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The University of Texas at Austin


Congressional & Political - Ann W. Richards

Color portrait of Ann Richards, di_04285
Ann Richards, di_04285

The Ann Richards Papers and the Ann Richards Oral History Collection are part of the Briscoe Center’s Congressional and Political Collections.

Richards served as governor of Texas from 1991–1995, losing the 1994 gubernatorial election to future president George W. Bush. She was only the second female governor in the history of Texas. In addition to her term as governor, Richards served as Travis County commissioner from 1977–1983, and Texas state treasurer from 1983–1991.

Richards’ political life spanned a period in the late 20th century when Texas emerged as urban, diverse, and economically powerful. During Richards’s term as governor, a state lottery was approved, the North American Free Trade Agreement was passed, and Queen Elizabeth II visited Texas.

Covering her entire political career, the Richards Papers include over 1,500 cubic feet of correspondence, memoranda, scrapbooks, campaign records, schedules, gubernatorial appointments, legislative files, photographs, video and audiotapes, memorabilia, and artifacts.

The papers provide scholars, students, and members of the public with powerful insights into the life and times of this nationally significant figure. Recently, the papers have been used by HBO for a new film All About Ann, by author Jan Reid for his book, Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards, and by the playwright Holland Taylor for her Broadway hit Ann.

The Ann Richards Oral History Collection is designed to expand and enhance the Ann Richards Papers at the Briscoe Center by recording the experiences, viewpoints, and perspectives of those who were centrally involved in her administration and rise to the office of the governor.

A Guide to the Ann Richards Oral History Collection is available online at

A Guide to the Ann Richards Papers is available online at