Presidential Libraries

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."

Architects apply for Bush library job at SMU

News From Texas Planning for the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU has taken another step forward with at least three nationally prominent firms competing to design it – and each can play up architectural ties to the president.

From the Texas Rangers' park in Arlington to a memorial in Mr. Bush's home state to an engineering building at his alma mater, the firms are now engaged in a high-stakes contest to gain support from a selection panel that has said the winning design must incorporate the "spirit" of the Bush presidency.

All of Russia to Join Yeltsin's Library

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree creating a presidential library in St. Petersburg that will be named after post-Soviet Russia's first president, Boris Yeltsin. The president has asked the organizing committee, headed by Presidential Property Managing Department head Vladimir Kozhin, to design a plan for implementing the project by June 20. The State Duma has already offered to allocate 1.6 billion rubles annually in 2007 and 2008 from the budget to finance the project.

Step taken to make Reagan Library officially part of Simi Valley

A recent move by a Ventura County commission may mean the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum can officially call this town home.
Although the library's address says Simi Valley, it is actually in unincorporated Ventura County just outside the city limits. Last week, the Ventura County Local Agency Formation Commission took the first step toward annexing the land by putting the library officially into the city's sphere of influence.

Bush Library appears to be a lock at SMU

The Dallas News Reported SMU's efforts to land the George W. Bush Presidential Library became all but certain last week, when officials from local architectural firms admitted having been approached in recent days about designing the high-profile project on the Park Cities campus.

Lincolniana Coming Home to Springfield

Some priceless mementoes of our sixteenth president, including one of only three extant stovepipe hats, will now be housed in his Library and Museum in Springfield IL, thanks to a large acquisition from private donor Louise Taper of Beverly Hills,California. Taper began her fascination with Lincoln as a young mother upon reading Irving Stone's 'Love Is Eternal' (reference this article from American Heritage Magazine.)

In response to the news of the acquisition from the State Journal-Register, one reader (Lincoln Buff) comments "Taper's "addiction" to collecting all things Lincoln began when, as a young person working for a manuscript company, she took her pay in Lincoln documents and the collection had its start. Its exponential growth through her persistence is phenomenal. Thank you, Louise, for your foresight and diligence in bringing these items together. Thanks to both you and the ALPLM for keeping the collection together and bringing it home before the 2009 bicentennial of Lincoln's birth."

The Reagan Diaries

Ronald Reagan kept diaries during each of the eight years of his presidency, except for a brief period when he was recovering from an assasination attempt by John Hinckley. Yesterday, the day before the compilation of his diaries is to be released by HarperCollins in association with the Reagan Presidential Library, his widow placed two of her late husband's five maroon, leather-bound diaries in a display case at the library.

According to this AP Story, the cover-to-cover theme in Reagan's writings was his wife Nancy.

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