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In 1980, when Frank Church lost his bid for a fitth term in the United States Senate, he decided to give his extensive collection of papers to Stanford University, his alma mater. The collection was transferred to Stanford in 1980-1981. Early in 1984, Senator Church reassessed the prospect of having his papers outside of Idaho. Church approached Boise State University about our willingness to be the repository of choice and received a confirmation of interest. Church then wrote the president of Stanford University requesting that institution release his papers to Boise State. Stanford graciously acceded.

Before Boise State could house the papers, it was necessary to construct appropriate quarters. To do so, 2,500 square feet of Library space was assigned to the Church Room. In this area, a large workroom and an exhibit/seminar room were constructed with financial assistance from the university and the Idaho State Board of Education. The facility was provided with separate air conditioning and humidity control so that the temperature could be kept at 68 degrees and the humidity at 40 percent, levels best suited for preserving paper.

The papers were received from Stanford in April 1984, and transferred to their new quarters in August 1984. Publicity of the transfer reached all the way to Washington where the Information Security Oversight Office, which receives its policy direction from the National Security Council, invited itself to Boise to examine the Church Papers for classified documents. Mrs. Church and members of the Church staff who were contacted by the University gave assurance that no such papers were in the files. We so notified Washington, and declined their offer of coming to Boise to search through the collection. Now that the processing of the Papers is complete, that decision has proven correct. No classified documents were found.

Publication Date



Boise State University Library, Special Collections Department


Boise, ID

The Frank Church Papers: A Summary Guide Including the Papers of Bethine C. Church and Carl Burke