News / USA

US Presidential Libraries Contribute to Research, Education

US Presidential Libraries Contribute to Research, Educationi
X
April 22, 2013 7:37 PM
On April 25, former presidents and cabinet members will be in Dallas for the inauguration of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Every modern president has a library in his name starting with Herbert Hoover, who left the White House in 1933. These institutions are the official repositories of presidential records and documents, with oversight from the National Archives. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Austin, they also serve an educational function.
US Presidential Libraries Contribute to Research, Education
Greg Flakus
On April 25, former presidents and cabinet members will be in Dallas for the inauguration of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Every modern president has a library in his name starting with Herbert Hoover, who left the White House in 1933.  These institutions are the official repositories of presidential records and documents, with oversight from the National Archives. They also serve an educational function.
 
President Lyndon Baines Johnson, or LBJ, died in 1973. But a life-like animatronic representation of him greets visitors to his library in Austin, Texas.
 
Visitors find it entertaining. “Pretty cool, a little disconcerting, but very life-like," said one woman. 
 
After a $10 million renovation, the LBJ Presidential Library is now more interactive, with computerized exhibits.
 
Visitors can listen to some of the more than 640 hours of telephone conversations President Johnson recorded for posterity.
 
Lyndon Johnson assumed office after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. And   though he brought about civil rights laws and anti-poverty programs, his legacy is clouded by the Vietnam war.
 
LBJ Library Director Mark Updegrove says presidential libraries do not glorify their namesakes and in fact present a full picture of their time in office.
 
“It is not up to us to direct history and tell people what to think, but we do want them to know what he did and how it impacts your life.  What you think about that is up to you," he said. 
 
Presidential libraries provide access to documents for historical research. Updegrove says this reflects the openness of a democratic society. “Those records belong to the people, they do not belong to that president," he said. 
 
A short drive from Austin is another presidential library, that of George W's father, George Herbert Walker Bush. 
 
Like several other presidential libraries, this one has a small-scale oval office. Director Warren Finch says it draws visitors.  
 
“We feel that is one of our key missions in our museums and educational programs is to talk about civics, how the US constitution works, how the government works in practice," he said. 
 
Modern technology provides libraries with a treasure trove of images and audio recordings, but Finch says managing all that material is a challenge.
 
“There is... about a million photographs, ten thousand cassettes of video tape," he said. 
 
For presidential libraries, preserving and managing materials of historic importance is a continuing enterprise, made difficult by the sheer size of the collections they keep.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More