Why Bill Richardson Chose to Donate His Archives to Texas

Bill Richardson has donated the papers from his political career to the University of Texas’ Briscoe Center for American History. He’s here to tell us why.

March 9, 2015 7:37 am

UT-Austin’s Briscoe Center will soon house the work of Bill Richardson – former U.S. ambassador, congressman, cabinet secretary, presidential candidate and Governor of New Mexico. UT-Austin President Bill Powers was on hand, to make the announcement on the Standard.

“I hope to have an advisory relationship with the Briscoe Center – a little lecture here and there in the days ahead,” Richardson says. “I’m not dead yet, even though I’m giving my papers.”

For Richardson, an active pursuit from Briscoe Center executive director Don Carleton convinced him to pick UT, although other institutions also expressed their interest.

“I just saw the Briscoe Center collection area: the preservation of records, the access to records, digitalizing,” he says, “This a global university.”

On Texas and New Mexico’s shared border, Richardson says, “it’s a very close, positive relationship with a little friction.”

The former diplomat says that similarities between the two states could engage better cooperation – especially on policy.

“I’m for reforming immigration,” Richardson says, noting stronger border security and a path to citizenship. “But I think on the immigration issue, we could work closer together, the two states.”

This story was prepared with assistance by Jan Ross Piedad.