Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden smiles on stage at the "In Conversation with Carla Hayden" session at the ALA Annual Conference

A Presidential Center Preview

June 25, 2023

“The presidency that is the main thrust of this particular story is also the story of the first digital president,” said Obama Presidential Center museum director Dr. Louise Bernard. Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden interviewed Bernard and Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown about the Center at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference and … Continue reading A Presidential Center Preview

An image of a tape recorder used to tape conversations at the White House during the Nixon administration and now belongs to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

By the Numbers: Presidents’ Day

January 3, 2023

Presidents’ Day is February 20  1955 Year Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act, establishing the Presidential Library System. Before that, many presidents’ archives were lost, destroyed, or separated. 887,000 Number of copies of Barack Obama’s 2020 memoir, A Promised Land, that sold in the US and Canada within the first day of publication—a record for … Continue reading By the Numbers: Presidents’ Day

A Lakota camp in 1891. During his presidency, Harrison forced the Sioux Nation to divide among separate reservations in the Dakotas and sent the military to Wounded Knee. Photo composite: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (Harrison, Lakota, tipis)

Tarnished Legacies

January 4, 2021

It also has led to repercussions at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia. When, in 2015, Princeton students staged a 32-hour sit-in demanding that the school remove Wilson’s name, “we had a huge drop in funding,” says Robin van Seldeneck, the Virginia library and museum’s president and CEO. “We had people saying, … Continue reading Tarnished Legacies

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries, Then and Now

February 14, 2020

First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Dewey Decibel host Phil Morehart speaks with Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, about the beginnings of the presidential library system and how Roosevelt’s library has changed since it opened in 1941. Next, Morehart talks with Brooke Clement, deputy director of the Barack Obama Presidential Library, … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries, Then and Now

Dewey Decibel podcast Episode Eight: Hail to the Chief's Library

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries

December 1, 2016

Meredith Evans, director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. American Libraries managing editor Sanhita SinhaRoy talks with Meredith about managing a presidential library, her work with President Carter, and more. Jodi Kanter, associate professor of theater at George Washington University and author of the book Presidential Libraries as Performance: Curating American … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries

Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum

By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries

November 1, 2016

1939 Year the Presidential Library System began. Franklin D. Roosevelt donated his presidential and personal documents to the federal government. 643 Number of hours of recorded telephone conversations the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum has collected. The conversation topics range from the assassination of JFK to dealing with the USSR. 45 Number of meetings … Continue reading By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries


Digitizing Camelot

November 18, 2013

The anger, frustration, and worry that the situation could turn out very badly were evident in the president’s voice. It was September 1962 and pro-segregation forces were readying for a violent clash with US troops over a court order entitling James Meredith, an African-American student, to enroll at the all-white University of Mississippi. Days before … Continue reading Digitizing Camelot