryland has the non-digitized papers of Governor Spiro T. Agnew (1967-1969). The catalog indicates that all the documents are pertaining to Agnew’s interaction with the University during the student riots of the late 1960s. It also maintains an archive of papers for governors William Preston Lane (1947-1951), Marvin Mandel (1969-1979), Theodore r. McKeldin (1951-1959), Albert Ritchie (1920-1935), Thomas Swann (1866-1869), Edwin Warfield (1904-1908), Philips Lee Goldsborough (1912-1916), William Thomas Hamilton (1880-1884), John Howard (1788-1791) and Thomas Pratt (1845-1848). Finding aids are available for download and instructions on obtaining the materials from the university are available online.
The Maryland State Archives
The Maryland State Archives has digitized and non-digitized resources available. A search for “Governor” yielded more than 1.6 million results, including official government documents, press clippings and correspondence, most of which are available for viewing or download directly from the website. Individual pages are maintained for the governors in the archive’s “biological series,” but the governors must be searched for individually and no “governor” page with a list of governors could be located. Each page typically has a “Biography” section; “Images” a collection of digitized and non-digitized “Sources” (including links to books, articles, official government documents and correspondence from the governor’s time in office); and “Related Collections” (which includes information regarding archived materials held in Maryland where available). In general the website is easy to navigate, but search parameters are limited, material is bountiful and sifting through it is a big task.
A separate archive for governors from 1634-1867 is maintained by the State Archives at www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/sc2600/sc2685/html/govintro.html. Not every Governor has an individual page (like that described above) and those that do have limited information, available in either a digitized or non-digitized form. The Archives also maintains an online museum with ongoing special exhibits, some directly relating to the office of the governor at www.msa.md.gov/msa/educ/exhibits/html/exhibit.html#exhibo
The Maryland Historical Society
The Maryland State Historical Society maintains an online archive of over 800,000 pictures arranged by subject matter, though the majority are not directly related to governors.
The Society also maintains a non-digitized archive of family papers from two governors: at www.mdhs.org/museum/collections.html Henry Lloyd (1885-1888) and Charles Carnan Ridgely (1816-1819). There is no finding aid, but a search for “Governor” in the library’s catalog yielded 919 results from Maryland’s history as far back as the end of the 18th century. Archival material is available for governors from other states as well. An initial search found material for “Maine”, North Carolina” and “Virginia.” Although the catalog is non-digitized it is easy to use and the archival material has excellent descriptions. Information for obtaining the document from the Historical Society’s library is available online.
The Massachusetts State Library Digital Collections
The State Library digital collections maintain state documents dating back to the 1600s. A search for “Governor” yielded thousands of results. The vast majority of the documents are Executive Orders from the office of the governor. The documents range from the years 1663 to 2010. The library’s open source program, “DSpace”, stores documents that have already been digitized, but the project is a work in progress. Good website, easy to navigate.
Jonathan Belcher Collection, Princeton University
Princeton University maintains the Jonathan Belcher Collection, the colonial governor of Massachusetts (1730-1741), as well as New Jersey (1747-57). “The papers consist of correspondence, articles, clippings, and copies of original materials from Belcher collections held at Princeton and elsewhere. Topics covered include Belcher’s contributions to the foundations of the college library, the preservation of the Belcher Mansion in Elizabeth, and representations of Belcher in portraits and prints.”
The Massachusetts Archives
The Massachusetts Archives maintains the Massachusetts Archives Collection (also known as the “Felt Collection”). This collection (covering 1629-1799) “includes original records of the governor, Council, General Court, secretary, and treasurer, and is an important source of records for early Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire… Topics covered by the collection range from international affairs to local and individual concerns. Records reflect the activities of the governor and General Court within the framework of the British empire, focusing on Massachusetts’s relations with London, other British colonies, the French colonial government in Canada, and the Indian nations in New England and New York. They document the prosecution of military actions and negotiations for peace. Treasury records, census schedules, tax lists, judicial actions, and legislative orders provide the opportunity to study the administrative functions of the colonial/provincial government. Additionally, many volumes trace the General Court’s involvement with localities and individuals. Documents range from tavern licenses, divorce petitions, and land grants to records pertaining to the compensation for the loss of a horse or the siting of a meeting house. The collection also documents the lives of significant persons.” The collection is divided into 328 numbered volumes arranged loosely by topic. A searchable database/index for the material is available online.
The Massachusetts Archives also holds a large number of other gubernatorial records from the state, particularly from the 19th and 20th centuries. These records are searchable via ArchiveGrid.
The Massachusetts Historical Society
The Massachusetts Historical Society has an online archive a materials relating to the Office of the governor. A search for “Governor” yielded over 12,000, but the vast majority were from the digitized papers of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who did not serve as Governor, but did represent the state in other affairs. Results pertaining to the Governor were less extensive and must by search for from within the mass of Adams’ papers. Some successful results included such an image of Governor William Dummer, painted on a piece of copper from the 18th century and “Authorization of payment from Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard to Andrew Oliver, 10 December 1766”. Overall, the website is limited for Massachusetts governors.
Northeastern University maintains the collected papers of Governor John Volpe (1960-1962, 1964-1968). They are not available to view online, though a finding aid is available and instruction for obtaining archival material from the University can be accessed through the website.
The State Library
The State Libarary also maintains a massive collection of government documents online, grouped together by topic, including “Public Officers of the Commonwealth” (which includes images of public officer holders,) “Election statistics” (dating back from 1890) and the “Massachusetts Registers” (volumes of lists of those who served in any public office or had any public role in the state). But there is no separate search engine for these documents, so a researcher would have to use the library catalog, which includes everything in the library across all collections, not just those specific to government documents. Researchers must go to each individual topic and search for materials pertaining to the office of the governor. Good website, lots of materials, but a bit cumbersome.
The University of Massachusetts Special Collections
The UMass special collections have very limited digital and non-digitized archival material covering Governor Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893) which includes a series of political cartoons featured in the press regarding Butler, seven of which can be viewed online.
Zimmer Index and Digitalization Project
The State library also maintains the Zimmer Index and Digitalization Project, a card index of current events from 1878. Events covered include: “Obituaries (the largest topic covered), Political conventions, platforms, and events, Speeches and letters of prominent persons, especially from Massachusetts, Dedications of memorials and buildings, news of taxation, strikes, riots, wars, floods, etc, Visits from foreign dignitaries”as well as articles from all the local Boston papers as well as papers from surrounding cities and states. The collection has 200,000 digitized cards. A search for “Governor” yielded 272 results that included material on “appointments and transfers” and Governor’s commission on a variety of topics, and events such as “Bradford vetoes death penalty” and order for martial law. The vast majority of cards were pertaining to Governor Edward King (1979-1983).
University of Michigan Historical Collections
University of Michigan historical collections contains the papers of 34 governors including Stevens T. Mason, Frank Murphy, G. Mennen Williams, George Romney, William Milliken, James Blanchard, and John Engler. Finding aids are available, but non of the collections are digitalized.
The University of Michigan Bentley Image Bank
The Bentley Image Bank has over 100 results for “Governor” most of which are individual photo portraits (some of the older pictures are hand drawn illustrations) of the Governor. There are a handful of “action” shots, which include, “Governor Frank Murphy with his Law-and-Order Committee, February 1937” and “Arrival of the Honorable Chase S. Osborn, governor of Michigan, and the Honorable John Ross, Lieutenant governor of Michigan, at the Capitol preceding inauguration, January 1, 1911”. The website is limited in use, but very easy to use.
The Michigan Digital State Archives
The Michigan digital state archive maintains an online database of every governor’s official portrait or photo. A link to where more archival material, if available, is also provided. Material is limited and most links lead to non-digitized archives (from a university or state library collection).
The Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society maintains archival material relating to the office of governor. A list of all the governors along with basic biographical information is provided in addition to links for “personal papers” and “official governor’s records” where available. Finding aids and information for obtaining the material from the Society is available online. A search for “Governor” in the Society’s catalog yielded over 1,291 non-digitized results. Many of the results were official documents. Other results included oral histories, objects, notes and collected papers. Information for obtaining materials from the Historical Society is available on the website. Descriptions are detailed and the website is easy to use.
