Presidential Libraries

C-Span Checks Out Presidential Libraries

Broadcasting & Cable notes C-SPAN is teaming with the National Archives on a 12-week series, Presidential Libraries: History Uncovered.

As its name suggests, the series will tap the resources of the 12 libraries--actually airing live from each one for the Friday night 8-10 p.m. show--to provide some rarely, or in some cases never-before, aired home movies, audio, photos, documents and other artifacts.

C-SPAN will digitize more than 1,000 rare recordings and steam them over its Web site.

SMU: No deal in library suit

SMU rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have allowed a dozen university employees and a handful of architects with knowledge about the George W. Bush Presidential Library to be quizzed confidentially about the university's plans.

Meanwhile, the university's attorney confirmed that a formal announcement about the library could come as soon as mid-September.

Bush Presidential Library a "Trade Secret"

Dallas News reports: SMU rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have allowed a dozen university employees and a handful of architects with knowledge about the George W. Bush Presidential Library to be quizzed confidentially about the university's plans.

SMU has declined to discuss its plans, calling the information a trade secret that could be used by the Bush library competitors.

Bill Seeks Disclosure on Presidential Library Fundraising

Legislation requiring organizations that raise money for presidential libraries to disclose who is funneling donations to their efforts is set to be considered by a Senate panel, despite unresolved objections from one committee member.

Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., originally planned to mark up the bill June 13 but yanked the measure after it drew objections from committee member Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Stevens argued that the legislation would unfairly force President Bush to disclose donors for his presidential library while he's still in the midst of raising funds. Stevens is currently under investigation by both the FBI and the IRS for his relationship with an oil field engineering firm.

Poor Bushie. Report from the New York Times.

The Politics of Presidential Libraries

Minnesota Public Radio hosted a call-in show on the politics of presidential libraries. The directors of the Nixon and Hoover presidential libraries appeared on the show to discuss the relationship between politics and history.

Nixon library adopts historical view of Watergate

"I can't run a shrine," says Timothy Naftali, named last year as the Nixon library's first federal director. Promising "a 360 degree look" at Watergate, he ordered the demolition of the existing exhibit, to be replaced by a more accurate account. The Concord Monitor has the story.

NPR on New Government Oversight of the Nixon Library

Follow-up on yesterday's story about the Nixon Library being turned over from private control to government control under the National Archives. Now you can listen to those charming old Nixon tapes free of charge on the Internet. Story (audio and print) from NPR.

Air Conditioning Back On at Lincoln Library (Springfield, IL)

(Springfield, IL) Talk about hot! The Lincoln Library, opened just 2 years ago [see update], had to go without air conditioning for almost a month. The system was out of order and all they had for ventilation were fans. "Sweltering temperatures" is how the Journal-Register described it. Since Monday, the Air has been back on but, as Library Director Nancy Huntley puts it, "it takes a long time for a building of this kind to cool." [Wetterich, Chris. "Library Air Conditioning Kicks Back In", Springfield Journal Register: 7/10/2007 2:14:55 PM]

UPDATE: imiller explains that the air conditioning problem happened at the Public Library called "Lincoln Library" and not the 2-year-old Presidential Library of the same name.

Nixon library's changes start with Watergate

The LA Times Takes A Look At The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, which they say, has long been the most kicked-around of presidential libraries, and nothing invited more ridicule than the dim, narrow room purporting to describe the scandal that drove its namesake from office. In late March, however, workers roped off the Watergate gallery and methodically began to destroy it. Armed with hammers, a crowbar, a screw gun and a Sawzall, they yanked big display cabinets out of the floor, sliced through tough fiberboard panels, detached more than 100 fluorescent lighting tubes and removed the long strips of plexiglass that had sandwiched text transparencies.

What Bush's Team Can Learn From Clinton's Library

A few suggestions for the architects at SMU, such as "use punchy titles" from Carl P. Leubsdorf, Washington Bureau chief of the Dallas News. An example of 'spinning' the history of the administration:

"The Bush planners could learn a lot about putting a positive spin on the war in Iraq from the way the Clinton library explains Mr. Clinton's failure to pass a massive restructuring of the health care system and the 1998 effort to oust him from office over his misstatements in the Monica Lewinsky affair.

The failure of the health care plan devised by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the library's version concludes, was caused by "negative advertising and charges of 'big government,' " accentuated by "partisan bickering."

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