Gov.-elect Jared Polis will archive his congressional papers in the CU Boulder Libraries Special Collections, Archives and Preservation department.
The donation will make Polis’ archived website and social media available for the public in early 2019. Other congressional papers will be available in 2050, following an embargoed period commonly requested by people who continue to hold public office. Social media and web archive will be available to the public after Jan. 2.
“Every day during my service as a congressman, I learned from my constituents, and together we witnessed an historic shift in politics,” said Polis.“Now, I’m proudly giving my archives to CU Boulder so that historians can also learn from what has occurred over the past decade in Congress. For my part, I hope that historians will find that service to my constituents was at the heart of everything I did.”
Polis’ archives will include primarily electronic records, containing speeches, photographs, position papers, notes and constituent correspondence covering Polis’ decade in Congress.
“When I look back over my time in Congress, I am hopeful because I know we have the ability to work together for betterment of our country and world, but I also have trepidations because I know how delicate our democratic system can be,” Polis said.
Throughout his time in Congress, Polis advocated for education equality, immigration reform, innovation and policies that help local Colorado communities. He prided himself on collaborating with anyone who had an innovative idea and didn’t shy away from co-authoring legislation with his colleagues across the aisle. Polis was committed to listening to his constituents and hosted numerous town halls throughout the district and replied to over 100,000 inquires every year. He was active online during the rise of social media, regularly communicating directly with constituents through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“It is an honor for the University Libraries to host this important part of history and make it available to researchers across Colorado and the nation,” Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano said.
The Polis archives join more than 5,000 linear feet of materials documenting the lives and political careers of 15 former office-holders, including Colorado’s first female congresswoman, Rep. Pat Schroeder, Sens. Gary Hart and Ken Salazar, as well as former University of Colorado President Hank Brown. Public officials’ records in the archives date back to 1907.
“This addition to the University Libraries Special Collections, Archives and Preservation department will allow researchers and the public to understand a pivotal time in U.S. history,” said University Libraries Dean Robert McDonald. “This will be an invaluable resource for students, researchers and Coloradans looking to understand their history for years to come.”