The University of Minnesota Library
The University of Minnesota library maintains non-digitized archival material for Governors Harold LeVander (1967-1971) and John Sargent Pillsbury (1876-1882). The LeVander collections contains 14 volumes of law school notebooks from the Governor’s time at the University of Minnesota Law School and Pillsbury paper contains correspondences and land dealing primarily with the University. Finding aids and information for obtaining the material from the University is available online.
The Minnesota Digital Library
The Minnesota Digital Library maintains an online database of archival material. A search for “Governor” yielded 139 results, many of which were digital copies of official government documents. Other results included old photographs of past governors and letters.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has a digitized collection of photos from photographer Winifred Moncrief that includes photos pertaining to the inauguration of Governor Paul B. Johnson (1964-1968). Searching the Mississippi Archives online catalog yielded almost 2,100 results that include 265 digitized resources made up of primarily photographs (from the Moncrief collection) but also some audio of speeches and a few government documents. Non-digitized results include archival materials for many of the state governors including letters, personal papers and family papers starting in the late 1700s and ending in the 1980s. The archives also maintain a large collection of non-digitized papers from the Confederate era. Information for obtaining the material from the archives is available online. The descriptions are well written and the search engine is user-friendly, but little material can be accessed online.
The Mississippi Digital Library
A search for “Governor” in the archives of The Mississippi Digital Library yielded over 300 results including photographs, campaign literature, political cartoons, letters,and transcripts of oral histories (although most are not directly related to the Governor). The website is easy to use and the descriptions are excellent.
The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi maintains a special collection of non-digitized archival material that includes, Inaugural addresses of the governors (1817-1980); manuscript materials including papers for Governors Theodore G. Bilbo (1916-1920, 1928-1932) and Paul B. Johnson Jr (1964-1968)., the letters of Governors David Holmes (1809–1820, 1826), Gerard Chittocque Brandon (1825-1826, 1826-1832), Alexander G. McNutt (1838-1842), John Anthony Quitman (1835–1836, 1850–1851), Henry S. Foote(1852–1854), Ridgely C. Powers(1871-1874) , John Marshall Stones (1876-1882, 1890-1896), and the oral histories (part of the Mississippi Oral History Program) for Governor Ross R. Barnett (1960-1964) and First Lady Carroll Waller. Natives of Mississippi who worked with or encountered governors can also have their stories accessed from the oral histories main page. Information for obtaining archival material from the University is available online.
Delta State University
Delta State University maintains a few archival items relating to past Governor’s which includes the following collections: “Mississippi Governor’s Collection: This Collection contains a large photo of the governor’s staff during the tenure of Governor William “Bill” Waller. The collection also contains a pen with the governor’s name engraved on it”; “McLean, Mrs. Keith Dockery: This collection contains the writings of Mrs. Keith Frazier Somerville… She also documents her life, including the period that her father was the Governor of Tennessee” and “Valentine, Jonett Collection: The Jonett Valentine Collection contains… a pictorial history of the governor’s mansion.” The finding aid is a single Microsoft word page describing the collection, which is not very descriptive. In general this site is useful for learning what material from the university is available.
Jackson State University
Jackson State University has a handful of digitized documents pertaining to the Governor’s interaction with the University after a campus shooting in 1970s.
The Mississippi State Library
The Mississippi State Library maintains archival material and a search for “Governor” in the library catalog yielded 128 results, the majority being official government documents (such as speeches and reports). The collection is limited and non-digitized.
Missouri Digital Heritage
The Missouri Digital Heritage site maintains digitized archival material on six Governors: Benjamin Gratz Brown (1871-1873); Claiborne Fox Jackson (1861); Hamilton Rowan Gambl (1861–1864); Joseph Washington McClurg (1869-1871); Thomas Clement Fletcher (1865-1869); and Willard Preble Hall (1864-1865). This ranks among the best websites reviewed.
The Missouri State University
The Missouri State University maintains a collection of “46 Photographs and three pages of reference material. Photographs are black and white, 8″ x 10″ of Missouri governors from 1820 to 1984.” The collections is non-digitized but information for obtaining the material from the university is available online.
The Southeast Missouri State University
The Southeast Missouri State University maintains one reel of archival information: “General correspondence of Missouri Governor Benjamin Gratz Brown, during his term as governor (1871-1873).” The collection is not-digitized but information for obtaining the material from the university is available online.
The Missouri State Library
The Missouri State Library maintains a limited collection of non-digitized archival material pertaining to the former governors. The collection includes the papers of Governor Sam Aaron Baker (1925-1929); the family Bible of Governor James Thomas Blair, Jr (1957-1961).; papers from Governor Christopher Bond (1973-1977, 1981-1985); items for Lt. Governor John A. Lee; Three Christmas cards sent by Governor Warren B. Hearnes (1965-1973) from 1964-1973; and an original copy of the 1896 book “Life and writings of Governor Charles Henry Hardin/by his wife Mary Barr Hardin”. User friendly website with excellent descriptions. Information for obtaining the material from the library is available online.
The Missouri History Museum
The Missouri History Museum maintains a digital collection of historical material. A search for Governor yielded 752 results which includes photographs (the majority are of Dick Gephardt), furniture, newspaper clippings, and historical documents. Good website, easy to use.
The State Historical Society of Missouri
The State Historical Society of Missouri maintains at least 18 volumes of The Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of The State of Missouri of which 10 are available for viewing online.
The Montana Historical Society’s Research Center
The Montana Historical Society’s Research Center maintains non-digitized archival material. A search for “Governor” in the society’s catalog yielded 691 results, the vast majority of which are official government documents, especially from the late 20th century. Also included, however, are photographs, collected papers, and original speeches. Information for obtaining the material from the Society is available online
The Montana Digital Archives
The Montana Digital Archives maintains the official government documents of the state archives. A search for Governor yielded over 800 results from various time periods, categories, and document types.
The Montana Memory Project
The Montana Memory Project has an online digital library with archival material and a search for Governor yielded 254 results from 1889-1962. Information pertaining directly to governors is limited and much of the material lacks descriptions and must be viewed for scope of content.
The Montana State Library
The Montana State Library maintains non-digitized archival material including, “Montana Governor’s Patronage Requests. Applications, letters, and petitions for patronage, 1900-1901”; The William Woodward Family Papers (1885-1936) which includes six personal letters from Governor John E. Rickards (1893-1897); and The Lewis W. Fenske, Sr. Letter collection (1925-1948) which contains a letter from Governor Sam C. Ford (1941-1949). Easy to use website, with good descriptions. Finding aids and information for obtaining the material from the library is available online.
The University of Montana
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana maintains a digital photo database that has two photos relating to former governors: “Governor John E. Erickson addressing a crowd at Bozeman, Montana, circa 1949” and “President Taft.”
The Nebraska State Historical Society
The Nebraska State Historical Society maintains the non-digitized archives of state governors from 1854-2005. Detailed finding aids are available for downloading and information for obtaining material from the Society is on the website.
The Nebraska Public Documents
The Nebraska Public Documents site maintains official digitized government documents – mostly agency reports – from 1891 to 1956. A search for Governor yielded over 800 results. Most of the documents are annual reports and speeches delivered before Congress. Website is user friendly and contains a wealth of official (but not personal) information.
Lincoln City Libraries of Nebraska
Nebraska’s Lincoln City Libraries maintain a non-digitized “vertical file” of over 1,300 newspaper clippings that features the following Governors: J. Sterling Morton (1858), Samuel McKelvie (1919-1923), Dwight Griswold (1941-1947), Val Peterson ([1947-1953), Robert Crosby (1953-1955), Victor Emanuel Anderson (1955-1959), Ralph Brooks (1959-1960), Dwight Burney (1960-1961), Frank Morrison (1961-1967), Norbert Tiemann (1967-197), J. James Exon (1971-1979), Charles Thone (1979-1983), Robert Kerrey (1983-1987), Kay Orr (1987-1991), and Ben Nelson (1991-1999). The library also has a microfilm reel with clippings about Governors Victor A. Anderson(1955-1959); Ralph G. Brooks (1959-1960); and Robert L. Cochran (1935-1941). Information for obtaining materials from the library is available.
