Federal History News
George W. Bush Presidential Library Now Open
The George W. Bush Presidential Library opened to the public on May 1 on a 24-acre site at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. It is the 13th presidential library in the National Archives system. The facility houses a library and a museum, presidential archives, a public policy institute, the Bush foundation and a 15-acre park, all honoring Bush’s two terms in office. The library features a theater, a life-size Oval Office, a 14,000-square-foot permanent exhibit, classrooms, research rooms, storage rooms for archives as well as archival processing and exhibit preparation rooms. The library’s collections include more than 200 million emails (about 1 billion pages), 80 terabytes of digital information, nearly 70 million pages of documents, nearly 4 million photographs, and 43,000 artifacts, much of which will not be available and processed for years. The facility also includes be the privately funded George W. Bush Institute, which will be “committed to serious, independent research aimed at generating practical solutions to important public policy problems.”
In Memoriam, William Maury, Census Bureau
William M. Maury died April 12, 2013, in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 73. Maury served as chief historian at the Census Bureau since 2002.Dr. Maury earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland in 1963, a master’s degree from the George Washington University in 1968, and a doctorate from GWU in 1975. He served as chief historian of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society while working toward his doctorate.Earlier, he had worked as a data analyst for the Federal Aviation Administration and taught history at Catholic University and George Washington University. Maury was a longtime member and supporter of the Society for History in the Federal Government.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives: In 2012, the IHD launched a new website on Joseph Henry (1797–1878), the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, from 1846 to 1878. The website covers his career as a scientist and as a science administrator. See “Joseph Henry: A Life in Science” at http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/joseph-henry. – - – In July 2012 “‘When Time and Duty Permit’: Smithsonian Collecting in World War II” opened in the ground floor of the National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit focuses on the Smithsonian’s role in the Pacific during World War II, providing geographic and scientific information on the Pacific, identifying disease-carrying pests, and encouraging soldiers stationed at remote locations to collect new specimens for the National Museum. The exhibit was curated by Smithsonian Historian Pamela M. Henson and will be on display until May of 2013. For additional information, see http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/When-Time-and-Duty-Permit-Collecting-During-World-War-II.
Call for Papers—Cryptologic History Symposium
The National Security Agency’s Center for Cryptologic History biennial Cryptologic History Symposium is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, 17 and 18 October 2013. The theme of the Symposium is “Technological Change and Cryptology: Meeting the Historical Challenges.” As in previous symposia, it is expected that historians from the Center for Cryptologic History, the intelligence community, the defense establishment, and the military services will join with scholars from around the world, signals intelligence veterans, graduate and undergraduate students, and members of the public to reflect and to debate topics from the cryptologic past. This is the fourteenth such symposium. The Symposium will take place at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Kossiakoff Center in Laurel, Maryland, which is only a few miles from NSA headquarters and from Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport. For more information or to submit a proposal on a cryptologic-related topic (first-round consideration already underway), contact the Executive Director of the Symposium, Dr. Kent Sieg, by email at email@example.com or by phone 301-688-2336. For more information, visit http://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/center_crypt_history/news/index.shtml
NCPH Michael C. Robinson Prize for Historical Analysis
The National Council on Public History invites applications and nominations for the biennial Michael C. Robinson Prize for Historical Analysis. The Robinson Prize, a $500 cash award and a certificate, recognizes historical studies that contribute to the formation of public policy. For information on eligibility and application procedures, visit http://ncph.org/cms/awards/m-c-robinson-prize-for-historical-analysis/
IN MEMORIAM, Anna Nelson
Anna Nelson died on September 27 in Washington, DC. She had retired after teaching diplomatic history at American University for 22 years. In her long association with government, she was a member of the National Study Commission on Records and Documents, 1976–77; the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, 1992–94; and the Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board, 1994–98. As a scholar, her awards included American Historical Association’s Troyer Steele Anderson Prize, and a public-policy fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She was a member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society for History in the Federal Government. She was active in the public history movement in the late 1970s and in the organization of the Society for History in the Federal Government, urging cooperation between historians and archivists, establishment of a House of Representative History Office, and the need to establish professional standards in federal history offices. She urged that the AHA’s National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC) represent and promote historical programs. There will be a memorial service at the Cosmos Club on Thursday, November 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. Those wishing to attend should contact Arnita Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org Those wishing to speak should note that as well.
