Via the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
As part of the Dedication Ceremonies, President and Mrs. Bush presented the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which will operate the Library and Museum. The Bush Center and NARA signed a joint use agreement at a ceremony in Freedom Hall today.
The Archivist of the United States is a Wikimaniac - are you?
Last Saturday I spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of Wikimedians at the Wikimania 2012 Conference here in Washington. Over 1400 people from 87 countries came together to talk, hack, and share their expertise and experiences at the week-long event. I was glad to share in their joie de vivre and to talk about our common missions at the closing plenary session.
So you may be asking why the Archivist of the United States is so interested in working with the Wikimedia Foundation. As I noted at the conference, 42% of Americans turn to Wikipedia for information. It is a terrific way to make Archives content more transparent and available. If we are serious as an agency about our mission to provide access to permanent federal records, and indeed we are, then we must consider working with the community and using the power tools available through the Wikimedia Foundation.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
And check out our Wikipedian-in-residence sporting a National Archives tat!
(in the spirit of full disclosure he’d want us to mention that it’s temporary, but we appreciate the gesture nonetheless!)
Q:What exactly is the difference between the National Archives and the Library of Congress? Do they hold different types of materials?
There’s nobody better to answer this than David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) himself, straight from his blog:
There’s a common misconception that the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress are one in the same. This probably stems from the fact that as institutions we have similar missions. Here are just a few differences:
- The National Archives was established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 to centralize federal record keeping; The Library of Congress was established by an act of Congress in 1800 as a reference library for Congress.
- The National Archives is part of the Executive Branch; the Library is part of the Legislative Branch (remember the “of Congress” part of their name).
- The head of the National Archives is the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS); the head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress.
- At the National Archives you can see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, collectively known as the Charters of Freedom; At the Library of Congress you can see Jefferson’s library, the Gutenberg Bible, and the 1507 Waldseemueller map (the map that first named America).
As Americans we are very fortunate to have multiple institutions that are concerned with preservation of our national treasures. At the National Archives, we are thinking about the importance of preserving electronic records and making sure we aren’t losing our virtual memory.
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created the Office of Archivist of the United States, the Archivist to be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Act of June 19, 1934 (“National Archives Act”), Public Law 73-432, 48 STAT 1122, “to create a National Archives of the United States Government and for other purposes.”
Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 19, 1934, this act established the National Archives to centralize federal record keeping, with the Archivist of the United States as its chief administrator.