The Living Repository of the Arizona Constitution

The Living Repository of the Arizona Constitution will be a new public resource for the study of Arizona's founding charter and its development. A project of the Center for Political thought and Leadership within the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University and ARTIS International, and in collaboration with the Quill Centre at Pembroke College in the University of Oxford, this project will allow citizens and scholars alike to better understand Arizona's unique contribution to constitutional democracy.

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The public will have a new searchable, digital repository of Arizona's constitutional development, allowing citizens and researchers to draw connections between the official public record, newspaper accounts, and other archival material in new ways. By including previously undiscovered material submitted by Arizona citizens, the new repository will be the definitive site for understanding how the Arizona constitution emerged.

 Arizona's Constitution is a reflection of the state's deep history, changing alongside the state itself. It is uniquely responsive to citizens’ wishes and has always reflected the flinty spiritedness of Arizona itself. The Living Repository project aims to bring this story alive by:

  • Helping citizens know, appreciate, and personally contribute to the political history of Arizona by assembling a digital archive of documents related to its constitutional development before, during, and after statehood.

  • Helping citizens understand and appreciate the American system of constitutional federalism, in which state constitutions complement the US Constitution and its protections.

  • Providing civic education resources to bring Arizona’s constitutional tradition to the states’ K-12 schools-- through a website and Arizona pocket constitution, among other resources.
  • Helping scholars better understand liberal democracy and constitutional design by incorporating Arizona’s state history into the Quill Project’s database of worldwide constitution-making.

Who's Involved

The Arizona Legislature initiated the Living Repository of the Arizona Constitution project and tasked the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, ARTIS, and Quill as the project leads. Further support comes from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, A Division of the Arizona Secretary of State, as well as Black Mountain Investment Company. The Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University also will share its experience working with the Quill Project to build a website and living repository on the Utah constitution, a project that is nearly complete.