U.S. Capitol Historical Society Fellowship
Applications are invited for the 27th year of the United States Capitol Historical Society Fellowship. This fellowship is designed to support research and publication on the history of art and architecture of the United States Capitol and related buildings. Graduate students and scholars may apply for periods ranging from 1 to 12 months; the stipend is $2,500 per month. (Most awards are for one to four months.) — Applications must be postmarked, e-mailed, or faxed by March 15, 2013, for fellowships beginning in September 2013 and ending in August 2014. Applications should be mailed to Dr. Donald Kennon, U.S. Capitol Historical Society, 200 Maryland Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002; faxed to the Architect of the Capitol at (202)-228-4602; or e-mailed in PDF format to
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details can be found at www.uschs.org. If you have questions about a potential topic, contact Dr. Barbara Wolanin at (202)-228-2700 or email@example.com.
Publications from the Bureau of Reclamation
The Bureau of Reclamation’s history program is able to offer copies of the following Reclamation publications to interested historians:
• Billington, David P., with Donald C. Jackson and Martin V. Melosi. The History of Large Federal Dams: Planning, Design, and Construction. Denver, Colorado: Bureau of Reclamation, 2005.
• Linenberger, Toni Rae. Dams, Dynamos, and Development: The Bureau of Reclamation’s Power Program and Electrification of the West. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2002.
• Rowley, William D. The Bureau of Reclamation: Origins and Growth to 1945. Volume 1. Denver, Colorado: Bureau of Reclamation, 2006. Available from the Government Printing Office. Volume 2 will be published in December 2012/January 2013 and will also then be available.
• United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. The Bureau of Reclamation: History Essays from the Centennial Symposium, edited by Brit Allan Storey, 2 volumes. Denver: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2008.
Order copies by phoning Andrew Gahan at (303) 445-3314 or e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1940 Census Released — The 1940 was released on April 12, 2012, with free, online access at www.1940Census.Archives.gov. For additional information on the census, including the instructions to the enumerators and the questions that were asked, visit www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/general-info.html
New National Personnel Records Center. A new building in St. Louis now houses the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the National Archives at St. Louis. NPRC is the repository for the personnel records of former members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard as well as civilian employees of the federal government—holding files (about 9 billion pages) for an estimated total of 100 million individuals who served their country in the military or as a civilian. In the last two years, the National Archives has taken legal custody of more than 213,000 cubic feet of civilian personnel records (representing the service of millions of employees), created by more than 112 different federal agencies between 1850 and 1951. The center is the busiest National Archives facility, handling 5,000–6,000 requests a day for information from personnel files—about 1.5 million a year.
Electronic Records Archives (ERA) Ordered to Halt Development: The Electronic Records Archives (ERA) was ordered to stop further development by October 1, 2011. It will not be able to fulfill the grand plans officials had for it in 2001 when they envisioned it as an advanced preservation system that would store electronic records from all formats and make them accessible to researchers. The system, funded by Congress, was a response to the constantly increasing quantity and complexity of electronic records generated by government agencies and ultimately to be deposited in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For more information on the ERA, see http://www.archives.gov/era/ A more extensive report is under our Archives and Electronic Records section.
The Department of State’s Office of the Historian Announces that the Proceedings of “The American Experience in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975” are Now Available Online: The Department of State’s Office of the Historian in the Bureau of Public Affairs convened a conference September 29-30, 2010, on U.S. policy and the war in Southeast Asia, 1946-1975, with special emphasis on the years of greatest American involvement in the conflict in Vietnam. Featured speakers at the conference included Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, Dr. Henry A. Kissinger and Ambassador John D. Negroponte, participants in the Vietnam policy process, and the late Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke. The conference showcased and commemorated the completion of the Indochina/Vietnam War documentary histories prepared by the Office of the Historian in the Foreign Relations of the United States series. In approximately 26 volumes, the Office of the Historian has printed over 24,500 pages of policy related documents. Transcripts and videos can be found on the Office of the Historian website.
U.S. Army Center of Military History Civil War Site: The U.S. Army Center of Military History recently launched a new Web page dedicated to commemorating U.S. Army operations in the Civil War as part of America’s Sesquicentennial commemoration of the War. The page is composed of a brief overview of the commemorative event, a timeline that lists significant actions, any published works that CMH has produced or archival material that it maintains, artwork and photographs, as well as a section with links to other organizations. As we mentioned during the Commemoration panel at the last SHFG Conference, CMH will be pleased to include additional links to other government organizations engaged in Civil War commemoration. If you are interested in linking your organization to CMH’s page, please contact Dr. Thomas Boghardt at email@example.com. Visitors may access the site by going to http://www.history.army.mil/files/commemorations/civil_war/index.html
Library of Congress: The Library’s Interpretive Programs Office has opened a new online exhibit titled “The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photographs from the Liljenquist Family Collection.” This collection features rare and candid images most of which have never been exhibited before. See http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/civilwarphotographs/pages/default.aspx