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James R. Jones Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-109
The bulk of the Jones Collection covers his Congressional career, 1973-1986, and his time as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. This includes records generated in or received by the Washington, D.C. and district offices by the Congressman and his staff, or in the Embassy of the United States in Mexico City. Broadly, these records include correspondence with constituents, other members of Congress and Senators, Presidents, Executive Office staff, Cabinet members and Federal agency staff, celebrities, business leaders, and foreign officials.

The Congressional materials document the primary functions of a Congressional office, namely policymaking and legislative activities, constituent and public relations, and campaigns and other political activities. Included are drafts of legislation, bill markups, Federal government and Congressional Committee reports, Dear Colleague letters, Democratic caucus material, voting records, briefing books, travel itinerary, speeches, press releases, Congressional Research Service reports, invitations to social functions, constituent issue mail, and photographs.

Each Record Series will have a more detailed scope and content note.


  • 1965-1997
  • Majority of material found in 1969-1986

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, White House Records, and 2017 Accrual.

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.


476.25 Linear Feet (407 containers)

Biographical Information:

James Robert Jones (D-OK) served as the Representative for Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional district from 1973 to 1986 and Ambassador to Mexico from 1993 to 1997. Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma on May 5, 1939, Jones’ first job in politics was as a publicity writer and speaker for J. Howard Edmondson’s campaign for governor in 1958. He received Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and government from the University of Oklahoma in 1961, whereupon he became a Legislative Assistant in the office of Congressman Ed Edmondson until 1964.

While working for Congressman Edmondson, Jones earned a law degree from Georgetown University. In 1964 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he served as a Captain in the Counter-Intelligence Corps until 1965. In 1968 Jones became President Lyndon Johnson’s Appointments Secretary, the youngest person to hold that position. During this time he met his wife, Olivia Barclay of Beverly Hills, California.

At the end of Johnson’s term, Jones returned to Tulsa to practice law. In 1970 he challenged incumbent Congressman Paige Belcher for the 1st district seat, losing by a margin of 55 to 45 despite Belcher’s seniority. In the 1972 election, Jones ran again. Congressman Belcher withdrew from the race in June, replaced by two-term Tulsa mayor James M. Hewgley, Jr. Jones won handily and became the youngest member of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation in 1973. He would go on to win reelection six times and serve key roles on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees. Jones was particularly influential during the budget crises of the early 1980s. He was appointed to the Committee on Ways and Means in 1975, where he served until 1987, and served as chair of the Budget Committee during the 97th and 98th Congresses. In 1986 he gave up his House seat to challenge incumbent Senator Don Nickles, but was defeated.

After his political career, Jones joined the Washington law firm Dickstein-Shapiro. He served as Chairman of the American Stock Exchange from 1989 to 1993, and was appointed Ambassador to Mexico during the Clinton Administration. In 2003 he became chairman of the World Affairs Council of America, a non-partisan network dedicated to educating and engaging Americans in foreign affairs. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1994 and is presently a partner in the Tulsa law firm Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips.

Arrangement of Materials:

The collection is arranged into 15 series:

1. Ambassadorial

2. Campaign

3. Clippings

4. Correspondence

5. Departmental

6. Invitations

7. Legislative

8. Legislative Assistants

9. Office

10. Oversize

11. Photographs

12. Press

13. Gifts and Ephemera

14. Audio-Visual

15. White House Records

16. 2017 Accrual

Most of the series are arranged alphabetically and then chronologically, with any exceptions detailed at the series level. At all times, step were taken to preserve the organizational arrangement schema created in Jones' congressional office, if such schema existed at the time of accession.

Square brackets in folder titles indicate that those folders were once collected in a larger unit or were grouped together due to having identical folder titles and dates.

The Ambassadorial series is arranged into three sub-series which are all arranged chronologically.

The Campaign series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically.

The Clippings series is arranged chronologically by publication date.

The Correspondence series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically. Most folder names relate to topics addressed within or the last name of the sender. The first nine boxes are organized based on the Congressional Mail Service numeric coding system.

The Departmental series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically. Most folder titles correspond with an associated federal department or agency.

The Invitations series is arranged chronologically.

The Legislative Series is arranged chronologically by Congress, beginning with the 93rd Congress. Most folders bear a heading of a House Committee that most closely pertains to the subject of the material. Folders are arranged alphabetically by folder heading and title within each Congress.

The Legislative Assistants series is arranged into five sub-series based on the five legislative assistants that created and accumulated the documents within each sub-series.

The Office series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically.

Many of the photographs are arranged into groups based on event or content.

The Press series is arranged alphabetically by folder title and then chronologically.

The Gifts and Ephemera series is arranged by material type and size.

The White House Records Series is arranged, largely, in chronological order.

The 2017 Accrual Series is arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by folder title.

Preservica Internal URL

Preservica Public URL Preservica Access

Custodial History:

The collection was originally donated by James R. Jones to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library which later transferred the collection to the Carl Albert Center Congressional Archives with Jones' written approval.

Acquisition Information:



The majority of case files were removed from this collection prior to accession. A few remain, and these have been restricted to protect the personal information of the citizens involved. Certain other administrative documents, such as staff evaluations and bank records, have also been restricted for this reason. These materials are restricted indefinitely pending review by the archivists.

Processing Information:

Processing for the James R. Jones Collection was accomplished thanks to a generous grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.

Processing Archivists: Robert Lay and Bailey Hoffner

Archives Graduate Assistants: Magen Bednar, Jenna Domeischel, Andrew Gourd, and Emily Kolvitz

Student Archivists: Heather Bateman, Mallory Hogan, Micki Jamerson, Peter Jones, David King, Emma Newberry-Davis, Iuliia Shybalkina, and Elizabeth Szkirpan
2017 Photographs Series Reprocessing Lead Processing Archivist: Rachel Henson

During the winter of 2017, archives staff renumbered and rehoused the photographs series from the Jones collection. The previous numbering system included letter suffixes that had been added to items in the series by a past archivist to group photos by inferred origin. The new numbering of the items is continuous. This schema allows for more efficient ingest into ArchivesSpace and creation of digital surrogates.
2017 Processing of Physically Separated Materials Lead Processing Archivist: Nathan Gerth

Archives Graduate Assistant: Heather Bateman

In 2017, Heather Bateman completed processing of unlabeled or physically separated materials from the Jones Collection. These materials included pieces of ephemera, oversize items, photographs, audio reels, and data reels. When possible, these items have been intellectually linked to their original locations in the collection.
2017 Accrual Processing- White House Records Processing Archivists: Nathan Gerth and Rachel Henson

Archives Graduate Assistant: Catherine Dean

Student Archivist: Amanda Venegas

During the fall of 2017, an accrual to the Jones collection was acquired by the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections. It was processed and rehoused by a team of archivists, graduate assistants, and student archivists. The accrual was also closely examined for any classified information.
Processing Information 2020 - Large-scale digitization program: James R. Jones gifted the Center with funding for the James Jones Carl Abert Center Digital Archive. Systematic digitization of the collection in its entirety began May 2021, led by Senior Archivist JA Pryse. Digital materials are located in the Center's Digital Repository (FTP DB) and stored on the OSCER Supercomputer path:

Digitized items include manuscripts, photogrpahs, A/V materials in multiple formats. See Senior Archivist for more information
Guide to the James R. Jones Collection
Finding Aid Authors: Bailey Hoffner, Heather M. Bateman, Robert Lay.
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Revision Statements

  • Spring 2017 Revision: The Spring 2017 revision incorporated continuous numbering of the photographs series and physically separated materials that had not been previously processed.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States