Oregon Constitution Challenge FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

If you have a question about the Constitution Challenge not answered here, let us know: Oregon.SOS@state.or.us​

What is the Oregon Constitution Challenge?

​​​Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and Oregon State Archivist Mary Beth Herkert invite Oregonians to help restore, preserve and exhibit the original 1857 Constitution. The fundraising goal of $100,000 will provide for professional restoration of the historic document and a secure, climate-controlled display case and exhibit.​

Why are Oregonians being asked to lead the fundraising efforts?

In 1984, Oregon schoolchildren raised over $37,000 in coins to re-gild the golden pioneer on the Oregon State Capitol. In that spirit, the Archives Division is inviting Oregon's schoolchildren to contribute just 10 cents each to put the project on a path to success. The call for contributions is also extended to any Oregonian with a passion for our state's legacy. The Constitution is both an important symbol of our democracy and the founding legal document upon which Oregon was built. It deserves to be restored and regularly displayed, and the Oregon Constitution Challenge will give Oregonians across the state an opportunity to protect our state Constitution and become a part of our state’s lasting legacy.​​​​

How can schools participate?

Every school that raises a total of $250 or more toward the Constitution Challenge goal will have its school name engraved on a plaque displayed with the original Constitution, so that every future generation to view the Constitution will appreciate their contribution. The Challenge is open to all schools in Oregon and we encourage public, private, charter and homeschooled students to participate. Please address the check to "Oregon State Archives" and send your Constitution Challenge funds to the following address. Include a memo that the funds are designated for the Constitution Challenge. Please also include your school's name as it should appear on the plaque, and contact information if we have any questions.

Mary Beth Herkert
Oregon State Archives
800 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97310 ​

Are you doing public events or school visits?

Yes! Secretary Richardson and State Archivist Mary Beth Herkert are visiting schools to talk about the Oregon Constitution. If your group or school is interested, please fill out the Request for Speaking Engagement form​.​​​​​​​​​

Do you have additional resources?

Yes! Oregon students and their teachers are invited to consider the Oregon Civics Questions​ about Oregon’s Constitution and their state government. Learn more about how the Oregon Constitution was debated and written in the State Archives online exhibit, Crafting the Oregon Constitution: Framework for a New State​. Finally, The Civics Toolkit​ is an Oregon-centric guide to elections civics. These lessons target students ages 17-24.​​​

Can I contribute but remain anonymous?

Yes. If contributing online be sure to un-check the box for "Please share my name on your website." If contributing by check, include a note that you do not wish your name to be made public. If we are not instructed to keep your contribution anonymous, your name will be added to our Constitution Challenge Contributors page​.


Artistic Rendering​​​​​​​

The shadows of people stand around a case in the center of a room with a book placed on top under glass.
This artistic rendering shows a possible display for the constitution once it is restored. Enlarge image >

Original Oregon Constitution

Title page of 1857 Oregon Constitution
Title page of the original Oregon Constitution, including a handwritten annotation from former Secretary of State R. P. Earhart. Enlarge image >
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