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Carl Albert Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-001
The Albert Collection is the largest held by the Carl Albert Center, and it contains over 1000 linear feet of documents, multiple maps and oversize materials including scrapbooks, and over 10,000 photographs. Because Albert served for an extended period of time during an extremely productive time in Congress, the collection includes materials related to a variety of national legislative actions and political occurrences including Great Society legislation like the Civil Rights Act, the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a wide variety of public works projects, the Vietnam war, the energy crisis, and Watergate.

Of particular note are the files, departmental and legislative, related to the Great Society legislation and Watergate. The collection also includes extensive materials related to the development of Oklahoma and projects, like the Arkansas River Navigation System, that changed the face of the state. There are also materials related to Albert’s work with various Native American tribes and their concerns within his district and throughout the state.

In addition to the more typical legislative-type documents found in congressional collections, the Carl Albert Collection also contains vast amounts of correspondence from constituents, colleagues, and others. This correspondence, found throughout the collection but mostly centered in the General, Mail, and Legislative series, provides excellent insight into Albert’s relationship with the public and the public’s response to important legislation and political events.


  • 1910-1998

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Certain series of this collection are stored off-site and require prior notice to access. If you wish to view these materials, please contact the Congressional Archives staff to arrange an appointment.

The following series are stored off-site: Clippings, Invitations, Mail, Miscellaneous, Office, and Post Office.

Requests for Office Series: All requests must be made at the folder level and approved by an archivist prior to research. Materials must be reviewed for personally identifiable information and, if needed, appropriately redacted before the researcher is allowed to view them.

Conditions Governing Use:

The University of Oklahoma asserts no claim of copyright over photographs in this collection taken by private citizens. Any publication of such photographs requires the consent of the copyright holder.


1003.72 Linear Feet (844 Containers)

Biographical Information:

Carl Albert was born in McAlester, Oklahoma on May 10, 1908. His father was a coal miner and farmer. In high school, Albert became the student body president and won a national high school oratory contest.

He enrolled in the University of Oklahoma in 1927. In 1931, he earned a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford. After completing his studies abroad, he opened a law practice in Oklahoma City in 1935, where he worked for several oil companies until the beginning of World War II.

Albert served in the Judge Advocate General Corps during World War II. He earned the Bronze Star for his work in the Pacific Theater and left the military with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1946. During the war he also married Mary Harmon, with whom he had two children: Mary Frances and David.

In 1946, Albert won his first election to Congress. He became House Majority Whip in 1955 and House Majority Leader in 1961. As Majority Leader, he helped advance the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, in particular the latter’s Great Society legislation of 1964 and 1965.

When Speaker John W. McCormack retired in 1971, Albert was elected Speaker of the House of the Representatives. When the Watergate scandal developed in 1973, Albert played a key role in the impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon.

Albert retired from the Congress in 1977 and died on February 4, 2000.

Arrangement of Materials:

The Albert Collection is arranged into 21 series: Biographical, Campaign, Clippings, Departmental, General, Invitations, Legislative, Mail, Maps, McAlester Office, Miscellaneous, Office, Oversize, Post Office, Projects, Speeches and Press Releases, Travel, Photographs, Office Exhibit, F.B.I. Files, and Audio-Visual. The materials within each series are largely organized chronologically, though some series including Biographical, McAlester Office, and Miscellaneous, are organized alphabetically. The Photographs Series is organized topically into various events and groups. Some of the series also include subseries but specific arrangement details for these are unclear.

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Accruals and additions: January 29, 1962; March 21, 1962; July-August 1966; August 1966; November 21, 1966; February 9, 1974; March 1975; April-May 1975; July 20, 1976; July 1976; August 17, 1976; August 27, 1976; August 1976; September 15, 1976; January 3, 1977; January 6, 1977; January 14, 1977; January 1980; October 15, 1981.
Guide to the Carl Albert Collection
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States