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Tag: Presidential papers

Creating a Presidential Library

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 Alan Lowe, Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, November 6, 1997. (George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

Dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, November 6, 1997. (George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

My introduction to Presidential transitions came in a bit of a baptism of fire. I had transferred from the Ronald Reagan Library to Washington, DC, in early 1992 to work in the Office of Presidential Libraries.

Later that year, Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush, and suddenly we had to quickly plan a Presidential move. The day after the election, I was detailed along with others to the White House.

From then until inauguration day, I worked with terrific NARA, White House, and Department of Defense colleagues to inventory, box, palletize, and move a huge amount of material out of the White House complex.

Some of my previous experiences at Reagan helped—while working there as an archivist, I was part of that team as we moved from our temporary facility in Los Angeles to the permanent … [ Read all ]

The Presidents are expecting you!

Is there a Presidential Library near you? Check this page of the President Passport to find out.

Did you know that the 13 Presidential libraries are part of the National Archives?

The National Archives is a nonpartisan agency, and we care for all the paper and digital records—as well as Presidential gifts and other items—that are part of the President’s legacy. These documents are preserved and made accessible at the 13 Presidential library and museums.

Before the Presidential libraries were created by Franklin Roosevelt, the papers of each President met varying fates at the end of each term. Papers were divided up, given to private collections, and even destroyed. 

In 1939, FDR donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government. He asked the National Archives to take custody of his papers and other historical materials and to administer his library. (For a full history of the creation of the Presidential libraries and how they operate, go to  this Prologue article)

The buildings, grounds, museum, and collections of each library are as different as the 13 Presidents whose records they preserve—and now you can commemorate your visit to each one with an official “Passport to the Presidential Libraries.”

Each page features facts, pictures, quotes, and a description of that President and his library. They are available at any Presidential library and at the Archives Shop … [ Read all ]