Skip to main content

David L. Boren Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-2003-3
This collection contains materials acquired and created by Senator Boren and his staff during the time he represented Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate, roughly 1979 to 1994. The most common type of materials found in the collection include a large amount of constituent correspondence, legislative material from work or research on bills, VHS recordings of newsworthy events or Boren appearances, and work with other government agencies.


  • Majority of material found within 1979 - 1994
  • 1945 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

According to the terms of the deed, access to the materials shall be restricted to those individuals providing identification consistent with noncommercial research and scholarly work. All requests for material will be reviewed by the Director and Curator of the Carl Albert Center prior to access being granted. Use of certain manuscript collections or parts of collections are restricted by law, by reason of their origin, or by the donor. In addition, materials which are in the process of being arranged and described are not open for access.

This collection is stored off-site and requires prior notice to access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in the Senator's unpublished materials is retained by the Senator during the Senator's lifetime although permission to reproduce said materials will not be withheld unreasonably. Upon the Senator's death, all of this copyright interest in the referenced unpublished materials shall herby be transferred and assigned to the University.

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.


537 Boxes

Biographical / Historical

David Lyle Boren was born on April 21, 1941 in Washington, D.C. to Christine and Lyle H. Boren, a U.S. Representative serving Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District. After attending public school in both Seminole, Oklahoma and Bethesda, Maryland, Boren graduated from Yale University in 1963 with his Bachelor of Arts degree in American History. He then continued pursuing higher education by attending Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. There, he earned his Master of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1965. Boren finished his education in his home state of Oklahoma, attending the University of Oklahoma College of Law and earning his Juris Doctor in 1968. While at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, he served on the Law Review, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and won the Bledsoe Prize.

Boren’s political career began in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where he served four terms from 1967 to 1975. In 1974, Boren was elected as the next Governor of Oklahoma, becoming the nation’s youngest governor at the time of his election. He served as Governor until 1979. During this time, Boren was a captain in the Oklahoma National Guard from 1968 to 1974 and chairman of the Department of Government at Oklahoma Baptist University from 1970 to 1974.

In 1978, Boren was elected to the United States Senate where he served until 1994. While in the Senate, Boren focused his efforts on campaign finance reform and other congressional reforms, agriculture, oil and gas, energy, banking, national security, and improving the federal government’s intelligence work.

Boren served on three Senate Committees: Finance, Small Business, and Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He was a member of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Government and the Joint Committee on Taxation. Most importantly, Boren served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1987 to 1993. This committee is tasked with the oversight of the federal government’s intelligence community including agencies like the CIA, FBI, and NSA.

One of Boren’s most significant legislative accomplishments as a Senator is the National Security Education Act of 1991 which established the National Security Education Program.

After almost three decades in politics, Boren retired from the Senate in 1994 to become the thirteenth President of the University of Oklahoma, a position he held until his retirement on June 30, 2018.

Outside of his position as a university president, Boren served as co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory board under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. In 2017, Boren was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Arrangement of Materials

The David L. Boren Collection is arranged into nine series: 1. Correspondence 2. Legislative 3. Departmental 4. Office 5. Subject 6. Press 7. Audio-Visual 8. Photographs 9. 2018 Accrual.

Each series is arranged chronologically and alphabetically. The Correspondence and 2018 Accrual series have special arrangements, please see series level arrangement note.

Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL Preservica Access

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Boren Collection was gifted to the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma in 2003.


2018 Accrual. Accessioned on June 18, 2018. Material from Boren's Senate career which was housed in Evans Hall at the University of Oklahoma.

Processing Information

Lead Processing Archivist: Rachel Henson

Archivist: Nathan Gerth

Archives Graduate Assistants: Vivian Feng, Heather Walser

Student Archivists: Maya Bhandary, Kelsey Dindy, Josh Richwine, Rebekah Russell, MeKenzie Sloan, Amanda Venegas.

Processing of the collection proceeded in two phases, during which materials were rehoused and metadata was collected. Each phase culminated in the movement of folders from the boxes in which they had been placed after rehousing to long-term storage boxes. The arrangement of materials was dictated by the sorting of series data according to specific criteria, e.g., chronological or alphabetical order. This arrangement reflected, when possible, the original order of the collection at the folder level. During the shifting of these folders, the staff physically matched the data collected to the physical markings on the folders, rearranged folders improperly sorted in the data, and rehoused any materials that had been improperly placed in folders.
Guide to the David L. Boren Collection
Rachel Henson
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States