archiveblog.jfklibrary.org http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org Archivally Speaking Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:10:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Finding Inspiration in the Archives: Honoring Women at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/03/honoring-national-womens-history-month/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/03/honoring-national-womens-history-month/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:11:42 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1311

Continue reading »]]> by Lindsay Closterman and Nicola Mantzaris, Metadata Catalogers, White House Photographs

As National Women’s History Month comes to a close, we want to pay tribute to the women represented in the collections of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library who were instrumental in shaping the landscape of American politics and human rights.

In the research we do as metadata catalogers for the White House Photographs collection, we are constantly discovering inspiring women throughout the Library’s collections. In their professional capacities, these contemporaries of John F. Kennedy met and worked with the President throughout his years in the White House. They held key roles in the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, served in high-ranking positions in the administration, were respected members of Congress, and held key roles as ambassadors, journalists, interpreters, doctors, scientists, military officials, and everyday leaders in the struggle for women’s rights.

The materials listed below highlight some of the women and organizations that contribute to making our collections so valuable and our jobs so rewarding. These documents, photographs, and oral histories reflect the diligent efforts on the part of women from all spheres of government and civilian life to enact legislation to improve the lives of American women in real and lasting ways.

 

FEDERAL LEGISLATION AND RECOGNITION

JFKWHP-AR7035-A. Meeting with President’s Commission on the Status of Women, 12 February 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-12-A.aspx]

JFKWHP-AR7035-A. Meeting with President’s Commission on the Status of Women, 12 February 1962
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-12-A.aspx]

 

 

From its establishment on December 14, 1961, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women examined discrimination against women in the United States and proposed ways to eliminate it. Chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, this bipartisan commission worked with the Civil Service Commission as well as the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, and Health, Education, and Welfare, to gather its findings and submit a final report to President Kennedy.

 

 

 

View more materials here:

Records of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/USPCSW.aspx?f=1

Audio interview with Eleanor Roosevelt on the Status of Women: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHA-085-005.aspx

Papers relating to the Commission from the President’s Office Files: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-093-004.aspx

 

 

JFKWHP-ST-C139-1-63. Visit of recipients of 3rd annual Federal Woman's Awards, 2 May 1963 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-05-02-D.aspx]

JFKWHP-ST-C139-1-63. Recipients of 3rd annual Federal Woman’s Awards, 2 May 1963
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-05-02-D.aspx]

JFKWHP-AR7069-A. Visit of recipients of 2nd annual Federal Woman's Awards, 27 February 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-27-A.aspx]

JFKWHP-AR7069-A. Recipients of 2nd annual Federal Woman’s Awards,
27 February 1962
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org
/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-27-A.aspx
]

The Federal Woman’s Awards recognized government employees for outstanding contributions to their fields. The recipients from 1962 and 1963 represented agencies such as the Department of Justice, National Cancer Institute, Department of Labor, Civil Service Commission, Department of the Army, Federal Aviation Agency, and NASA.

 

 

 

JFKWHP-AR7965-B. Signing of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 10 June 1963 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-06-10-B.aspx]

JFKWHP-AR7965-B. Signing of the Equal Pay Act of 1963,
10 June 1963
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-06-10-B.aspx]

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 promoted economic equality for women in the workplace. The leaders of women’s, civil rights, labor, business, and religious organizations who were present at the signing acted as the organizing forces behind the Equal Pay Act. Women in attendance included: Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor Standards, Esther Peterson; President of the National Council of Negro Women, Dorothy Height; Senator Maurine Neuberger (D-OR); Representative Edith Green (D-OR); Director of the United Automobile Workers Women’s Department, Caroline Davis; President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Dr. Minnie Miles; Executive Director of the National Council of Catholic Women, Margaret Mealey; and President of the National Council of Jewish Women, Pearl Larner Willen.

 

THE WOMEN

JFKWHP-ST-M6-1-61. Esther Peterson with President John F. Kennedy, 14 December 1961 [View photograph record here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-ST-M6-1-61.aspx]

JFKWHP-ST-M6-1-61. Esther Peterson with President John F. Kennedy, 14 December 1961
[View photograph record here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-ST-M6-1-61.aspx]

 

Esther Peterson was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor Standards from 1961 to 1969, as well as Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission on the Status of Women.

View her Oral History and Personal Papers here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-EEP-04.aspx

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/EEPPP.aspx

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth (Rudel Smith) Gatov was Treasurer of the United States from 1961 to 1962; she also served as a representative from California to the Democratic National Committee. View her Oral History and Personal Papers here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-ERG-01.aspx http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/ERGPP.aspx

JFKWHP-AR6303-A. Swearing-in of Elizabeth Rudel Smith as Treasurer of the United States,
30 January 1961
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-01-30-B.aspx]

 

Elizabeth (Rudel Smith) Gatov was Treasurer of the United States from 1961 to 1962; she also served as a representative from California to the Democratic National Committee.

