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Archive for June, 2013

George Bush celebrates 89th birthday with colorful socks

Happy birthday, President Bush!

As a tribute to its namesake’s penchant for exuberant socks, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation encouraged well wishers of George Bush, 41st President of the United States, to submit photos of their colorful socks as part of his 89th birthday celebration on Wednesday, June 12.

The George Bush Presidential Library Center staff celebrate President George Bush's 89th birthday by wearing exuberant socks. What kinds of crazy socks do you like to wear?

The George Bush Presidential Library Center staff celebrate President George Bush’s 89th birthday by wearing exuberant socks.

“We asked for sock photos, and we got them! It was wonderful to see the photos pour in,” said Fred McClure, CEO of the George Bush Foundation. “Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. We can’t wait to see what socks you can find for next year.”

Photos were submitted from around the world, from friends, family, and current and former leaders. President Bush’s granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, submitted a photo of her daughter, Mila, in colorful socks. Leaders who contributed crazy sock pictures included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley; Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; and former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.

Well wishes were sent by the White House, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the [ Read all ]

The Papers of the Founding Fathers Are Now Online

Today’s post comes from Keith Donohue, communications director for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives. This post originally appeared on the White House blog.

What was the original intent behind the Constitution and other documents that helped shape the nation? What did the Founders of our country have to say? Those questions persist in the political debates and discussions to this day, and fortunately, we have a tremendous archive left behind by those statesmen who built the government over 200 years ago.

For the past 50 years, teams of editors have been copying documents from historical collections scattered around the world that serve as a record of the Founding Era. They have transcribed hundreds of thousands of documents—letters, diaries, ledgers, and the first drafts of history—and have researched and provided annotation and context to deepen our understanding of these documents.

These papers have been assembled in 242 documentary editions covering the works of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, as well as hundreds of people who corresponded with them. Now for the first time ever, these documents—along with thousands of others that will appear in additional print volumes—will be available to the public.

The Founders Online is a new website at the National Archives that will allow people to search this archive … [ Read all ]

Keeping It All Together: Paper Fasteners at the National Archives

Today’s post comes from Alan Walker, archivist at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

In my reflective moments, I think about what has kept me here at the National Archives for all this time. It couldn’t be the bone-wearying monotony of shuffling heavy cartons of records from here to there, or the tedium of changing out old information systems and learning the vagaries of new ones. No, there’s something else that gets me in the door every morning. Fasteners.

There is a seemingly endless variety of shapes and constructions to be found among the fastener family. Here are some that the author saved.

You wouldn’t think that something so trivial would hold my attention for any length of time. And yet, paper fasteners play such a vital role in our daily lives here. Consider: when researchers open boxes of records, they will see the telltale signs—the double round holes centered at the tops of the documents, the pinprick perforations in the corners. And many fasteners are still doing their duty among the records now.

It is a canon of archival preservation that fasteners are the devil’s work; capable of doing lasting and disfiguring damage to their host’s integrity, they must be removed, and forthwith. And so they are. Textual processing staff at all National Archives facilities do this every day. Perhaps gazillions of … [ Read all ]