Jim Kolbe's Papers Now Open to the Public at UA
The former congressman from Tucson previously donated his papers to the University and, after processing, they are available to the public.

University Relations - Communications
Jan. 25, 2016

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Former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe  with Karen Williams, dean of the UA Libraries, and UA Provost Andrew Comrie.
Former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe with Karen Williams, dean of the UA Libraries, and UA Provost Andrew Comrie. (left)

The public now has access to documents detailing the 22-year congressional career of former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, who recently donated his papers to the University of Arizona.

Kolbe attended the Jan. 21 reception celebrating the opening of the Kolbe Papers at UA Special Collections, which also holds major collections from former elected officials such as Morris Udall, Stewart Udall and Dennis DeConcini.

The collections contain manuscripts, photos, correspondence, schedules, memorabilia and other materials.

"The holdings in Special Collections are rare, in fact sometimes one-of-a-kind, items which serve as primary research resources for scholars at the University of Arizona and beyond," said Karen Williams, dean of the UA Libraries. "Special Collections is an important driver of our overall vision to enable innovative interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative endeavor."

One of the cases in the Congressional Papers room will permanently display materials from Kolbe's collection.

Williams said the Congressional Papers collections are among our most frequently requested items.

"Congressional papers include not only legislative files but also personal and administrative files that can provide additional context for what was happening in the public eye," Williams said.

"I also want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Jim Kolbe for entrusting his papers to our care," she said. "We take this responsibility seriously and are honored to be the stewards of the Kolbe Papers."

Kolbe served 11 consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1985 to 2007. He represented the Eighth (previously designated the Fifth) Congressional District, comprising the southeastern part of Arizona with Tucson as the main center of population. Prior to Congress, he served for six years in the Arizona State Senate.

Kolbe serves as senior trans-Atlantic fellow for the German Marshall Foundation, advising on trade matters, issues of effectiveness of U.S. assistance to foreign countries, U.S.-European Union relationships, and migration and its relationship to development.

In addition to his work with the foundation, Kolbe serves on the board of counselors for McLarty Associates and is president of JTKConsulting, which represents the interests of Arizona clients to Congress.

He has received numerous awards and tributes, including the George Marshall Award for Distinguished Service from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Order of the Aztec from the president of Mexico and the lifetime achievement in trade award from the Washington International Trade Association.

Kolbe also serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute, and he is a member of boards of directors for Freedom House, the Institute for Science and Global Policy, and the Project on Middle East Democracy.

In Arizona, Kolbe serves on boards of directors for the Community Food Bank and Critical Path Institute. He also is co-chair of the Governor’s Transportation and Trade Task Force and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

A graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in political science, Kolbe also received a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in economics from Stanford University.


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Jane Prescott-Smith

UA Libraries