The Nebraska Newspaper Project
The Nebraska Newspaper Project is an undertaking on behalf of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to digitize all local papers; the database currently runs up until 1923. The website has a wealth of material, a search for Governor yielded over 28,000 results. The results have no descriptions – they simply list the paper and the date – and to find material relevant to former governors a researcher would have to go through each PDF page individually.
The Nevada State Library and Archives
The Nevada State Library and Archives maintains the non-digital archival material of State governors from 1861-1999. A brief biography and detailed finding aids are available for viewing online and for download. Information for containing material from the state library and archives is available online. Good site and easy to use webpage.
The University of Nevada at Reno
The University of Nevada at Reno has non-digitized archival material relating to the Governor including: letters, papers, scrapbooks, reports and a transcript of an interview with the wife of Nevada governor (1915-1922) Emmet Derby Boyle (“Summary Interview by Grace Danberg. Recollections of household hardships in Virginia City, Nevada, and in the governor’s mansion in Carson City”). The website is easy to use but results pertaining to the Governor must be searched through. Descriptions are well written and instructions for obtaining material are available online. Note: Scattered among the documents is some archival material (one or two search results, mostly old, out-of-print books or speeches) for California, Wyoming, Virginia and Ohio.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas has non-digitized archival material and relating to the office of the governor including: “Ann Brewington’s correspondence regarding her sister Ida Brewington Pittman, wife of Vail Pittman, Governor of Nevada from 1945-51”; “Newspaper clippings of events that occurred and decisions made during [Governor E.P.] Carville’s time as governor of Nevada in 1941”; Governor’s Commission on Status of People” This collection is on the Commission on the Status of People which was formerly called Commission of the Status of Women, established in 1965 by Governor Grant Sawyer. Governor Mike O’Callaghan requested the Commission to investigate state laws that adversely affect Nevadans. The Commission was appointed from 1975 – 1977 and this collection contains the reports and a variety of documents pertaining to the Commission and several publications from other states concerning the status of women”; “Governor’s Conference on Nevada Libraries: Collection is comprised of a scrapbook pertaining to the Governor’s Conference on Nevada Libraries—correspondence re: funding and planning, newspaper clippings about available library services, copies of sample questionnaires for patrons and radio public service announcements”; “Scrapbook of Cathy List, wife of Nevada Governor Bob List , covering their years in the governor’s mansion, 1977-1980”; and “news clippings about Ida Brewington Pittman’s husband Vail, who was governor of Nevada 1945-1950. The collection also contains letters of condolences over Vail Pittman’s death, original speeches from the Vail Pittman Elementary School’s dedication, copies of resolutions, an inaugural invitation, some financial notes, travel papers, address lists, and notes about phone calls”. Detailed finding aids and information for accessing the material from the University is available online.
The Oral History Project at the University of Nevada at Reno
The Oral History Project at the University of Nevada at Reno has interviews with former governors, political staffers, family members and Nevadans who encountered governors or have reminisced about them. There is a wealth of information on the site.
The New Hampshire Secretary of State
The New Hampshire Secretary of State maintains the non-digitized archives of governors’ messages and letters. An alphabetized list of finding aids outlining the contents of the collection is available for download but there is no search engine available to enable a researcher to limit a search to archival material related to the office of the governor. Rather, each finding aid must be downloaded and read through individually.
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources website has a brief biography of State governors with their official portrait. There are no primary documents or archival material on this website.
The Maine State Archives
The Maine state archives maintains non-digitized archival volumes, called the “Felt Collection” from 1629-1799 that “includes original records of the governor, Council, General Court, secretary, and treasurer, is an important source of records for early Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire… Topics covered by the collection range from international affairs to local and individual concerns. Records reflect the activities of the governor and General Court within the framework of the British empire, focusing on Massachusetts’s relations with London, other British colonies, the French colonial government in Canada, and the Indian nations in New England and New York. They document the prosecution of military actions and negotiations for peace. Treasury records, census schedules, tax lists, judicial actions, and legislative orders provide the opportunity to study the administrative functions of the colonial/provincial government. Additionally, many volumes trace the General Court’s involvement with localities and individuals. Documents range from tavern licenses, divorce petitions, and land grants to records pertaining to the compensation for the loss of a horse or the sitting of a meeting house. The collection also documents the lives of significant persons.” The collection is divided by time period – Colonial Period (1629-1686), Intercharter Period (1686-1692), Provincial Period (1692-1774), Provincial Congresses (1774-1775), Revolutionary Period (1775-1780), Early Statehood Period (1780-1799) – and includes information on the governors from each period. A finding aid for the material and information for obtaining from the library is available online.
The University of New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire maintains non-digitized archives that include the administrative papers of the following Governors: David L. Morril (1824-1827); Samuel Dinsmoor (1831-1834); Henry Hubbard (1842-1844); Ralph Metcalf (1855-18577); Joseph A. Gilmore (1863-1865); Frederick Smyth (1865-1867); Stearns Onslow (1869-1871); Person C. Cheney (1875-1877); Benjamin F. Prescott (1877-1879); Natt Head (1879-1881); Charles H. Bell (1881-1883); Samuel W. Hale (1883-1885); Moody Currier (1885-1887); Samuel D. Felker (1913-1915) and Fred H. Brown (1923-1925) as well as some personal documents from Henry Brewer Quniby (1909-1911).
The New Hampshire Library
The New Hampshire Library maintains non-digitized archival material. A search for ‘Governor’ in the library catalog yielded 352 results, including official government documents, biographies and autobiographies and letters. The collection also had at least one listing for archival material pertaining to governors of Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Wisconsin, Louisiana and North Carolina (not all 352 results were viewed individually – this list is not exhaustive). Information for material from the library is available online.
The New Hampshire Historical Society
The New Hampshire Historical Society’s online catalog maintains non-digitized archival material. A search for Governor yielded 246 results including official documents, election documents, genealogies and ancestry’s of governors and their wives, letters and speeches. Search results have only titles and no descriptions. Information for obtaining documents from the historical society is available on the website.
Jonathan Belcher Collection, Princeton University
Princeton University maintains the Jonathan Belcher Collection, who served as Governor of New Hampshire (1730-1741) as well as the Massachusetts and New Jersey. “The papers consist of correspondence, articles, clippings, and copies of original materials from Belcher collections held at Princeton and elsewhere. Topics covered include Belcher’s contributions to the foundations of the college library, the preservation of the Belcher Mansion in Elizabeth, and representations of Belcher in portraits and prints.”
The New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management/New Jersey State Archives
The Division of Archives and Records Management for the state of New Jersey maintains the Images Collections, containing digitized copies of the oath of office signed by every Governor from 1790-2006 and the digitized minutes of Governor A. Harry Moore’s war cabinet from 1942-1944. Non-digitized resources includes limited archival material for governors from 1648-1947 and more extensive record holdings with online finding aids for Governor Alfred E. Driscoll (1947-1954); Governor Robert B. Meyner (1954-1962); Governor Richard J. Hughes (1962-1970); Governor William T. Cahill (1970-1974); Governor Brendan T. Byrne (1974-1982); Governor Thomas H. Kean (1982-1990); Governor James J. Florio (1990-1994); Governor Christine Todd Whitman (1994-2001); Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco (2001-2002) and Governor Jon Corzine (2006-2010). The site also maintains official government documents from 1667-1998.
Center on the America Governor, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
The Center includes online archives of sources relating to the careers of former Governors Brendan T. Byrne (1974-82), Thomas H. Kean (1982-90), James J. Florio (1989-94), and Christine Todd Whitman (1994-2001), including official documents, personal papers and lengthy interviews with the governors once out of office. The Byrne online collection includes materials copied from other sources, such as the New Jersey State Archives; Rutgers Alexander Library; Seton Hall University; the New Jersey Historical Society; and private holdings. The site includes biographical profiles; extensive videos with transcripts of colloquia, interviews and roundtable discussions; source documents; images; and essays relating to governors and issues they confronted during their administrations. The site also includes over 100 videotaped interviews with the governors’ staff and Cabinet members, legislative leaders, and business and civic leaders as well as analysis and research on the office of the governor in New Jersey and across the country.
