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‘Goodbye Mr President’: Presidential Libraries and Public History in the USA

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Abstract:

The network of presidential libraries in the United States plays an important role in memorializing a key aspect of American history. They help to manufacture public memory about a particular president and some are more interested than others in presenting a fully rounded picture of their subject. Yet even in their myth-making much is revealed about particular presidents and the forces which shape public history in the United States. While considerable criticism surrounds some aspects of the work of the presidential libraries, particularly their cost and their grandiosity, their historical value remains significant.

Keywords: American Presidency; Libraries; Museums; National Archives; Records Administration; US History

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ejac.22.1.23/0

Affiliations: University of Plymouth

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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