View her Oral History and Personal Papers here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-ERG-01.aspx

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/ERGPP.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-KN-17561. Representative Edith Green attends a Congressional Coffee Hour, 14 April 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-04-14-F.aspx]

JFKWHP-KN-17561. Representative Edith Green attends a Congressional Coffee Hour, 14 April 1961
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-04-14-F.aspx]

 

Representative Edith Green of Oregon served on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. An advocate of women’s rights and higher education, Green was instrumental in the passage of Title IX, the 1972 legislation that prohibited discrimination against women in federally-funded educational programs. She served 10 terms in the House of Representatives from 1955 to 1974.

View her Oral History here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-ESG-01.aspx

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-AR7039-B. May Craig with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry S. Truman, 13 February 1962 View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-13-A.aspx

JFKWHP-AR7039-B. May Craig with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry S. Truman, 13 February 1962
View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-13-A.aspx

 

Veteran reporter May Craig, whose career spanned nearly four decades, served as the Washington correspondent for the Guy Gannett Publishing Company of Maine. Craig also had the distinction of being one of the few American female war correspondents during World War II.

View her Oral History here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-EMC-01.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-AR6661-E. Dr. Janet G. Travell briefs the press, 22 June 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-06-22-A.aspx]

JFKWHP-AR6661-E. Dr. Janet G. Travell briefs the press,
22 June 1961
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-06-22-A.aspx]

 

Dr. Janet G. Travell was Physician to the President from 1961 to 1965. A specialist in the relief of musculoskeletal pain, Dr. Travell began treating then-Senator John F. Kennedy for back pain in 1955.

View her Staff Files here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFJGT.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-KN-C17522. Nora Lejins with President John F. Kennedy and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, 12 April 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-04-12-A.aspx]

JFKWHP-KN-C17522. Nora Lejins with President John F. Kennedy and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, 12 April 1961
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-04-12-A.aspx]

 

Interpreter Nora Lejins was Assistant Chief of Language Services at the Department of State during the Kennedy Administration. She later became Chief of Language Services and retired in 1984 after 36 years of service in the State Department.

View more photographs here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-01-08-B.aspx

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-05-03-C.aspx

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-09-14-C.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-AR7272-A. Eugenie M. Anderson with President John F. Kennedy, 28 May 1962 [View photograph record here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-AR7272-A.aspx]

JFKWHP-AR7272-A. Eugenie M. Anderson with President John F. Kennedy, 28 May 1962
[View photograph record here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-AR7272-A.aspx]

 

 

Eugenie M. Anderson became the first female United States ambassador in 1949 and served during the Kennedy Administration as U.S. Minister to Bulgaria. A former delegate to the Democratic National Convention, Anderson later acted as United States Representative on the United Nations Trusteeship Council and the United Nations Committee for Decolonization.

View her Oral History here:

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-EMA-01.aspx

 

 

 

NOTABLE ORGANIZATIONS

JFKWHP-ST-336-2-62. Visit of members of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 2 August 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-08-02-C.aspx]

JFKWHP-ST-336-2-62. Members of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, 2 August 1962
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-08-02-C.aspx]

 

 

Founded in 1896, the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs merged multiple organizations, large and small, into one association whose common goals were to support racial and gender equality. The NACWC grew primarily out of the union of the Colored Women’s League of Washington, D.C. and the National Federation of Afro-American Women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-KN-C21765. Visit of representatives of the Women's Army Corps regarding 20th Anniversary,  15 May 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-05-15-C.aspx]

JFKWHP-KN-C21765. Representatives of the Women’s Army Corps regarding 20th Anniversary,
15 May 1962
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-05-15-C.aspx]

 

 

 

The Women’s Army Corps was the all-women branch of the United States Army, created first as an auxiliary unit in 1942 and then established as a formal branch of the U.S. Army in 1945. It was disbanded in 1978 when women were integrated into the other branches of the Army, serving alongside men in all but combat roles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JFKWHP-KN-C17738. Visit of members of the Association of Women Helicopter Pilots, 4 May 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-05-04-B.aspx]

JFKWHP-KN-C17738. Members of the Association of Women Helicopter Pilots, 4 May 1961
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-05-04-B.aspx]

 

 

 

The Association of Women Helicopter Pilots (also known as “Whirly-Girls“) was founded in 1955 by aviator Jean Ross Howard, with members from the United States, France, and Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postcard with commemorative Amelia Earhart stamp [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-104-002.aspx]

Postcard with commemorative Amelia Earhart stamp, c. 1963
[View entire folder here:
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-104-002.aspx]

 

 

The Ninety-Nines, Inc. (International Organization of Women Pilots) was established in 1929 by 99 female pilots. Amelia Earhart served as the organization’s first president.

