Presidential Libraries

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.

Search to begin for new director of Clinton Presidential Library

There's A Job Opening in Little Rock, Arkansas! The National Archives and Records Administration is to search for a new director for Bill Clinton's presidential library.

The library's first director, David Alsobrook, has announced he will retire from his federal job as of June First and then move to his native Alabama, where he will run a museum in Mobile. Alsobrook has spent seven years as overseer of Clinton's records.

Bush library offers speech downloads

For the first time, the George Bush Presidential Library Center at Texas A&M University is opening its archives to offer the public a way to download major speeches recorded there.
Chron.com says The video recordings accessible through the university's iTunes U Web site at itunes.tamu.edu include speeches by White House press secretary Tony Snow, former first lady Barbara Bush and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. It also will include recent appearances by presidential candidates.

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.

Sincerely,

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.

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