Rutgers University, Alexander Library
University Archives and Special Collections at Alexander Library of Rutgers University holds extensive archives for Governor Brendan Byrne and congressional papers of Governor James Florio. Some of the Byrne collection has been digitized by the Eagleton Institute of Politics and is available at the Rutgers Program on the Governor Web site (above). The Byrne collection includes materials relating to his pre-gubernatorial career as a prosecutor and judge and other family items. Other materials at the Library, most of which are not available online, include approximately 23,000 broadsides and ephemera of political controversies, patriotic celebrations and other topics indirectly related to governors.
The New Jersey Historical Society
The New Jersey Historical Society has detailed finding aids for the non-digitized collected papers of numerous governors including William Franklin, Lewis Morris, Jonathan Belcher, George Fort, Joseph Bloomfield, William Pennington, Isaac Williamson, Peter D. Vroom, William Paterson, Marcus L. Ward, George T. Werts, Franklin Murphy, Walter E. Edge, Samuel L. Southard, Robert S. Green, George B. McClellan, Leon Abbett, Woodrow Wilson, and Mahlon Dickerson as well as some photographs, prints, autographs and letters of the above listed governors and a few others that can be found in collections not directly related to the Governor. 222 results were returned pertaining to the Governor, and almost each one was found to contain pertinent information. Easy to use website with an excellent search engine.
Jonathan Belcher Collection, Princeton University
Princeton University maintains the Jonathan Belcher Collection, who served as New Jersey Provincial Governor from 1747-1757. Before his term in New Jersey, Belcher also served as the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire territories. “The papers consist of correspondence, articles, clippings, and copies of original materials from Belcher collections held at Princeton and elsewhere. Topics covered include Belcher’s contributions to the foundations of the college library, the preservation of the Belcher Mansion in Elizabeth, and representations of Belcher in portraits and prints.”
New Jersey Digital Highway
The New Jersey Digital Highway has been developed through a collaboration of the Rutgers University Libraries; the State Library; the New Jersey Division of Archives & Records Management; the New Jersey Historical Society; and the American Labor Museum. It includes selections on New Jersey history from other libraries and historical societies in the state, as well as links to lesson plans and other educational resources. A search for “Governor” returned only three records.
Electronic New Jersey
The Electronic New Jersey Project provides primary source learning materials and related instructional activities to increase student and faculty understanding of New Jersey’s role in U.S. history. The project commenced in 1997 when faculty at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington and Spotswood High School collaborated with archivists and librarians at the Alexander Library at Rutgers to select, study and develop resources for this project. Since that time, a consortium of New Jersey school districts have worked with Rutgers University-New Brunswick, the NJ State Archives, and the NJ Historical Society to further develop and expand the project website. The site features brief profiles with selected images on such topics as New Jersey during major wars; women’s suffrage; 1960’s social protest; and science and technology.
Liberty Hall Museum, Kean University
The Liberty Hall Museum is the former ancestral estate of the Livingston and Kean families. It was built in 1772 by William Livingston, New Jersey’s first state governor (1776-1990), and his descendants include Governor Thomas H. Kean (1982-1990). The site includes a timeline with brief biographical information on prominent family members and selected images of the estate and prominent family members, but has limited online sources.
Thomas H. Kean Collection, Drew University
New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean (1982-90) served as president of Drew University from 1990 to 2005 after he left office. The University Archives holds the Governor Thomas H. Kean collection, which is comprised of records created during the governor’s two terms of office in New Jersey. Included are his legislative briefing binders, records from trips and conferences, typescript copies of speeches, photographs, correspondence, office files, material on the issue of education, press releases and news clippings, and related records. A small percentage of the records were created during Kean’s presidency of Drew University. The site includes a biographical sketch and a finding aid to its holdings, but few materials are currently accessible for online research.
University Archives and Special Collections, Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University’s collections including documents, images and manuscripts
of former New Jersey Governors Richard Hughes (1961-69) and Brendan Byrne (1974-82), as well as papers of national political figures who had contacts with governors in New Jersey and other states, including Marcus Daly, Leonard Dreyfuss, Matthew Rinaldo and Bernard Shanley. Note that some materials may require a login to access. The Byrne materials are primarily political and personal documents; 26 images are published online at the Seton Hall site and several others have been copied and published on the site of the Center on the America Governor at Eagleton.
The Robert B. and Helen Stevenson Meyner Papers, Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives
Governor Robert Meyner (1954-1962) and his wife, Congresswoman Helen Stevenson Meyner (1975-1979), donated extensive papers and memorabilia to Lafayette College, the Governor’s alma mater. The site includes biographical profiles and a finding aid to the collection, but few source materials are accessible online. The papers for Governor Meyner are primarily personal correspondence and related to his career after he left office, with the bulk of his official gubernatorial papers at the New Jersey State Archives.
The Columbia University Oral History Project
The Columbia University Oral History Project maintains non-digitized interviews (called “Reminiscences”) with Governor Robert Meyner (1954-1962) from 1962.
The New Mexico State Archives
The New Mexico state archives maintains the collected papers of every Governor from 1846-1978 and includes photographs, letters, speeches and official government documents. For example, the collected papers of Governor David Cargo, 1967-1970, includes: “Collection consists of official papers of Governor Cargo. Includes proclamations; appointments; executive orders; executive budgets; address to legislature and files relating to legislative issues such as education; judicial reports and reports of elected officials; reports of administrative agencies, boards and commissions; reports of state institutions and records of the Four Corners Regional Commission and other regional commissions. Federal records include correspondence with and news clips concerning United States senators and congressmen representing New Mexico, and other national office holders; reports of federal agencies related to New Mexico; and reports on the federally funded Community Action Programs (CAP). Special issues include material on constitutional revision, the Vietnam War, and the Alianza Federal de las Mercedes. Penal papers include pardon and extradition cases. Political materials include documents on election campaigns, Republican National Party, National Governors’ Conference, and similar bodies. Miscellaneous materials contain files on contingency fund, speeches, private practice, family matters and personal documents.” Information for obtaining the material from the state archives is available online.
The New Mexico State University Library
The New Mexico State University Library maintains the non-digitized political papers of Governors Garrey Carruthers (1987-1991); Herbert J. Hagerman, Territorial Governor (1906-1907); James F. Hinkle (1923-1924) and Edwin L. Mechem (1951-1955, 1957-1959, 1961-1962). Information for obtaining the material from the University is available on the website.
The New Mexico State Library Digital Archive
The New Mexico State Library Digital Archive has been working to digitize and preserves official government documents (both federal and state) since 2003, primarily reports of government agencies. Only 11 documents pertained directly to the office of the governor, all but one were executive orders. A much larger non-digitized collection is maintained by the library and information for obtaining the material is available on the website.
The New Mexico Office of the State Historian
New Mexico’s Office of the State Historian has an online repository for digitized documents. A search for “Governor” included photographs, official documents, letters, speeches, statements and messages. Many of the results led to one-sentence biographical information on past governors, but some governors had longer biographies written by the state historian.
The University of New Mexico Digital Collections
New Mexico’s Digital Collections is a website run by the University of New Mexico University Libraries and includes a large collection of digitized resources. A search for “Governor” yielded over 700 results – the majority which were official government document and newspaper clippings – but which also included photographs, portraits, speeches, letters and telegrams. Excellent layout, user-friendly website with good description and well-organized search engine.
The New York State Archives
New York State appears to be the only state publishing a list of its governors identifying the sites where their collected papers are held at some 40 sites other than the archives (www.archives.nysed.gov/a/research/res_topics_legal_govguide_term.shtml).
For every governor from 1777 to 1982, there is an entry and a link to the collection (which are both digitized and non-digitized).
