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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid