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UT Centers Launch National Security Digital Resource

William P. Clements Jr speaking at podium to dedicate the George C. Marshall corridor in the Pentagon, April 20, 1976, Gerald R. Ford LibraryWilliam P. Clements Jr speaking at podium to dedicate the George C. Marshall corridor in the Pentagon, April 20, 1976, courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library, Clements National Security Project, e_clef_20046.

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Clements Center for National Security, both units of the University of Texas at Austin, are proud to present the Clements National Security Papers Project. The project represents a growing digital library of archival documents related to the national security career of William Clements Jr., who served his nation as deputy secretary of defense (1973–1977) and his state as governor of Texas (1979–1983, 1987–1991.) The project's main focus has been the creation of clementspapers.org, an interactive website containing thousands of searchable documents drawn from numerous archives that house material related to Clements.

"William Clements personally believed in the value of history to guide decision-makers in the field of national security," said Will Inboden, executive director of the Clements Center. "The Clements National Security Papers Project honors his legacy and will serve to further our understanding of the difficult decisions made during this important and often tumultuous time in history."

"I'm proud of the work that we've done with our partners at the Clements Center to create this valuable new resource for scholarly research," said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. "Searchable, digital archives of this scope enable scholars and students to explore important historical issues in new and exciting ways."

As deputy secretary of defense under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, Clements managed a $90 billion budget, 3 million employees, and directed the procurement of 116 major weapons systems that cost over $150 billion. Clements's time at the Pentagon was marked by the final withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, the Yom Kippur War, the OPEC oil embargo, the fall of Saigon, and ongoing Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union.

The Clements Center invested thousands of hours to collect, analyze, and digitize the archival papers related to the time Clements spent at the Pentagon. These documents were gathered from papers housed at the Nixon, Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush presidential libraries, as well as the National Archives and the Library of Congress. The thousands of documents include memos, transcripts of conversations, and reports on a wide range of national security issues. All these documents have been made searchable and widely accessible by the Briscoe Center through clementspapers.org.

In conjunction with the National Security Papers Project, the Briscoe Center will launch a related website early next year featuring digitized items from Clements's extensive gubernatorial, business, and political papers.

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