Thursday, June 08, 2006

JFK Library and Museum to digitize collections

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which I had the pleasure of visiting in January 2005, has announced that it will undertake an expected ten year project to digitize
"48 million pages of documents, 400,000 photos and 1,200 hours of video," as well as "7.5 million feet of motion-picture film and 9,000 hours of audio recordings," and will make them available to the public online.

President Kennedy's papers will be dealt with first and library archivist Allan B. Goodrich says they could be available online in 18 months.

Senator Ted Kennedy, the late president's youngest brother, said Wednesday that "President Kennedy loved history and drew inspiration from it. Hopefully, by making these collections widely available, we can inspire new generations in many lands."

For someone like me who is fascinated with presidential history, is a strong proponent of presidential libraries and museums and a librarian who believes in providing access to historical materials to the largest possible audience, I am thrilled by this announcement and the potential it holds.


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