Presidential Libraries

Havel to play library card

Gary Price writes

A year into his post-presidential life, Vaclav Havel is taking a cue from his American counterparts.

The dissident/playwright-turned-politician's life and legacy will be the focus of a presidential library, modeled on similar institutions in the United States dedicated to 10 former presidents. The project is being overseen by the nonprofit company Knihovna Vaclava Havla, co-founded by former first lady Dagmar Havlova, and a six-person administrative board that met for the first time Feb. 16. Havel publicly announced the project the next day during a wide-ranging interview with Czech journalists, his first such meeting since leaving office in February 2003.

Organizers say the library will serve as a research center and repository for Havel's writings and records related to his public life. It will also host exhibits on the communist era, the dissident movement and the re-establishment of Czech democracy and will host seminars and conferences on global issues and human rights.

Scholars: Presidential libraries keep top-shelf info out of reach

This article from the explains how "some of the great archives of American history, presidential libraries, are full of obstacles...that keep (people) from getting the full picture."

However, the argument against this is that it is not intentional. "But it would be wrong to interpret all this as signs of a secretive government, National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said."

UK firm wins Clinton library contract

Charles Davis writes from

that "a British cabinet-making firm has won a £500,000 contract to fit out Bill Clinton's presidential library.

Netherfield Visuals has been awarded the contract to build 85 glass cabinets to display the archives of the 42nd US President.

The William J Clinton Centre will open later this year in the former President's home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, and showcase the legacy of the Clinton administration."

Presidential Libraries Keep Top-shelf Info out of Scholars Hands

Bob Cox sends this article "about presidential scholars who are finding important documents tough to find at presidential libraries. The scholars are tipped off to missing documents by pink slips of paper inserted into folders. More from Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram."

NH Group Wants A Presidential Library for an Overlooked President

One hundred and fifty years after he served his term as U.S. President, Franklin Pierce is finally getting the recognition of history buffs. ABC News story here In his lifetime, he was written off as a failure and as a weak, ineffectual leader who was wrong on the overriding issue of his time: slavery.
Pierce personally did not approve of slavery. But his position was that because the U.S. Constitution allowed slavery, it was wrong to deny people the right to have slaves.

A small group of Pierce enthusiasts in his home state believes the nation's 14th president deserves a second look.

"He had the terrible task of being president just before the Civil War," said Florence "Chips" Holden, a member of the Pierce Brigade, founded in the 1960s to save Pierce's Concord home from being torn down. "He made the big mistake of trying to keep both the North and the South happy, and it backfired."

'Love Story' Centers on Truman Letters

More than 1,300 letters he wrote over 50 years, along with a handful the first lady wrote to her husband, play out on stage this Valentine's Day in "The Love Story of Harry and Bess Truman," at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library.

Workers at the museum and library know why only a handful of Bess Truman's letters to her husband exist.

They tell a story of Harry Truman finding his first lady at a fireplace, burning hundreds of letters she'd written him.

Full Story

Nation's first ladies find a home in Canton

Bob Cox noted News that the National First Ladies Library is now open in Ohio.
In September, all of the materials were moved into the refurbished 1895 building, which was dedicated by first lady Laura Bush.

The cornerstone of the library is the bibliography. It's a rapidly growing book collection of nearly 3,200 titles that represents about 70 percent of all the books ever written about or by a first lady, Krider said.

Real Nixon Library Finally

A real Nixon Library - LA Times has a story today about the Nixon Presidential Papers finally being given to the library.

Clinton's gift to Internet age

Reuters Says The archives of the Bill Clinton presidential library will contain 39,999,998 e-mails by the former president's staff and two by the man himself.

"The only two he sent," Skip Rutherford, president of the Clinton Presidential Foundation, which is raising money for the library, said on Monday.

One of them may not actually qualify for electronic communication because it was a test to see if the commander in chief knew how to push the button on an e-mail.

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