Archive for July, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Federal Register 2.0!

Written on: July 26, 2013 | 1 Comment

The National Archives, in collaboration with the Government Printing Office, publishes the Federal Register, a daily compilation of notices of public meetings, legislative hearings, grant and funding opportunities, and announcements of public interest.  In addition, it publishes proposed regulations and provides information about how to comment on these proposals—a very manual process.  On its 75th anniversary on July 26th 2010, we launched Federal Register 2.0, affectionately known as FR2, exploiting social media tools to better connect the American public with their government.  Highly graphic, clean and crisp, it is arranged in topical section to meet user demand and interest:  money, environment, world, science and technology, business and industry, and health and public welfare.

Federal Register homepage
Federal Register 2.0

The most important feature is the ability to immediately comment on proposed regulations.  A prominent green “Submit a Comment” button next to the proposal launches a pop up comments page.

FR2 Proposed Rule
Proposed Rule on Federal Register 2.0 Website

Comment form

Submit a comment on the proposed rule though Regulations.gov

Traffic on the site is up more than 36% over last year with 500k visits per month and more than 1m pages viewed each month.  In the first three months of 2013, nearly 35k comments were submitted to Federal agencies about proposed regulations.  There is no simpler means of participating in the rulemaking process in all of the Federal … [ Read all ]

Happy Birthday Waldo!

Written on: July 17, 2013 | 3 Comments

This is the birthday of Waldo Gifford Leland, born this day in 1879 in Newton, Massachusetts.  He was a historian with careers at the Carnegie Institution and the Library of Congress, and played an important role in the creation of the National Archives.

Leland’s portrait hangs among those of the previous Archivists of the United States.  And I discovered him on a recent afternoon when I noticed that there were 10 portraits.  Counted them twice.  Thought maybe someone had made a mistake and I was number 11, not 10!

Waldo Gifford Leland portrait
Portrait of Waldo Gifford Leland, 1879-1966. From RG 64, Records of the National Archives
The portrait was dedicated on October 24, 1957.

 
Leland was a student of J. Franklin Jameson at Brown and Jameson’s mentee.  Leland took an early interest in archives, compiling the “Guide to the Archives of the Government of the United States in Washington” and searching across the United States for the correspondence of the Continental Congress delegates.

In 1907 he presented a paper to the Columbia Historical Society in Washington stressing the need for a national archives—the beginning of his campaign for preserving the records of the country.  In 1909 he presented his paper, “American Archival Problems,” at the American Archivists Conference, which he helped organize.  In 1912 he wrote “The National Archives:  a Programme” which outlined the poor condition of … [ Read all ]

Happy Fourth of July!

Written on: July 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

In 1776 when John Adams was envisioning future celebrations of the Declaration of Independence he said:

“It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

While he didn’t mention the National Archives and our annual commemoration I am sure he would be pleased with how the home of the Declaration of Independence celebrates this day.  Hundreds of people will be gathering on the Constitution Avenue steps of the National Archives to participate in a dramatic reading of this Charter of Freedom by Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Ned Hector, and George Washington.   What better way to prepare for the Fourth of July parade in the Nation’s capitol?!

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A New Deal for a New Generation

Written on: July 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

On the last day of June of 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt stood at the entrance to his library in Hyde Park, New York—the first of the Presidential Libraries—and dedicated it to the American people with these words:

“It seems to me that the dedication of a library is in itself an act of faith.

To bring together the records of the past and to house them in a building where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things.

It must believe in the past.

It must believe in the future.

It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future.”

“…an act of faith.”  These words are as true today as they were in 1941.  In fact, just this past April, in dedicating our newest Presidential Library, George W. Bush quoted those words from President Roosevelt.

AOTUS speaking at FDR Rededication ceremony
David Ferriero addresses the crowd at the FDR Library Rededication Ceremony on June 30, 2013

 

Yesterday at Hyde Park, we rededicated the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, the culmination of a multi-year renovation project and exhibit redesign.   A Presidential Library is and must be a living entity.  President Roosevelt, who created the … [ Read all ]