In 1939, President Roosevelt donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government, marking the beginning of the modern Presidential Library system that is part of the National Archives. Seventy-four years later, the newest Presidential Library holds more documents than FDR could have imagined.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum holds more than 70 million pages of textual records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails (totaling roughly 1 billion pages), and 4 million digital photographs (the largest holding of electronic records of any of our libraries).
Collecting this material, cataloging and processing it, and making it available to the public was a task that began on January 20, 2009.
As a Presidential administration nears its end, the National Archives works with the White House and the Department of Defense (DOD) to begin organizing, boxing, and moving a huge amount of Presidential materials out of various locations in Washington, DC. All records and artifacts must be out of the White House by noon on Inauguration Day.
At the same time, the National Archives locates temporary storage in the area of the future Presidential library—in this case, Lewisville, Texas. Then the National Archives and the Department of Defense begin moving the records to the temporary library facility.
Now the archival and museum staff begin the laborious task of establishing control over these new holdings. Properly cataloging … [ Read all ]