Presidential Libraries

The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t

But the center, which will cost an estimated $500 million, will also differ from the complexes built by Barack Obama’s predecessors in another way: It won’t actually be a presidential library. In a break with precedent, there will be no research library on site, and none of Mr. Obama’s official presidential records. Instead, the Obama Foundation will pay to digitize the roughly 30 million pages of unclassified paper records from the administration so they can be made available online.
From The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t - The New York Times

The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives

I get a sick feeling in my stomach even now as I remember how long it took to answer that question. I started by looking through the library’s “Finding Aids,” a version of a catalogue, in black looseleaf notebooks, which listed the titles of the file folders in each box. Just for Johnson’s “House of Representatives Papers,” the general files from his eleven years in that body, the time before he became a senator and then President, there were three hundred and forty-nine boxes. And those weren’t the only boxes that contained letters, memoranda, reports, speech drafts, etc., that dealt with this period. There were, for example, the LBJA files, which included documents that Johnson’s staff had, at various times, shifted from the general “House Papers” and put into other groupings—the library calls them “collections”—such as the “Selected Names” files, which contained correspondence and other material with “close associates.” At least it wouldn’t be me alone turning the pages. Working in the Reading Room with me would be Ina, whose thoroughness and perceptivity in doing research I had learned to trust.
From The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives, by Robert A. Caro | The New Yorker

Mary Regula, Founder of Library Saluting First Ladies, Dies at 91

Mary Regula, who led a successful campaign to establish a national library to research and commemorate the disparate and often unsung roles played by presidential spouses, died on April 5 at her family’s farm in Navarre, Ohio. She was 91.

Presidential Libraries Are a Scam. Could Obama Change That?

The National Archives and Records Administration—which operates presidential library-museums for every president from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush—won’t be operating either for Obama. His private Obama Foundation, not the government, will own and operate the museum. And there really won’t be a presidential library. The Obama Foundation will pay for NARA to digitize unclassified records and release them to the public as they become available, but the center’s “Library,” which may or may not house a local branch of the Chicago Public Library, will not contain or control presidential papers and artifacts, digital or otherwise. Instead, according to a NARA press release that called the museum “a new model for the preservation and accessibility of presidential records,” those records will be stored in “existing NARA facilities”—meaning one or more of the agency’s research or records centers across the country.
From Presidential Libraries Are a Scam. Could Obama Change That? - POLITICO Magazine

Obama Presidential Center Design Unveiled : NPR

The design for the Obama Presidential Center was unveiled Wednesday at an event attended by former President Obama and Michelle Obama. The Center, slated to be completed in 2021, will be located in the Jackson Park neighborhood of Chicago's South side and it will include three buildings — a museum, forum and library that surround a public plaza. The buildings will be made up of variegated stone with glass openings to allow for natural light and be certified at LEED v4 Platinum for resource efficiency and sustainability.
From Obama Presidential Center Design Unveiled : NPR

Gladstone Library, a Refuge for Liberal Values

From the New York Times (a liberal bastion of journalism), an article about the liberal bastion of libraries on the England-Wales border Gladstone's Library.

A library was established by Britain’s high-minded Victorian Liberal prime minister, William Gladstone in the late 19th Century and its now enjoying a boom in use. Unlike the US where all former Presidents establish a library, it is the only Prime Minister's library in the UK. Access is free to all.

The restaurant at Gladstone’s Library, close to the border between Wales and England, is called Food for Thought, and the caterers have been busy recently. Interest has surged in an institution that houses Gladstone’s books and papers and that sees itself as a temple of liberal values, delighting its director, Peter Francis, who believes the trend is a reaction to the rise of populism in Britain to the upcoming Brexit.

Presidential libraries can create excitement, or controversy, for campuses

"It's kind of like a mini-Smithsonian, and when you go there, you normally you think you're going to get history and you're going to learn from them. If presidents want a museum of advertisement, don't turn it over to the federal government."
From Presidential libraries can create excitement, or controversy, for campuses | Education Dive

First stop for Obama library archives? An empty furniture store

Before the doors of President Barack Obama's library open on Chicago's South Side, truckloads of White House archives will be shipped to a former furniture store in the northwest suburbs. A massive volume of paperwork, electronic data and artifacts will find a temporary home at the old Plunkett Home Furnishings store in Hoffman Estates, Ill. As many as 120 employees will be brought in by the National Archives and Records Administration to sort through the material, which ultimately will be part of the Obama Presidential Center.
From First stop for Obama library archives? An empty furniture... | www.myajc.com

How Presidential Libraries Work

“They’re really getting big,” says Hufbauer, who points out that the private funding allows “presidents to build gigantic temples dedicated to themselves.”

That means that presidential scandals or mistakes may get glossed over, and presidential successes highlighted. “The decision about what to display in the very first exhibits is made by the president, along with the National Archives and key advisors who help determine the story and presentation of those artifacts,” says Susan Donius, director of the office of presidential libraries.

From How Presidential Libraries Work

U.S. Presidential Libraries Photos | Architectural Digest

ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN
U.S. Presidential Libraries
In honor of the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, AD visits the libraries of each of the other former commanders in chief

From U.S. Presidential Libraries Photos | Architectural Digest

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