Essay about Presidential Libraries Have A Split Personality

875 Words Sep 27th, 2014 4 Pages
Presidential libraries have a split personality. The reason for this behavior is due to its dual functions, all but one (Gerald Ford) of the 13 current libraries house both an archive and a museum. The archives are for researchers who are looking for historical documents, while the museum is focused on the more casual visitor seeking information about the president. This duality of purposes requires a more synthesized look at the presidential library system for information seekers. The majority of the literature written in scholarly articles about the presidential library system breaks down into three major topics, concerns about access to presidential documents, the cost of the library system as being unsustainable, and the biases and omissions found in the museums. This literature review will examine 10 articles that take into account the history and effects of these concerns on presidential libraries.
Review of writings
One of the main topics that is being addressed in the articles are concerns over regulations, and how low levels of staffing have negatively affected access to historical documents in the archives. Hall (2009) recounted the history of the presidential library system. The original presidential library was constructed in 1939 under the direction of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The purpose behind the library was for the American people to have a better understanding of history through the papers of the president. In 1955, the Presidential…

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