Also in the New York State Archives is digitized material on a handful of state governors including photograph collections for governors from 1883-1982, archived websites for Governor Eliot Spitzer (2007-2008) and Governor George Pataki (1995-2006)and five audio and video entries including,“Governor W. Averell Harriman at the Whiteface Ski Center Opening, 1958”; Governor W. Averell Harriman’s 4th of July Highway Safety Announcement, ca. 1950s”; “A New York State Olympics: A behind-the-scenes look at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York, including video clips of Governors Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hugh Carey”; Teenage Drunk Driving…It Wrecks Lives! 1985: Governor Mario Cuomo asks for help from fellow New Yorkers to prevent teenagers from drinking and driving in a promotional announcement created by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee”; and “What of Your Child? Governor Thomas E. Dewey introduces this film that describes childcare options for working mothers during World War II.”
A list of all statewide digital collections available in New York is at http://iarchives.nysed.gov/RNYHC/r_findorg_resultsServlet?idContains=6
The New York State Library
The New York State Library has a website with selected digital historical documents that includes state documents from the colonial period to today. Searching through the website’s digital collections individually was more useful than using the search feature. Non-digitized archival material is also available and can be searched for through the library catalog, which is more user friendly then the digital archives catalog. Information for obtaining the material is available online.
Oral Histories of the American South
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill project Oral Histories of the American South has downloadable interviews with full transcripts with Governor Terry Sanford (1961-1965).
Duke University Library
Duke University Library has the non-digitized archival material from the production of the documentary film, “Terry Sanford and the New South” including, “digital videotapes and duplicates from the production of “Terry Sanford and the New South,” as well as research notes, production notes and timelines, an index of filed images, and subject files for images used in the film.”
The Duke University Digital Collection
The Duke University digital collection has 65 results for “Governor” which are mostly coats of arms images and their descriptions as well as photographs and a few proclamation or pamphlets featuring information relating to the governor.
North Carolina State University Library
North Carolina State University Libraries maintains the collected papers of Josephine Scott Hudson that includes non-digitized archival material for North Carolina Governor Robert W. Scott (1969-73). The material is limited to a single box for the entire Scott family.
The North Carolina State Archives
The North Carolina State Archives includes the North Carolina State Government Website Archives with governors’ sites dating back to 1996. Governor web pages have their own listings by date, which researchers can use to find relevant information. Easy to use website, with a good layout. The Archives has also set up a Flickr account where 31 pictures from gubernatorial inaugurations can be views. “Treasures” is a website filled with digitized primary documents. They must be searched through individually (they are grouped together by time period) for information pertaining to the office of the governor. The site is constantly updated and information on updates is available at their blog. Original documents dating back to the mid-1600s to today are available for viewing online and include mostly letters and personal papers.
The North Carolina State Archives: Manuscript and Archives Record System (MARS)
Manuscripts and archives record system maintains the official papers of Governors William Woods Holden (1818- 1892); Zebulon Baird Vance (1830 -1894) and Terry Sanford (1917- 1998). A search engine for all digital material maintained by the state of North Carolina is at http://digital.ncdcr.gov
The University of North Carolina Digital Collections
University of North Carolina digital collections includes primary documents from the governor during the 1898, as well as official colonial and state records – the text of which is available without a digitized image of the original document.
The North Dakota State Archives at the North Dakota State Historical Society
The North Dakota State Archives, managed by the State Historical Society, maintains non-digitized archival material for state Governors Andrew Burke (1891-1893), Nehemiah Ordway (1880-1884); John Moses (1939-1945); William Guy(1961-1973); George Sinner(1988-1992); John Davis (1957-1961); Roger Allin (1895-1897); Walter Welford (1935-1937); George Shafer (1929-1933); Newton Edmunds (1863-1866); Lynn Frazier (1917-1921); Frank Briggs (1897-1898); L. B. Hanna (1913-1917); Arthur Link (1973-1981); Allen Olsen (1981-1985). Material includes personal and public papers as well as legislative records. The non-digitized oral histories, also maintained by the society, have 10 interviews relating to the Governor’s Mansion from governors and their families.
North Dakota Online Governors Online Exhibit
The State Historical Society of North Dakota has the North Dakota Governors Online Exhibit, which has the Governor’s official portraits from 1861 to today.
North Dakota Digital Horizons
North Dakota Digital Horizons has collections of photos and official portraits of the governors as well as digitized archival material including letters, newspaper clippings (mostly political cartoons), personal papers and other types of memorabilia.
The North Dakota State Library
The North Dakota State Library is a repository for non-digitized state and federal documents.
Ohio University maintains the archives of Governor George Voinovich (1991-1998) including “Correspondence, reports, legal opinions, subject files, renditions, requisitions, speeches, audio tapes, video tapes, photographs, briefing files, public inquiries, legislative bills, executive orders, schedules, interoffice and agency communications, and memorabilia.” Some of the content is digitized. Excellent layout, easy to use website.
The Morgan Library’s Ohio Imprints Digital Library
The Morgan Library’s Ohio Imprints Digital Library has a digitized copy of the “Annual Message of the Governor (Thomas Corwin 1840-1842) of Ohio Transmitted to the Fortieth General Assembly. Tuesday, December 7, 1841”
The Ohio Memory Project
The Ohio Memory project maintains a digitized archive of 82 official government documents from the office of the governor as well as the archives of the the Wilbur H. Siebert Underground Railroad Collection (
The Ohio State Historical Society
The Ohio State Historical Society, which maintains the official archives of the state has finding aids for official government documents relating to the office of the governor, as well as a database of pictures to be viewed online with 139 pictures relating to the office of the governor
OhioLink, maintained by the Ohio Library System runs the Digital Resource Commons, a search engine of databases of all the state’s universities. Search results related to governors included mostly photos and a few digitized primary handwritten documents.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries 100 Years of Governors website from provides finding aids for Governor’s records from 1907 to 2003 that are housed in the State Archives. Records include administrative and legislative files; pardon and parole records; correspondence; addresses and speeches; state finance reports; state agency and institutional reports; board and committee records; press releases; photographs; newspaper clippings and articles; other miscellaneous documents.
Voices of Oklahoma
Voices of Oklahoma, an oral history project, has planned interviews with former Governors Henry Bellmon (1963-1967) (1987-1991) and George Nigh (1963-1963) (1979-1987).
The Oregon State Archives
The Oregon State Archives, maintained by the Secretary of State, has finding aids for Governor’s records from 1845-2003 including biographical notes, speeches, letters, and official records. Transcripts of speeches are available. Excellent website, easy to use.
University of Oregon
University of Oregon has 8 digitized images for Governor Joseph Lane (1849-1850).
Oregon State Capitol Foundation Oral History Project
Oregon State Capitol Foundation Oral History Project provides researchers with interviews with Governors Victor Atiyeh (1979-1987) and Barbara Roberts (1991-1995) for a cost of $10 for either a DVD or VHS. A video preview is available online.
The Oregon Historical Society
The Oregon Historical Society maintains a catalog of non-digitized archival material for state governors. The Historical Society also has the Oregon History Project, a digital archive of material that includes photos, official government documents, letters, telegraphs, and artifacts from the governors themselves. Governors have individual pages (with links to further related material online) but to get to the page, a governor must be searched for individually.
The Pennsylvania State Archives
The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains detailed finding aids on the non-digitized papers of numerous governors. The archives also maintains the non-digitized, official state documents and photographs. Easy to use website with a simple layout and an excellent search engine.
The University of Pittsburgh Library System Pennsylvania Digital Library
The University of Pittsburgh’s Library System maintains the Pennsylvania Digital Library (PADL) a “state-wide metadata repository for digital resources created by Pennsylvania libraries, museums, educational institutions, and other cultural heritage organizations. PADL provides researchers with an aggregated search interface for these digital materials.” A search for “Governor” yielded 500 results from across the state’s collection. Excellent search engine. Note that registration and a log-in are necessary for some services.
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania
A non-digitized guide to the collected papers of Governor John S. Fisher (1927-1931) is available from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The entire contents of the collection are available at the University library in a single box.
