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An Anonymous Patron writes "Presidential Libraries: integral part of history
Students from the Rector Public Schools Gifted and Talented program learned about the history of the Presidential Library system from Kathleen Pate on Friday afternoon in the Rector Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room.
Pate, the Education Specialist for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, presented a program on the history of the Presidential Library System for G/T students in grades five through 12 at 1 p.m.
The first Presidential library was the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, N.Y. In 1939, Roosevelt donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government. At the same time, he pledged part of his Hyde Park estate to the government and his friends formed a non-profit organization to build a museum and library in his honor.
In 1955 the Truman Library was constructed. This was an important year in the history of the Presidential Library System due to the passage of the Presidential Libraries Act. Funds for Presidential libraries are raised privately. After the building is constructed, the deed is transferred to the government, which is responsible for the maintenance of the facilities.
The Presidential Records Act of 1978 changed a long-held common belief that any papers generated while a President was in office were his to do with as he saw fit. According to the website for the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), this Act stated that any papers documenting "the constitutional, statutory and ceremonial duties of the President are property of the United States Government"."