Presidential Libraries

Rutherford B. Hayes Library Visited by Light-Fingered Trio

Some say that President Hayes stole the 1876 election from his Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden, but now it's the Hayes Library that has suffered a loss. Two of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library's rarest books, with a total value of about $130,000, are missing.

While authorities have arrested three people believed connected to the disappearances, it's still not known where the books are. The books are the Maxwell Code and the Freeman Code, some of Ohio's first laws, dating back to the 1790's.

One of the thieves was previously arrested in 2007 in connection with the theft of $20,000 worth of antique maps from a bookstore in Harrisburg, IL. He also has a prior arrest record for felony theft and receiving stolen property. Toledo Blade reports.

Bush library in a closet (Cheney gets a bunker)

A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 'article' states that the presidential papers accumulated over the eight years of the George W. Bush administration can "fit comfortably in a single cardboard box" and that library planned for them at SMU might end up smaller as a result.

The Board President's Watching the Library, but Who's Watching the Board President

We reported last month on the disastrous condition of the FDR Library in Hyde Park; now the Nassau County (NY) DA's office is investigating the former board president Natalie Connor, who is suspected of having misused as much as $42,000 in library grants and renovation-related donations on such items as beauty supplies, car payments and plane tickets.

New York Newsday reports: Connor allegedly opened an account without anyone's knowledge, depositing $48,000 of foundation and library funds. Records show she started spending the money in May 2007. The library trustees thought the foundation funds were being deposited in the library's operating account, a library source said.

Presidential Libraries...Not Just in the United States

No, there are big ($6 million) plans for one in Nigeria too.

Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Foundation [OOPLF] has sealed a $6.1 million contract with Ralph Applebaum & Associates (RAA), an American firm of designers and architects, for the development of the museum component of the Presidential Library project. RAA was responsible for the Bill Clinton Library and Holocaust Museum among others.

Former Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Christopher Kolade described the library as a repository of African objects and artifacts. He justified the rationale for initiating the Presidential Library project in the former president's home state (Abeokuta, 48 miles south of Lagos) and also organising a fund raising ceremony for it while still in office.

Kolade said it was global practice for a President of a nation to initiate such a project while in office, citing for example the incumbent President of the United States of America, George W. Bush who had raised more than $500 million for his library.

Freedom from Mildew

The infrastructure of the FDR Library is in shambles. The roof leaks, the basement floods, asbestos is flaking from old steam pipes, an ancient electrical system could send the whole place up in smoke. This sorry situation is an insult to the person the library and museum honor: the founder of the New Deal, the greatest investment in our nation’s modern development.

Op-ed calling for congressional support of our existing Presidential Libraries by author Nick Taylor in today's New York Times. Some interesting commentary on the subject of Presidential Libraries too.

Methodist Leadership Group endoreses Bush Library at SMU

The Associated Press reports that the Methodist jurisdiction that owns the land on which the Bush Library will be built have voted to endorse the construction of the library.

This vote dashed the hopes of opponents whose last-ditch efforts were two petitions presented to the church's South Central Jurisdiction.

Methodists endorse Bush library at SMU

Methodist group on Thursday endorsed building George W. Bush's presidential library center at Southern Methodist University, essentially ending opponents' nearly two-year battle.

The largely symbolic votes dashed the last-ditch efforts of the project's opponents, who had presented two petitions to the South Central Jurisdiction to bar the entire library complex or only the public policy institute on the SMU campus. The jurisdiction owns the land.

Presidential Library Buys Home for Archive

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is one step closer to creating a campus in Staunton dedicated to the 28th president. The library bought a Wilson era home on Beverley Street behind the museum.
The library expects renovations to meet archive standards will cost close to $2 million.

Foreign donations suspended, Bush library says

Faced Monday with a report that a rogue lobbyist urged an exiled Central Asian leader to support the Bush library to curry favor in Washington, library officials promised that no foreign money will be accepted until President Bush leaves office. On Tuesday, it became clear the public will have to take them at their word.

The foundation isn't promising to identify all donors, or the dates and sums of their gifts.

"Current law only requires annual disclosure of the total sum raised," said Dan Bartlett, the former White House counselor, speaking for the foundation that will build the Bush library and research center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "We're working through all our decisions but ... at a minimum, we are not going to be accepting donations from non-U.S. residents before he's out of office."

Sting Operation Suggests Inappropriate Fundraising for GWB Library

Houston Chronicle: Houstonian denies he tried to sell access to Bush aides
House panel investigating Stephen Payne after London report that he offered Central Asian officials meetings in return for contributions to president's library


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