The Pennsylvania Historical Society
The Hampton L. Carson Collection at the Pennsylvania Historical Society includes the non-digitized letters from Pennsylvania governors in the 18th and 19th century.
Dick Thornburgh Papers, University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh maintains the collected digitized papers (a work in progress) of the career of Governor Dick Thornburgh (1979-1987), who also served as US Attorney General (1988-1991) and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (1992-1993). Governor Thornburgh donated his papers to the University of Pittsburgh, his law school alma mater, in 1998. They include materials from his campaigns, his term as governor (including the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, which took place 70 days after Thornburgh’s inauguration), and his life and positions post-governorship. The Center on the American Governor considers it the best individual governor archival website we have encountered. It publishes a full range of archival material – including official and personal documents as well as memorabilia — and provides a model for other archives in organization and publication of material. Development of the site included scanning and online presentation of 37,000 pages of text, hundreds of photographs, and hours of video and audio. Excellent search engine, easy to use website, simple and well-designed layout.
The Rhode Island State Library
The Rhode Island State Library maintains the state’s official government records through the Office of the Secretary of State.
The Rhode Island Historical Society
The Rhode Island Historical Society has the non-digitized collected papers of Governors, Stephen Hopkins (1755-1768), William Greene (1778-1786), George Peabody Wetmore (1885-1887), and Theodore Francis Green (1933-1937), as well as State records.
The University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island has finding aids for the collected papers of Governors John H. Chafee (1963-1969); Frank Licht (1969-1973); Bruce Sundlun (1990-1995); and William Vanderbilt (1939-1941).
Brown University Center for Digital Initiatives
Brown University’s Center for Digital Initiatives has online archival material, mostly relating to governor’s interactions with the University, including the school’s proclamation of founding. Other results include general proclamation for the office of the governor (mostly from the 1700-1800s). A few pictures (including those of governors’ and the historic Governor’s mansion), paintings and portraits, campaign literature, news clippings, and other forms of political memorabilia are also available for viewing online. Searching throughout the collection, at least one result pertaining to Governor’s in Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Vermont and New York were also discovered and were mostly in the form of pictures and portraits.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History
South Carolina Department of Archives and History maintains the non-digitized records of the state from 1671 to the present, including the records of 54 state governors. Among the many types of records are legislative files, minutes of governing boards and committees, legal opinions, narrative and statistical reports, policy and project files, correspondence and memoranda, published works, audio recordings of meetings and hearings, photographs, maps, and electronic records.” Searching for individual governors proved to be the most efficient way to find relevant material. Both the overall library catalog on the individual catalogs (separated by state, local, federal, personal, etc…) were useful in conducting such a search. No single page listing all the governors’ finding aids for their collected papers was found.
Clemson University Digital Archives
Clemson University’s digital archives has a collection of over 100 pictures of former Governor James Byrnes (1951-1955) . The university also maintains a collection of non-digitized papers of some of the state’s governors but the researcher must know which governor they are specifically researching to use the site as there is no single page listing all finding aids for the Governor’s papers.
South Carolina University Library Political Collections
South Carolina University Library Political Collections has the non-digitized papers of Governors James Edwards (1975-1979), Ernest Hollings (1959-1963); Robert McNair (1965-1971), Richard Riley (1979-1987), Donald Russell (1963-1965), Mark Sanford (2003-2011) and John West (1971-1975). Finding aids and information for obtaining the material is available on the website. Governors have individual pages that link to all material available at the university as well as material available elsewhere. The university also has an Oral History Project and transcripts of interviews are available to download for Governors McNair (1965-1971) and West (1971-1975). There is also an interview with Governor Russell (1963-1965), but no transcript is available. Online exhibits of digitized archival material – including photos, speeches, letters, audio files, official documents, news clippings and other types of memorabilia – are available for Governors McNair (1965-1971), Hollings (1959-1963), Russell (1963-1965) and West (1971-1975). There is also a digitized collection for the collected papers of colonial Governor James Glen (1738-1756).
South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society maintains detailed finding aids, available to download as a PDF, for the non-digitized papers for state governors from 1861 to the present. They are divided into sections for Territorial Governors (1861-1889), State Governors (1889-1925), State Governors (1925-1959) and State Governors (1959-Present).
The South Dakota State Library
The South Dakota State Library maintains the official non-digitized government records of the state.
University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota (USD) houses more than thirty archival collections from South Dakota’s major political figures, including the papers of sixteen South Dakota governors. Since 2012, USD has been home to 375 boxes containing the records of the late Gov. William Janklow. Covering his four terms as governor (1979-87, 1995-2003), the records offer crucial insights to South Dakota’s political, economic, and social history over the last quarter of the twentieth century. In addition, Janklow (1939-2012) donated to USD his personal political papers, which include videos, film reels, cassette recording, and other documents that cover his service as an attorney on the Rosebud Reservation, his time as South Dakota attorney general, his political campaign work, and his service in the U.S. House of Representatives (2003-04). Other gubernatorial records housed at USD include the papers of: Arthur C. Mellette (governor, 1889-93), Andrew E. Lee (1897-1901), Robert S. Vessey (1909-13), Peter Norbeck (1917-21; the Norbeck Papers focus largely on his three terms as a U.S. Senator from South Dakota, 1921-1936), William H. McMaster (1921-25), Harlan J. Bushfield (1939-43), Merrell Q. Sharpe (1943-47), George T. Mickelson (1947-51), Sigurd Anderson (1951-55), Joseph Foss (1955-59), Ralph Herseth (1951-61), Archie Gubbrud (1961-65), Nils A. Boe (1965-69), Frank L. Farrar (1969-71), and Richard Kneip (1971-78).
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Tennessee State Library and Archives maintains finding aids for the Governor’s papers from 1790-2003. Other materials maintained by the Library and Archives include: Alexander Inauguration Papers, 1978-1979: The collection is concentrated on the activities surrounding and leading up to the inauguration of Governor Lamar Alexander on January 20, 1979. It is composed of correspondence, financial documents, identification, lists, maps, media information, minutes, newspaper articles, photographs, programs, reports, and tickets; Governor Frank G. Clement Audio Collection, 1955-1969: The Governor Frank G. Clement Audio Collection consists of 21 audiocassette copies of speeches made by, and one interview of, Frank Clement. Frank G. Clement was Governor of Tennessee from 1953-1959, and again from 1963-1967. The collection concentrates on speeches made during his terms of office. Most of the speeches made were in joint sessions of the Tennessee House of Representatives and Senate; Lee S. Greene Collection On Frank G. Clement, 1973-1982: This collection consists of research materials and copies of the manuscript for the book Lead Me On: Frank Goad Clement and Tennessee Politics. Frank G. Clement served three terms as Governor of Tennessee. It contains correspondence, taped interviews, transcripts of the interviews, and copies of the manuscript.
Tennessee State Library and Archives Digital Collection
The Digital Collection from the Library and Archives maintains official government documents, digitized “landmark” documents from the founding of the nation and photographs all pertaining to the office of the governor. Visiting the site of individual collections and searching with the individual search engines is particularly useful.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Archives
University of Tennessee, Knoxville archives maintains numerous digital initiatives including the “Modern Political Archives” which includes manuscripts, books, photographs, fine art, sound recordings, digital files, and ephemera from a handful of the state’s governors. The University also maintains the “Tennessee Documentary History, 1796-1850,” an on-line project that will contain 2,000 documents and images relating to the history of antebellum Tennessee. A search retuned over 200 results. There is also a special online exhibit entitled, “Andrew Johnson Bicentennial, 1808-2008”, which is a collection of 32 pieces of archival material including digitized personal papers, photos and memorabilia belonging to the former Governor.
