Barbara Roberts Papers


Barbara Roberts was elected the first woman Governor of the state of Oregon in 1990, serving from 1991 through 1995. During her term as Governor, Roberts worked with the Clinton administration to secure federal waivers and funding for the Oregon Health Plan. She also helped to increase the number of children in the Head Start program, secured financing for additional units of affordable housing, and developed programs to help move Oregonians from welfare to the workplace. Prior to her tenure as Governor, Barbara Roberts was a member of the Oregon House and was Oregon’s first female House Majority Leader from 1983 to 1984. She was elected as the first Democratic women elected as Secretary of State in 1984—the first Democrat in 110 years—and reelected to that position in 1988.  At Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, Roberts served as Associate Director of Leadership Development at the, and she was the founding board chair of NEW (National Education for Women’s) Leadership Oregon, a program affiliated with the school.

The Barbara Roberts Papers are comprised of over 90 linear feet of materials documenting Roberts’ political career including correspondence, notes and manuscripts, speeches, photographs, and ephemera. 

The Barbara Roberts Papers are part of the Oregon Public Leadership Archive, a Portland State University partnership between the Center for Women, Politics & Policy, the University Library, and the Department of History

Partner Information:

Special Collections, Portland State University Library
PO Box 1151, Portland, OR 97207
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Cristine Paschild, Head of Special Collections & University Archivist
(503) 725-9883


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