West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

West Virginia Archives and History Has Posted Gov. Bob Wise’s Gubernatorial Papers Online


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Archives and History section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has posted an electronic edition of State Papers and Public Addresses of Bob Wise on its website, http://www.wvculture.org/history/archivesindex.aspx. These papers are now part of the Governor Bob Wise collection in the State Archives.

“I will be forever grateful to the people of West Virginia for the opportunity they gave me to serve as Governor from January 2001 through January 2005,” Governor Wise wrote in the book. “During this period, our life as a nation changed forever. Our strength and our character as a nation and a people were tested time and again.”

The 423-page book chronicles his major policy initiatives as governor, and includes his 2001 inaugural address, each of his annual State of the State addresses, and scores of other speeches and documents.

The posting of Governor Wise’s state papers in a free online format echoes one of his first acts as governor – presenting the 2001 West Virginia Legislature with his proposed state budget and legislative package as a set of electronic documents at the beginning of the session.  The e-book is also available on iBooks and in the Amazon Kindle store. A limited number of print copies of the book will be distributed to libraries across the state and others later this year. 

Wise, elected in 2000, led the development of the PROMISE Scholarship program, expanded healthcare coverage for West Virginia children, and organized public-private partnerships to spur economic development across the state during his term.

Prior to seeking the governorship he represented West Virginia in the U.S. Congress for 18 years. He was known in Congress for his support of education – particularly programs that directed aid toward students, rather than institutions; for strong support of Social Security, Medicare and other safety-net programs; for balanced budgets and fiscal reform; and for environmental protection.

Since leaving office, he has served as president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocacy and research group for improving the quality of the country’s high schools. Governor Wise currently chairs the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and serves on several other boards, committees, and commissions, including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting.

The book was edited by Bill Case of Morgantown, who served as communications director during the first year of Wise’s term. It was designed by Stonewall Group, of Charleston and Marietta, Ohio. The paper edition is being printed by Central Printing Company of Beckley.

The West Virginia State Archives is the primary repository for records pertaining to the state, its government, and its history. Collections include books and other printed materials, manuscripts, maps, photographs, audio-visual materials and other historical documents. Among the state government records, the Archives holds the official papers of most of the state’s governors, with the majority of those having online finding aids to the collections. The papers of Governor Bob Wise include legislative material, constituent correspondence, grants, various agency files, and six boxes of materials concerning the design contest for the West Virginia Quarter.

For more information, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner for the division, at (304) 558-0220.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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