The Texas State Archives and Texas State Library
The Texas State Archives preserves and documents the history of Texas by identifying, collecting, and making available for research the permanent official records of Texas government, as well as other significant historical resources. The State Archives includes archival government records dating back to the 18th century, as well as newspapers, journals, books, manuscripts, photographs, historical maps, and other historical resources. The Texas State Library maintains finding aids for the Records of Governor George W. Bush (1995-2000) based at the Library of the University of Texas, but none of the collection is currently digitized for online viewing. The holdings include “correspondence, memoranda, legal records, legislative records, financial records, speeches, reports, meeting records, publications, printed material, lists, calendars and schedules, electronic records, audio and video tapes, and photographs… from January 17, 1995 to December 21, 2000.”. There is also an archive of official state portraits with a few digitized primary handwritten documents for each Governor.
The University of North Texas Oral History Project
The University of North Texas Oral History Project has interviews with governors, their family and staff. There is no search engine, but a PDF finding aid is available for download and searching. Information for obtaining the audio or transcripts of are available on the website.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University has a database of pictures for viewing online called the “Rural Past” of which 3 are related to the Governors Allan Shivers (1949-1957); Price Daniel (1957-1963) and John Connally (1963-1969).
Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University has digitized the collective archives of Governor Michael O. Leavitt (1993-2003), including Schedule; Executive Order; News; Policies; Speeches; Legislation; Photographs; Audio/Video and Correspondences.
The Utah State Archives
The Utah State Archives maintains the non-digitized records of state governors from 1850 to the present. Detailed finding aids are available for viewing and information for obtaining the material is available on the website. The archives also store official state documents. There is also a limited digital archives for two governors and includes official government documents, newspaper clippings, speeches, press releases, documents from the First Lady, photographs and scrapbooks.
The Utah Division of State History
The Utah State History website (which includes the State Historical Society) features a digital photo archive with numerous pictures relating to state governors and online collection catalog which revealed two collections specific to the governor, including “Utah Territorial and State Governors Photograph Collection” and “Governor Michael Leavitt Olympic Photograph Collection, 2002.” There is also a collection of non-digitized personal and family papers, but a researcher using these aids must know which specific governor they are searching for to best use the site.
Pioneer, the state government’s digital archive, includes official government documents and digital archival material – photos, news clippings, official documents, letters, scrapbooks, statements and speeches for Governors Michael Leavitt (1993-2003) and Olene Walker (2003-2005).
Vermont State Archives
The state archives has the text of each governor’s inaugural and farewell speeches from 1779 to today. It also maintains a non-digitized database of photos but the archives catalog does not provide a separate search engine for them. A search for Governor in the catalog revealed recorded (video) interviews with Governors F. Ray Keyser (1961-1963), Robert Stafford (1959-1961), Philip Hoff (1963-1969), Thomas Salmon (1973-1977), Deane Davis (1969-1973), and Richard Snelling (1977-1985) as well as the collected papers – including official government documents, letters, personal papers, campaign memorabilia and administrative material – for every Governor from 1820 to 2003. Collections are separated by Governor, type of material and date fom the 1700s to today.
The Vermont Historical Society
The Vermont Historical Society has the non-digitized archives that includes an audio interview in 1986 with Governor Philip Hoff (1963-1969) as well as campaign memorabilia, official government documents, speech transcripts, and recordings of gubernatorial debates. The catalog turned up mostly information unrelated to the Governor, and the historical Society archives stores a lot of material on lieutenant governors and those that ran unsuccessfully for the office of the governor. Information for obtaining the material from the archives is available on the website.
Vermont State Library
Vermont State Library has non-digitized archival material – all official documents, letters and speeches from Governors Jim Douglas (2003-2011), Howard Dean (1991-2003), Philip Hoff (1963-1969), Richard Snelling (1977-1985), Horace Graham (1917-1919), Redfield Proctor (1878-1880), Roswell Farnham (1880-1882) and Madeleine Kunin (1985-1991). Easy to use website, good search engine.
The University of Vermont Archives
The University of Vermont archives holds the non-digitized collected papers of William H. Wills, Stanley Calef Wilson, Lee E. Emerson, John Eliakim Weeks and Benjamin Collins.
The Virginia Heritage
The Virginia Heritage website maintained by Special Collections of the University of Virginia Library allows a search for manuscripts and archival material held by 23 different institutions across the state, including the Library of Virginia, historical societies and academic libraries. A very good search engine with descriptive titles yielded 1336 results for “Governor,” including biographies and finding aids to collections but there appeared to be few original source documents available for online viewing.
The Virginia State Library Memory Digital Collection
This site is part of the online presence of the Library of Virginia, the state archives and reference library. The Library maintains varied collections of print materials, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and ephemera, maps and atlases, rare books, and fine art related to the history of Virginia. It also includes an online classroom with lesson plans. It has an extensive collection of digital materials. from the State Library, including archived Web sites for Governor Mark R. Warner (2002-2006) and Governor Tim Kaine (2006—2010), as well as digital images of letters received for the state’s first six governors from 1776 through 1784.
Campbell Family Papers, Duke University Libraries
Duke University has the non-digitized collected papers of the Campbell family, including Governor David Campbell, who served as governor of Virginia from 1837 to 1840. The archival material is described as “a set of remarkable papers concerned with many activities, including education, politics, wars, religion, household economy, methods of travel, slavery, secession, commission business, settlement of the old Southwest, legal practice, and general mercantile pursuits. Included also are many letters concerned with the War of 1812, in which he served as major and lieutenant colonel of infantry, with information bearing on quarrels among officers, inefficiency of military organization, courts-martial, lack of patriotism, and promotion of officers over their seniors.” Finding aids and information for obtaining the material is available online.
The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress
The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents covering his public and private life, including his service as governor of Virginia 1779-81. This is the largest collection of original Jefferson documents in the world. Document types in the collection as a whole include correspondence, commonplace books, financial account books, and manuscript volumes. In its online presentation, the Thomas Jefferson Papers comprises approximately 83,000 digital images.
Thomas Jefferson Papers: An Electronic Archive, The Massachusetts Historical Society
This website presents full-color images and some transcriptions of manuscripts selected from the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Massachusetts Historical Society maintains a private, non-profit manuscripts repository located in Boston, and received a federal grant to preserve Jefferson manuscripts and to prepare digital images of selected manuscripts.
The Colonial Williamsburg Digital Library
The Colonial Williamsburg Digital Library has the letters and personal papers of Francis Nicholson, governor of Virginia (1698-1705) governor of Nova Scotia (1713-1717), and governor of South Carolina (1721-1725), as well as the letters, deeds, and legal papers “regarding sale of certain parts of the land formerly attached to the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg.”
The Virginia Historical Society
The Virginia Historical Society has digitized and non-digitized archival material including family papers with mentions of governors as well as portraits, pictures, postcards news clippings and other pieces of memorabilia.
The West Virginia State Archives
The West Virginia State Archives maintains non-digitized archival material for Francis Harrison Pierpont, called the “Father of West Virginia”, who was provisional governor of the Union-controlled parts of Virginia during the Civil War with its capital at Wheeling. At the end of the war in 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Pierpont as the provisional governor of the reunited state with the capital at Richmond.
The Secretary of State of Washington
The Secretary of State maintains digitized archives with copies of each governor’s signature as well as the archived websites for Governor Mike Lowry (1993-1997) and Gary Locke (1997-2005). The archive also maintains the official state documents – some digitized, some not – for every state and territorial governor including the “Inauguration of Governor Ferry Photographs, the Portraits of State Governors, 1889-2004, the Portraits of Territorial Governors, 1853-1889 and the State Governors’ Negative Collection, 1949-1975.”
The Washington State Library
The Washington State Library digital collection has a site dedicated to images of the Governors. Very limited in use.
The Washington State Historical Society
The Washington State Historical Society has digitized archival material including newspaper clippings, photos, portraits, campaign memorabilia, official government documents recorded interviews, and other miscellaneous items relating to the Governor and the First lady. Good website with a good search engine.
Washington State Archives
The Washington State Archives has holdings on a number of governors, including the papers of Gov. Daniel Evans. Many are not digitized, but finding aids are available.
The University of Washington
The University of Washington maintains official government documents, photos, newspaper clippings, handwritten notes and letters for a wide variety of Governors for the state. The search engine is good and the descriptions are adequate.
