Presidential Libraries

Clinton Library--Bridge to the 21st Century

Anonymous Patron sends "this Newsweek article that focuses on the architectural aspects of the Clinton Presidential Library which is set to open November 18, 2004. Clinton chose "James Polshek "a much-respected 'architect's architect,' whose clean-edged modernist designs reveal a deeply humanist touch."

Were his obsessions worth it? Absolutely. Like Clinton himself, the library is larger than life: bold and dramatic. Yet, as he wanted, it's also people-friendly and light. It campaigns hard for your vote of "Wow!"


Precious Lincoln documents on their way to new home

Anonymous Patron writes "Looks Like Abe Is Coming Home; The move _ which requires years of planning, a platoon of movers, three weeks and $109,000 _ is the last major step before opening the long-delayed, state-of-the-art Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The old library is a dungeon-like maze of rooms beneath the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield. With the move underway, shelves are half-empty. The floors are crowded with orange "RentaCrates" being loaded with books and papers. Empty cabinets, broken chairs and boxes of odds and ends are scattered everywhere."

Get-well messages to Clinton to be archived at library

Now that we know Bill's OK, Associated Press is reporting More than 30,000 get-well messages received by former President Clinton's foundation Web site will be displayed in his presidential library when it opens Nov. 18.

The Clinton Foundation, which is building the $165 million library and center in Little Rock, set up a message board on its Web site in advance of Clinton's heart bypass surgery Monday morning. By Sunday night, the number of messages had exceeded 30,000, said Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy.

Presidential Libraries Seek Tourists in Theme Park Era

Mary McKnight calls herself Ronald Reagan's No. 1 fan. Gazing somberly at the 40th president's tomb, the retired nurse from Kansas murmured, "It's humbling to be here."

Nearby, a boy in a New York Yankees jersey seemed less impressed by Reagan's library and museum, muttering about wanting to go to Disneyland.

The contrast illustrates the challenge facing the nation's 11 presidential libraries--soon to be 12 with the opening of Bill Clinton's this fall--as they compete for visitors at a time when many tourists would rather be riding a roller-coaster than sifting through presidential archives.

Although Reagan's death has led to a surge in visitors to the library, attendance at the nation's presidential libraries during the past five years has declined about 13 percent. To reverse the trend, libraries are adding attractions, turning to more-aggressive marketing tactics and leaning on tourist attractions to promote themselves. Read more.

Queen of Soul to Help Open Presidential Library

Little Rock will get a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T when Aretha Franklin performs Nov. 16, as part of the festivities leading up to the Clinton Presidential Library's grand opening.

According to the Houston Chronicle the Franklin concert is expected to be one of several major artistic highlights of the week leading up to the Nov. 18 library opening. Other events include a documentary film festival, an exhibit of White House art and an outdoor concert.

Lincoln's 'extraordinary' briefcase donated to Illinois

Anonymous Patron writes "The Chicago Sun Times is one place with news on a Maryland motorcycle dealer whose parents once worked for Abraham Lincoln's son and wife who gave Illinois a prized leather portfolio belonging to the 16th president that is worth perhaps $1 million.
The worn carrying case emblazoned with Lincoln's name in gold lettering is believed to have been used by Illinois' favorite son to carry drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation and other important speeches and documents between the White House and his retreat outside the capital."

Presidential Libraries...Come One, Come All

This AP article gives us a bit of perspective on the operations of the eleven (and soon to be twelve) Presidential Libraries, and how things are faring for them.

Reporter Andrea Almond tells us, "Although Reagan's death has led to a surge in visitors to the library, attendance at the nation's presidential libraries during the last five years has declined about 13 percent. To reverse the trend, libraries are adding attractions, turning to more aggressive marketing tactics, and leaning on nearby tourist attractions to promote themselves."

The article goes on to tell us about the soon to be open Clinton Library, which includes exhibits on White House pets - cat Socks and dog Buddy, and includes a display of Mickey Mantle's rookie baseball card, which was a gift for the president.
At least one of the exhibits deals with the President's impeachment.

Sharon Fawcett, deputy assistant archivist for the National Archives and Records Administration says on the subject of Presidential Libraries:
"People want to know about their presidents, and these libraries offer that opportunity. It's a challenge for all libraries and museums, not just presidential ones, to draw young visitors when competing with the Disneylands and other amusements."

Clinton Library accused of clearing out homeless

A recent Associated Press story describes attempts in the city of Little Rock to get homeless people out of the woods and into shelters. The Clinton Library, set to open in November, was built on the site of a warehouse where homeless people used to live. Some say attempts to remove homeless from the area are motivated by a desire to make the city attractive to those who will be visiting for the library's opening. The president of the Clinton Foundation denies that the attempts to clear out homeless camps are related to the library's opening. Strategies for moving these people include making sure everyone eligible for veterans benefits is getting them, and making more people aware of shelter options.

Lincoln Portfolio Donated to Presidential Library

A portfolio that historians believe Abraham Lincoln used to carry around official papers was donated Tuesday to the state of Illinois.

Tom Heyser of Maryland, whose parents were housekeepers for Robert Todd Lincoln, the president's son, gave the briefcase and a dress worn by Mary Todd Lincoln to First Lady Patti Blagojevich at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Read More.

Nixon Library Adds Full-sized Replica of White House East Room

Couples looking for a unique wedding venue can add a replica of the lavish White House East Room to their roster of choices.

On Aug. 21, the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace will unveil what is billed as the nation's only full-size clone of the East Room, complete with crystal chandeliers and marble fireplaces. Read More.


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