Office of the First Lady

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

An Inventory of First Lady Anita Perry’s Files at the Texas State Archives, 1969, 1996-2015, undated, bulk 2008-2013

Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions

Overview

First Lady Anita Perry, 2012

First Lady Anita Perry, 2012

Creator: Texas. Governor (2000-2015 : Perry)
Title: First Lady Anita Perry’s files
Dates: 1969, 1996-2015, undated
Dates: bulk 2008-2013
Abstract: The Texas Office of the First Lady encompasses the official governmental activities of the spouse of the governor. The office is not an actual state agency and functions as a subdivision of the Office of the Governor. These records document the activities of Anita Perry in her capacity as Texas First Lady from 2000-2015, with records dating 1969, 1996-2015, undated, bulk 2008-2013. These include acting as hostess during receptions at the Governor’s Mansion; presiding over selected welfare organizations and initiatives; participating in fundraisers, galas, and social causes; accompanying the governor in official travels; participating in select ceremonial duties; and decorating the Governor’s Mansion. The records consist of both paper and electronic formats and include incoming and outgoing correspondence (letters, emails, invitations), informational fliers, programs, brochures, ephemera, newspaper articles, certificates and proclamations, photographs, CDs, speech transcripts, radio and video public service announcement (PSA) scripts, audio files, biographical and introductory notes, electronic slide presentations, administrative documents, travel itineraries, schedules, communication with media outlets, media advisories, media articles, and social media contributions.
Quantity: 20.25 cubic ft. and 7.93 GB (10,786 files) of electronic records
Language: These materials are written predominately in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Click here to enter the records


Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records described in this finding aid are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/10288/tsl-10288.html.


Organization of the Records

The records are divided into 11 series (Click on an entry to go to that page. Cubic ft. measurements are paper records.)


Agency History

The Texas Office of the First Lady encompasses the official governmental activities of the spouse of the governor. The Office of the First Lady is not an actual state agency and functions as a subdivision of the Office of the Governor. To date, there is scant legislation regarding this office. It is defined more by tradition and individual preference than legislation. Although not legally mandated, “at the request of the Governor, and to represent the State of Texas” is the guiding phrase for all the First Lady’s official activities. To facilitate this end, the Travel Regulations Act (Texas Government Code, Section 660.203(b)) states that the governor’s spouse is entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred while performing duties at the direction of the governor. These duties have traditionally included acting as hostess during receptions at the Governor’s Mansion, presiding over selected welfare organizations and initiatives, accompanying the governor in official travels, and participating in select ceremonial duties.

Texas Government Code, Section 442.0071(d) outlines the First Lady’s role in the decoration of the Governor’s Mansion. It states that the Texas Historical Commission must solicit the advice and approval of the First Lady before making changes to the decoration of the Governor’s Mansion. Moreover, the First Lady is often appointed as a member of the Inaugural Endowment Fund Committee. According to Texas Government Code, Section 401.011(b), the inaugural endowment fund may be expended for “decorating, furnishing, preserving, or improving the Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, or other state property of historical significance or for grants in support of public schools, public libraries, or other charitable causes at the discretion of the inaugural endowment fund committee.” All of these areas have historically fallen under the influence of the First Lady.

The Texas Office of the First Lady has two staff and the First Lady often relies on the support staff of the governor for assistance in communications and scheduling in her official capacity.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 9th and 10th eds., (1996 and 1999); the contents of the records; and the Governor’s Office website during Governor Perry’s term, accessed in June 2015.)


Biographical Sketch

Anita Thigpen was born in Haskell, Texas on May 5, 1952 to Joseph Eltidge Thigpen, a family physician, and Beunis Ratliff. She began her college education at Texas Tech University and transferred to West Texas State University (now West Texas A & M University) in 1974 to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She later earned a Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Mrs. Perry began her nursing career as a registered nurse at Haskell Memorial Hospital and eventually rose to the position of director of nursing and helped establish a rape crisis program at the hospital. She also worked as a nursing instructor. She left the nursing profession after her husband, Rick Perry, was elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner in November 1990. She subsequently worked for public relations and lobbying firms on healthcare issues. In 2003, Mrs. Perry was hired as an outreach director and fundraiser for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
(Click here to read more of the Biographical Sketch)


Scope and Contents of the Records

The Texas Office of the First Lady encompasses the official governmental activities of the spouse of the governor. These records document the activities of Anita Perry in her capacity as Texas First Lady from 2000-2015, with records dating 1969, 1996-2015, undated, bulk 2008-2013. These include acting as hostess during receptions at the Governor’s Mansion; presiding over selected welfare organizations and initiatives; participating in fundraisers, galas, and social causes; accompanying the governor in official travels; participating in select ceremonial duties; and decorating the Governor’s Mansion.

Records of this office comprise paper and electronic records, including incoming and outgoing correspondence (letters, emails, invitations etc.), informational fliers, programs, brochures, ephemera, newspaper articles, certificates and proclamations, photographs, CDs, speech transcripts, radio and video public service announcement (PSA) scripts, audio files, biographical and introductory notes for Mrs. Perry, electronic slide presentations, administrative documents, travel itineraries, schedules, media advisories, media articles, and social media contributions to and from Mrs. Perry’s account. Electronic records described in this finding aid that are part of the Texas Digital Archive are indicated as such in the inventory. Restrictions on access to the content of records are applicable to paper and electronic records.

(Click here to read more of the Scope and Content Note)


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access
Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to, email addresses (Texas Government Code, Section 552.137); account numbers, access device numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136); driver’s license numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.130); social security numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147); financial information (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136); and information protected under common law privacy (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552). The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (director.librarian@tsl.texas.gov), or see our web page (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/customer/pia.html). Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information. If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.

Records series described in this finding aid have access restrictions specific to each of them. The terms of access can be found in the series-level description.

Types of restricted information as listed above apply to physical and electronic records. Some electronic records will not be available through our portal due to such restrictions. Please see Archives staff for further information.

Physical materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements
Researchers are required to use gloves provided by the State Archives when reviewing photographic materials.

Please see Archives staff for appropriate hardware/software to access information on the CDs.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the series), First Lady Anita Perry’s files, Texas Governor Rick Perry records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession numbers: 2015/067 and 2015/117

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Governor between December 19, 2014 and March 2015, and on January 29, 2015.

Processing Information
Processed by Aditi Worcester, June 2015