The West Virginia State Archives
The West Virginia State Archives maintains non-digitized archival material including, “Governor’s Office. Records, 1948-1954; 1957-1960”; “Governor’s Office. Messages to the legislature, 1861-1875”; “William W. Barron Papers, 1945-1970”; “Hulett C. Smith Papers (1965-1969)”; “Arthur Ingraham Boreman (1823-1896) Papers, 1863-1869”; “William Erskine Stevenson (1820-1883) Papers, 1869-1871”; “John Jeremiah Jacob (1829-1893) Papers, 1871-1877”; “Henry Mason Mathews (1834-1884) Papers, 1877-1881”; “Jacob Beeson Jackson (1829-1905) Papers, 1881-1885”; “Emanuel Willis Wilson (1844-1905) Papers, 1885-1890”; “Aretas Brooks Fleming (1839-1923) Papers, 1890-1893”; “William Alexander MacCorkle (1857-1930) Papers, 1893-1897”; “George Wesley Atkinson (1845-1925) Papers, 1897-1901”; “Albert B. White Papers, 1901-1905”; “William M. O. Dawson Papers, 1905-1909”; “John Jacob Cornwell (1867-1953) Papers, 1917-1921”; “William Gustavus Conley (1866-1940) Papers, 1929-1933”; “Herman G. Kump Papers, 1933-1937”; “Homer Adams Holt (1898-1975) Papers, 1936-1941”; “letters of Governor Arthur I. Boreman, and miscellaneous papers, 1879-1902,”; “Governor’s Office. Proclamations and executive orders, Civil War, 1863-1865; banks; courthouses; elections to be held and results, 1864-1924; holidays, 1863-1924; miscellaneous, 1875 and Governor’s Office. Rewards for arrest and conviction of persons and escaped prisoners, 1864-1922; martial law and coal strikes, 1913-1922; special weeks, 1911-1924; state legislature called to convene, 1864-1923; corporation delinquent taxes, 1913-1920”; “Public and private papers of Cecil H. Underwood”; “Correspondence, speeches, legislative materials and files of Governor John D. Rockefeller IV, 1977-1985”; “Correspondence and files of Governor Gaston Caperton and administrative staff, 1989-1997”; “Wise, Governor Robert. Papers of Wise Administration, 2001-2005” and other types of official documents, photos and proclamations from the office of the governor.
The West Virginia University Library
The West Virginia University library has a digital collection of archives and manuscripts with over 203 results for Governor including letters, proclamations, personal papers, and official government as well as collection of digital photographs with over 200 photos pertaining to the office of the governor.
The Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society maintains the official archives of the state. Among the digital collections, a search for Governor from among the “Image collection) yielded over 800 official portraits and photos as well as primary archival material including manuscripts, handwritten letters, not all of it directly relating to the office of the governor, but much it pertaining too. The digitized “Historical Collections” which include twenty volumes of pioneers’ memoirs archival records, interviews and other primary sources, originally published 1855-1915.A very user friendly website yielded over 390 digitized documents which must be looked through to find information pertaining to the Governor. But with excellent and detailed descriptions this is not difficult to do. Also available are the collected papers of Harrison Ludington, 1876-1878.
University of Wisconsin Digital Collection
University of Wisconsin Digital Collection has digitized the official state documents from 1852 to 1914.
Wisconsin Heritage Online
Wisconsin Heritage Online has “digitized materials from the collections of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies across Wisconsin…. [with] over 55,000 photographs, diaries, letters, maps, books, magazines, newspaper clippings, postcards, artworks, oral histories, museum artifacts, and much more. A search yielded over 700 results, mostly photos of Governors but also a few official government documents.
The Wyoming Historical Society
The Historical Society maintains an archive of non-digitized official government documents, photos and audio. Information for obtaining material from the society is available on the website.
The Wyoming State Library Digital Collections
Wyoming State Library Digital Collections has an archive of official state documents as well as the Governor’s Executive Orders from 1969 to today.
The Wyoming State Archives, State Parks and Cultural Resources
The Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources at the State Archives has interviews to listen to online of Governors Milward Simpons (1955-1959), Clifford Hansen (1963-1967), Stanley Hathaway (1967-1975), Ed Herschler (1975-1987), Jim Geringer (1995-2003), Mike Sullivan (1987-1995) and wife Jane Sullivan.
The American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming
The American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming digital collections has photos, letters, political cartoons and campaign memorabilia relating to the office of the governor. It also maintains a digital archive of papers for Governor Lester Hunt (1943-1949), Nels Smith (1939-1943) and Milward Simpson (1955-1959).
General, National and Regional Archives
National Governors Association
The National Governors Association provides significant information profiling the office of governor and current and past individual governors. These include biographical profiles of current governors and their spouses biographical profiles of past governors staff contacts for current governors an archive of annual state-of-the-state messages delivered by the governors published by Stateline.org sponsored by the Pew Center for the States and a searchable database of past and current governors by gender, education, prior employment and other topics
Library of Congress
The excellent Web site of the Library of Congress primarily focuses on individuals and events of national prominence including some governors, such as its collection of the papers of the Library’s founder, Thomas Jefferson (see prior summary for Virginia). A search for “Governors” produced 462 records, however, primarily of non-digitized books and articles in the Library’s collections with limited online images including photos of governors attending meetings in Washington and other locations. The site also includes its United States Election Web Archive for national elections in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006; for the 2006 election, for example, the site includes a selective collection of over 2,100 sites archived between May 31, 2006 and November 30, 2006 which includes gubernatorial election campaign sites.
Some of the Presidential Libraries (which are under the administrative management of the National Archives) include materials relating to the gubernatorial service of those who previously served as governor, but others may continue to have their holdings in separate state archives or other repositories.
The Ronald Reagan Library
The Ronald Reagan Library’s holdings include 50 million pages of presidential documents, over 1.6 million photographs, a half million feet of motion picture film and tens of thousands of audio and video tapes, but the Library also houses other papers from his eight years (1967-75) as governor of California. A limited number of speeches and announcements from Reagan’s administration as governor are available online.
The Jimmy Carter Library
The Jimmy Carter Library also includes transcripts, some of which are available online, of interviews with staff, family and friends recalling events in his career, primarily focusing on his term as president but occasionally including references to his service as governor of Georgia (1971-75).
The Internet Archive
The Internet Archive – an online library – provides a search engine that allows researchers to search for documents from across archive catalogs (including, but not limited to, universities, state libraries and the Library of Congress) pertaining to the office of the governor. Website is easy to use and has helpful descriptions of available material.
State Archives and Libraries
State Archives and Libraries: “This website provides information about various archives, libraries and research centers available to genealogists, family historians, and local historians in any particular state. In most cases, addresses and phone numbers are provided, along with a brief description of the resources available at each archive or library.”
The Online Education Database
A list of digital archives and libraries from the Online Education Database for all 50 states as well as multi-state or regional archives.
Regional Archives and Oral Histories
Archives West provides access to descriptions of primary sources in the archives maintained by the state of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, including correspondence, diaries, or photographs. Digital reproductions of primary sources are available in some cases.
The Rocky Mountain Online Archive
The Rocky Mountain Online Archive is a search engine for archival collections held by the states of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. Finding aids, are available for twenty different repositories. “The Rocky Mountain Online archive is directed by representatives from the Collaborative Digitization Program in Colorado, the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, and University Libraries at the University of New Mexico.”
The Oral Histories of the American South
The Oral Histories of the American South is an oral history project at the University of North Carolina which includes audio and transcript interviews with governors from North and South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi.
Western History Digital Collections, University of Oklahoma
The Western History Digital Collections at the University of Oklahoma focuses on the settling of the frontier and Indian culture and conflicts. It includes incidental references to territorial governors. The Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History provides online access to transcripts of interviews (1967 -1972) conducted with hundreds of Indians in Oklahoma regarding the histories and cultures of their respective nations and tribes.
Mountain West Digital Library
The Mountain West Digital Library is a portal to digital resources from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii. It provides a central search tool to identify sources in the various states, including nearly 2,000 records related to governors. It is sponsored by the Utah Academic Library Consortium.