America’s presidential libraries tell the story of the presidency and those who have occupied our nation’s highest office. From Washington to Bush, from McKinley to Clinton, these institutions preserve and present history that has helped define our nation and change the world. Having worked with presidential libraries for over twenty years, and serving as Director of three of them, Alan Lowe is a uniquely qualified “tour guide” who will describe how presidential libraries were first imagined, how they are created and operated, and how they serve, in a variety of ways, to advance our understanding of the fascinating and vitally important story of the presidency.
Presidential Libraries and Museums, by Christian A. Nappo
Homes and Libraries of the Presidents, by William Clotworthy
Presidential Places: A Guide to the Historic Sites of U.S. Presidents, by Gary W. Ferris
(The National Archives website, archives.gov, includes information on the NARA presidential libraries and links to each libraries’ website.)
1. How can presidential libraries respect their namesakes and donors while retaining an objective approach in their exhibits and programs?
2. What role does the government have, if any, in continuing the tradition of presidential libraries?
3. How can presidential libraries best confront the challenges and opportunities of digital archives?
4. What is the best way to present history to make it relevant to visitors of different backgrounds and interests?