The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies was established in 1974 by the Richard B. Russell Foundation, Inc., Georgia General Assembly, and Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Library’s original mission was to collect and preserve materials documenting the life and career of Richard B. Russell, Jr., United States Senator from Georgia from 1933 to 1971. The Library's holdings have since expanded to include approximately 500 manuscript collections and more than 1,000 oral history interviews documenting modern (1900-present) politics and public policy in Georgia and an array of issues related to the American political system. The Russell Library enjoys a national reputation as one of the largest and foremost repositories for modern congressional papers. In 2014, the Russell Library received a Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities.
The Russell Library values the enduring tradition of the political stump. This icon of American representative democracy, which graces the Russell gallery’s foyer floor, is a reminder of the dynamic relationship between politics, public policy, and the people. Using this framework of perspectives and experiences, the Russell Library invites researchers of all experience levels and areas of interest as well as visitors from around the world to explore the diversity of people, events, and ideas shaping Georgia’s political landscape.
To advance the University of Georgia’s research and teaching missions, the Russell Library offers robust instruction guided by archives-centered pedagogy. The Russell Library is also dedicated to developing and presenting public programming and educational materials that facilitate research, raise public awareness of the Library and its collections and services, and provide learning opportunities for the communities it serves.
To achieve and advance its mission, the Russell Library pursues opportunities for collaboration with numerous individuals and organizations. Current partners include the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, Georgia Disability History Alliance, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund. The Russell Library is a founding member of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress.