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President’s Day at the National Archives

by on February 19, 2014


Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


This week we celebrated President’s Day, a U.S. federal holiday that officially honors George Washington’s birthday. While the holiday may be for George, we at the National Archives love all our presidents equally. We’ve been celebrating by diving into our catalog and tagging photos of all of our nation’s presidents.

Curious about what tagging means and how you can get involved? Check out our previous blog post, where we discuss tagging the Online Public Access catalog. Tagging helps index the National Archives’ collections and allows you, our public users, to discover records. Have some ideas on improving your tagging experience? Let us know here on NARAtions or by emailing us at search@nara.gov.

Turn up “Hail to the Chief” and let’s get started!

We may not have any pictures of George, but we have the next best thing, a record of his portrait! This iconic portrait, painted by Gilbert Charles Stuart, can be found on the U.S. one-dollar bill. You’ll need a few of those if you plan on hitting some President’s Day sales at the mall.

George Washington, President of U.S, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865. NARA ID: 528597

George Washington, President of U.S, ca. 1860 – ca. 1865. NARA ID: 528597

FDR was born on January 30th, but we completely forgot to get him a present! Let’s hope this gigantic cake will make up for our absentmindedness.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Receives a Birthday Cake in the Oval Office, White House from William Green of the American Federation of Labor, 01/30/1942. NARA ID: 6037481

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Receives a Birthday Cake in the Oval Office, White House from William Green of the American Federation of Labor, 01/30/1942. NARA ID: 6037481

Uh-oh. Lookings like Franklin’s fifth cousin and fellow President Theodore wants a slice! Don’t worry, there’s plenty of cake for all our Presidents.

Photograph of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. NARA ID: 594109

Photograph of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. NARA ID: 594109

One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite things about being President was flying on Air Force One. You can visit his flying White House in person at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

President Ronald Reagan waves as he prepares to board Air Force One for departure, 04/05/1984 NARA ID: 6387444

President Ronald Reagan waves as he prepares to board Air Force One for departure, 04/05/1984 NARA ID: 6387444

We don’t have too many records of current President Barack Obama in our Online Public Access Catalog, but we will when his term is over on January 20, 2017. Until then, you can browse the 317 records we do have, including this one.

Office of the Administrator (Lisa P. Jackson) - U.S. President Barack Obama in New Orleans, Louisiana [412-APD-608-2010-08-29_NOLAPOTUS_037.jpg], 08/29/2010. NARA ID: 6899821

Office of the Administrator (Lisa P. Jackson) – U.S. President Barack Obama in New Orleans, Louisiana [412-APD-608-2010-08-29_NOLAPOTUS_037.jpg], 08/29/2010. NARA ID: 6899821

Be sure to head over to our Online Public Access Catalog and start tagging! Show your appreciation for the work our Presidents do by tagging your favorite Presidential records.

To get started tagging, you’ll need to:

Tagging is a fun and easy way to make our records more accessible to the public. By tagging content in our catalog, you’re helping to connect other people to our records. This gives a whole new meaning to our records and helps make them “come alive” to a completely new audience.

We hope that you’ll share any tagging suggestions you may have in the comments below or emailing us at search@nara.gov. We’re always looking for new tips and tricks to help make your search easier, If you would like to see us cover a particular topic or theme, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.


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