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The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum is excited to announce the official start of its online Digital Library with the “release” of approximately 89,000 pages of digitized textual records from the Presidential “Handwriting” Files of the Office of Staff Secretary. These documents, previously only available in physical form, have been digitized and placed online for easier access. Each file unit has been digitized into a single PDF.

The Staff Secretary is a position in the White House Office responsible for managing communications to the president and circulating documents among senior staff for comment. Sometimes described as “the nerve center of the White House,” the position was first created under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  In the Carter White House, this office consisted of three full-time employees: The Staff Secretary (Rick Hutcheson), the Deputy Staff Secretary (Bill Simon), and the Confidential Assistant (Patty Maloomian.) The Presidential Files of the Staff Secretary Office primarily consist of the daily contents of the President’s outbox, filed chronologically according to the date when each item left the Oval Office.

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To access these documents, visit us online. You will notice several expandable sections with descriptive information about the collection. Scroll down further and you will see the Presidential Files series. This series contains several thousands of pages of digitized records available for research. Each “container” is expandable and contains PDFs of each scanned file unit.

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So, here’s the big question… What can YOU find in these records?

When the National Archives & Records Administration launched the Citizen Archivist initiative, the goal was to encourage the public to interact with the records of the National Archives by contributing to efforts to make historical records more available and easier to access. In that same vein of thought, we are curious as to what YOU can find in these newly digitized records!

  • Do you wonder what kind of paperwork the President had in his outbox on the date of your birth? (Or your actual birthday if you were born in 1977 or 1978!)
  • Or guess which particular document in file “2/25/77 [1]” in Container 9 of the Presidential Files made me chuckle… (Hint: Vice President Walter Mondale writes what I think many will find to be amusing and endearing commentary in the margins of a particular memo…)
  • Or pick a “day in history” and let us know what you find! On today’s date (July 21) in 1978, I discovered that President Carter signed a letter welcoming the first class of Presidential Management Interns. The Presidential Management Intern Program was established by Carter via Executive Order 12008 on August 25, 1977, “…the purpose of which is to attract to Federal service men and women of exceptional management potential who have received special training in planning and managing public programs and policies.” Nowadays, there is the Presidential Management Fellows Program, which is still an ongoing opportunity. I was not familiar with this program until I began exploring this particular set of records… What will you learn more about?

Share what you find here in the comments section or on our Facebook page. (Sharing the URL of specific file units works best.) We would like to be able to feature select discoveries on our blog and Facebook in October for American Archives Month and Georgia Archives Month!

Good luck searching!



Do you live in Atlanta or plan on visiting this summer? Looking for fun, affordable, and convenient ways to entertain your little ones? Did you know that the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum holds a seasonal reading program known as Book Nook on select Mondays during the summer months?

Volunteer Program/Tour Coordinator Janet Harris is ready to read! Come visit us for story time at the Book Nook.

Visit us for storytime at the Book Nook

Beginning at 10:00am, a friendly volunteer will read a few themed storybooks to the gathered visitors in the Museum lobby. Stories are geared toward preschool age children (ages 2-5), but younger and older visitors are welcome! Stories conclude at 10:30am, but we invite you to stay a little longer… There is also a world of exploration to be had in the Museum itself and the natural wonder found around the grounds. Take your little ones on a nature expedition to see the diverse flora and fauna found in our city. Enjoy a stroll through the Rose Garden or the new Native Pollinator Garden that has just been completed. Feel free to picnic at any of the tables situated around the grounds or find a shady spot in the field looking toward the ponds.

Statue in Rose Garden

Statue in Rose Garden at Library

The reading program is free and open to walk-in participants. Museum hours are 9:00am-4:45pm on weekdays and admission is free to children under 16; $8 for adults; and $6 for students, military, and seniors with valid ID. Visit us online for additional details and dates.

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Grounds of the Carter Library & Museum

[Correction to original post--the museum opens at 9:00am on weekdays, not 9:30am.]

Thanks to Archivist Amanda Pellerin for contributing this post!

Blue Star Museums Program

by on May 23, 2014


Beginning Memorial Day, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum will be participating in the Blue Star Museum program. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2014.

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Best wishes for a pleasant Memorial Day weekend to all–check out the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum’s Facebook page for a look at two individuals who we know will have a wonderful weekend. (Staff bid good-bye and gave thanks to two longtime staff members: Janet Harris, who, oversees our volunteer programs and Jim Doherty, who builds all of our exhibits are retiring this month and will be greatly missed!)

Janet Harris and Jim Doherty Retire from Carter Library & Museum -- Congrats!

Janet Harris and Jim Doherty Retire from Carter Library & Museum — Congrats!

Plains Chautauqua

by on April 4, 2014


May 2-4, 2014
Plains Chautauqua Weekend Event, Plains, GA
Sponsored by the Plains Historical Preservation Trust
Keynote Speaker – President Jimmy Carter 

 

Travel to Plains, Georgia for a unique opportunity, the first Plains Chautauqua weekend event! “Travel back in time to the mid 1800s and explore the unique history of Plains, Georgia,” birthplace of Jimmy Carter.
The Plains Historical Preservation Trust (PHPT) revived Chautauqua programs for our community in 2008. Many residents of Plains have fond memories of the ‘mini’ Chautauqua programs Miss Julia Coleman held at Plains High School from the 1920s – 1940s. In addition to the programs at Plains High School, Plains had tent Chautauqua programs in the 1920s. 

The purpose of reviving and offering Chautauqua programs is to educate and also to document our rich history. Recent programs have included performances, musicians, authors, historians, and artists. The events have been single program events designed to include PHPT members and people from our community.

Details regarding registration can be found online. Weekend passport registrations will not be accepted after April 11th.



“President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, plan to join the premiere of the new play ‘Camp David’ by Lawrence Wright that opens in April in Washington.

The Arena Stage announced…that the Carters will serve as honorary chairs of the red-carpet premiere of ‘Camp David.’ It’s a fundraising event scheduled for April 3 to support programs at the theater.

‘Camp David’ follows the pursuit of peace in the Middle East for 13 days during Carter’s presidency, when he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. It will feature Tony Award winner Ron Rifkin as Begin and actor Richard Thomas as Carter.

The production will run from March 21 to May 4.
-Associated Press, Feb. 6, 2014

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