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Tag: Harry S. Truman Presidential Library

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library: The 30-Year Journey

October is American Archives Month! We’re celebrating the work of archivists and the importance of archives with a series of blog posts about the Presidential libraries. The records created by Presidents while in office will become part of the National Archives, and eventually will be used by researchers. Here’s how it happens! 

Today’s post comes from Emily Niekrasz, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.

Photograph of Harry S. Truman in his Office at the Truman Library, July 1961. (National Archives Identifier 6233777)

Photograph of Harry S. Truman in his Office at the Truman Library, July 1961. (National Archives Identifier 6233777)

In the 1960s, if one called the Harry S. Truman Library, the former President himself may have answered.

Although Truman was apprehensive about constructing a “shrine” to himself—especially while he was still living—he understood the importance of preserving his Presidential papers for future scholars and administrations.

However, because the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library was the only precedent, the Presidential Libraries Act was still not law. The slow process of construction and planning a library meant that Truman’s papers were without a permanent home for years.

In January 1953, most of Truman’s papers were moved in 12 trucks from Washington, DC, to the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, MO, where the archival process of sorting through his papers began.

Even after the move, however, the President and First Lady Bess Truman continued to be overwhelmed by the volume of records.… [ Read all ]

Korean War exhibit in Seoul features National Archives images

Truman Library Director Mike Devine stumbled upon this Korean War exhibit while visiting his wife in Seoul, South Korea. The images used in the exhibit are from NARA holdings.

When Harry S. Truman Library Director Mike Devine flew to Seoul, South Korea, the last thing he expected to see was an enormous outdoor exhibit featuring photos from the holdings of the National Archives.

“In the last decade or so, we’ve had quite a number of researchers from Korea to the Truman Library to copy thousands and thousands of images. Still, I was surprised to see this in this big outdoor exhibit,” Devine said. “As I got closer, I was like, ‘Hey! That’s our stuff!’”

The outdoor exhibit was not co-sponsored by the National Archives but was the work of a private group. It showed the United States and United Nations support for the Republic of Korea in the aftermath of the North Korean invasion in June of 1951. The exhibit features more than 150 images from the Truman Library and other National Archives facilities.

The exhibit was held just outside Seoul's large governmental center.

The exhibit is on Seoul’s main thoroughfare in the city’s governmental center. Also displayed are the flags of the 67 nations that supported the people of Korea during the 1950–53 war and its immediate aftermath. It was sponsored by World Peace and Freedom United and is intended to … [ Read all ]