Presidential Libraries

Plans for Bush library stir Texas-size tempest

The Chicago Tribune says the possible advent of the Bush library -- and especially an ideological think tank planned as part of it -- has split the SMU faculty, feeding a debate that simmers beneath the serenity of the leafy campus. At an institution dedicated to scholarly achievement and academic freedom, many fear the work of the Bush Institute would forever associate SMU with a right-wing political agenda.
"I'm concerned that we're going to be judged by the things this institute does," Johnson said. "These guys are so divisive, so unpopular, it seems to me really dangerous to go for an arrangement that could turn the face of your university over to them without any controls over them."

Hemingway/Dietrich Letters Now at JFK Library

A ten-year correpsondence between Ernest Hemingway and Marlene Dietrich will be made available Monday April 2 at the JFK Presidential Library.

"These extraordinary letters reveal Hemingway as a loyal and caring friend," said Tom Putnam, the museum's director. "When combined with the Library's collection of correspondences from Dietrich to Hemingway, these new letters help to complete the story of a remarkable friendship between two exceptional individuals which has never been made available to the public before in such depth."

More from All Headline News.

Follow-Up From the Clinton Library Re: Responding to Hillary Questions

A week or two ago, I reported that NewsMax, ultra-conservative right-wing news-gathering organization claimed that archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library were deliberately ignoring requests to provide information on the former First Lady's eight years at the White House.

I wrote to the Clinton Library on behalf of our LISNews readers, and here's the response I received from the library's Senior Archivist, Melissa Walker:

"Dear Robin,
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Library holds Clinton Presidential records that are covered under the provisions of the Presidential Records Act (PRA). The PRA makes all of these records available to Freedom of Information Act requests five years after the end of a Presidential administration, which for Clinton Presidential records began on January 20, 2006. All FOIA requests throughout the NARA system are treated, as the law requires, on a first-in, first-out basis, which means that as requests are received they are filed in queues based on the date, size and complexity of the request.

The Clinton Library has experienced an unprecedented number of FOIA requests filed since January 2006 and currently has received 356 such requests. Once a FOIA request comes to the front of a queue, the responsive records must be reviewed on a page-by-page basis for both Presidential restrictive categories and Freedom of Information Act exemptions. Given the size and number of the FOIA requests we have received to date, all requesters are waiting their turn. Some will have to wait longer than others simply because of the date, size or complexity of their request. We are trying to be equitable to all requesters and process these records as quickly as we can.


Melissa Walker
Supervisory Archivist
William J. Clinton Presidential Library
National Archives and Records Administration"

Boilerplate, but I was impressed that they responded to my query in a timely fashion.

Is The Clinton Library Mum on Hilary?

Since she made her announcement to run for for President of the United States, the Clinton Presidential Library has received over fifty requests for information about the White House years of the former First Lady. Only four requests have been granted according to this article from, a definitively right-wing news source.

According to the article, officials at the library blame the delay on the sheer volume of requests, but Newsmax also points out that the Clintons' longtime personal lawyer Bruce Lindsey has control over the 138-million-page archives documents and can reject any request.

No sources other than are reporting this story.

Methodist Council Gives SMU Bush Library Their Blessing

Now that the Methodists have given official approval, it looks like SMU will most likely go ahead with Texas-sized plans for establishing the G. W. Bush library on their campus. SMU President R. Gerald Turner said, ""There are still other things that have to be worked out, but this is a major step."

Here's the word from up above via the Houston Chronicle.

Large, Undisclosed Contributions to Presidential Libraries Create Potential for Corruption

In testimony on Capitol Hill, the director of the Center for Responsive Politics urges Congress to shine light on the financing of public-private complexes that honor presidents."The potential (for corruption) may be far greater than in the campaign finance system," Krumholz told the committee, chaired by California Democrat Henry Waxman. Libraries can accept multi-million-dollar donations and gifts from corporations and foreign governments. Political campaigns cannot accept those types of contributions.

Two professors began campus library debate on Dubya Llibrary Reports On Reverend McElvaney and Dr. Johnson who co-wrote an opinion editorial published in the Nov. 10 issue of The Daily Campus. "Never in our wildest dreams could we have predicted this kind of aftermath," Johnson said.

The Bush Library controversy has made national and global news on networks like ABC, CNN and MSNBC, as well as in papers like The Washington Post and The New York Times. The library proposal has been discussed in three faculty meetings and three petitions referencing the library have been circulating.

Call grows to do presidential library gifts by the book

Call grows to do presidential library gifts by the book: Congress turned its sights Wednesday on a loophole that has let presidents quietly raise millions from corporations and foreign governments, as a House committee moved toward mandatory disclosure of gifts to presidential libraries.

Critics of Southern Methodist University's effort to land President Bush's library have raised concerns about the lack of such a reporting requirement. And government ethics watchdogs had long worried about the ulterior motives – from pardons to federal contracts – behind some of the donations used to erect research centers and museums for former chief executives.

Bush: SMU "Might Be A Good Fit" For Presidential Library

In a C-SPAN interview recorded Monday, President Bush reiterates his apparently growing inclination to choose his wife's alma mater as the site for his presidential library and affiliated policy institute.

Although Baylor University technically remains in the hunt, Southern Methodist University officials announced in December that they were entering into exclusive talks with the site selection committee.

The president told C-SPAN Monday he's leaning "pretty far" toward SMU.

New Harvard Lady Prez Fought School Segregation at Age Nine

Search-Engines writes:

"Exactly 50 years ago yesterday, a girl scout living on a farm near this Clarke County town 100 kilometres from Washington wrote a letter to the White House. It was a time of rising racial tension in Virginia and the country. Drew Gilpin, without telling her parents, decided to seek help from the president."Dear Mr. Eisenhower," she wrote in careful block letters, "I am nine years old and I am white, but I have many feelings about segregation." Server?pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Ar ticle&cid=1171234212718"

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