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/03/honoring-national-womens-history-month/feed/ 0 AR7035-A JFKWHP-AR7035-A. Meeting with President’s Commission on the Status of Women, 12 February 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-12-A.aspx] JFKWHP-ST-C139-1-63_lowres JFKWHP-ST-C139-1-63. Visit of recipients of 3rd annual Federal Woman's Awards, 2 May 1963 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-05-02-D.aspx] JFKWHP-AR7069-A JFKWHP-AR7069-A. Visit of recipients of 2nd annual Federal Woman's Awards, 27 February 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-27-A.aspx] AR7965-B JFKWHP-AR7965-B. Signing of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 10 June 1963 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1963-06-10-B.aspx] ST-M6-1-61 JFKWHP-ST-M6-1-61. Esther Peterson with President John F. Kennedy, 14 December 1961 [View photograph record here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-ST-M6-1-61.aspx] AR6303-A Elizabeth (Rudel Smith) Gatov was Treasurer of the United States from 1961 to 1962; she also served as a representative from California to the Democratic National Committee. View her Oral History and Personal Papers here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-ERG-01.aspx http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/ERGPP.aspx KN-17561 JFKWHP-KN-17561. Representative Edith Green attends a Congressional Coffee Hour, 14 April 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-04-14-F.aspx] AR7039-B JFKWHP-AR7039-B. May Craig with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry S. Truman, 13 February 1962 View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-02-13-A.aspx AR 6661-E JFKWHP-AR6661-E. Dr. Janet G. Travell briefs the press, 22 June 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-06-22-A.aspx] JFKWHP-KN-C17522_lowres JFKWHP-KN-C17522. Nora Lejins with President John F. Kennedy and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, 12 April 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-04-12-A.aspx] JFKWHP-AR7272-A JFKWHP-AR7272-A. Eugenie M. Anderson with President John F. Kennedy, 28 May 1962 [View photograph record here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-AR7272-A.aspx] JFKWHP-ST-336-2-62 JFKWHP-ST-336-2-62. Visit of members of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 2 August 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-08-02-C.aspx] KN-C21765 JFKWHP-KN-C21765. Visit of representatives of the Women's Army Corps regarding 20th Anniversary, 15 May 1962 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1962-05-15-C.aspx] JFKWHP-KN-C17738_lowres JFKWHP-KN-C17738. Visit of members of the Association of Women Helicopter Pilots, 4 May 1961 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-05-04-B.aspx] JFKPOF-104-002-p0016 Postcard with commemorative Amelia Earhart stamp [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-104-002.aspx]
Restoring the Past in the White House: A Look at the Jacqueline Kennedy White House Restoration Project http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/03/restoring-past-white-house-look-jacqueline-kennedy-white-house-restoration-project/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/03/restoring-past-white-house-look-jacqueline-kennedy-white-house-restoration-project/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:10:54 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1277

Continue reading »]]> by Suzanna Calev and Sara Hawran, Graduate Student Interns (Simmons College)

Greetings from Reference interns Suzanna Calev and Sara Hawran! We have recently completed an exhibit board in the main research room of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, entitled “Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House Restoration Project.” Through our research we have come across many interesting documents on this topic, too many in fact to fit in our exhibit board. While there is much scholarship written about the restoration, the documents have given us a new understanding of the work that went into restoring the White House and of the dedication of many individuals who made the project possible. We would like to highlight some of those documents in this blog post.

According to a September 1, 1961 interview with Life magazine’s Hugh Sidey, Jacqueline Kennedy visited the White House with her mother and sister in 1941. She noticed the lack of historical furnishings on display and of information on the history of the house. When she became First Lady in 1961, Mrs. Kennedy sought to restore the White House to reflect the styles of past presidents. Our search first led us to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Personal Papers, in which we came across a memorandum released on April 24, 1961 explaining the mission of the White House Restoration Project. Here is an excerpt from that memo:

The White House as a Symbol [Excerpt; see digitized folder of material, here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JBKOPP-SF01-004.aspx]:

 

symbol144

 

In preparation for the restoration project, Jacqueline Kennedy created a Fine Arts Committee that would help her find antiques from different presidencies. We came across a brief history of changes made to the White House during each presidential era, the narrative of which was written by Clinton P. Anderson, Senator of New Mexico from 1949 to 1973 (reproduced below). This document was unique because it pulled together the history of White House renovations made during each administration.

[See digitized folder of material, here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JBKOPP-SF01-004.aspx]:

 

White House001 (1)White House002White House003 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For her restoration project, Mrs. Kennedy sought the help of three individuals: interior decorator Dorothy Mae “Sister” Parish; American antiques collector Henry Du Pont; and Parisian designer Stéphane Boudin. With the assistance of Parish, Du Pont, and Boudin, she planned the alterations for each room. It was decided that the Blue Room would be restored to the period of President Monroe. Mrs. Kennedy fashioned the room after the French Empire style, as President Monroe had himself had acquired French Empire furniture for the room after the 1814 White House fire. Two images from the White House Photographs collection show the room’s transformation between November 1961 and January 1963.

 

KN-C19304

 

 

 

[Before photo: White House Blue Room, 2 November 1961, JFKWHP-KN-C19304.]

 

 

blue-room-kennedy

 

 

 

[After photo: White House Blue Room, 24 January 1963, JFKWHP-KN-C26240B.]

 

 

 

Although the curtains and upholstery remained the traditional blue, the room’s walls were changed to the cream color of President Madison’s administration. In the course of researching the Blue Room we found the following memo to Pierre Salinger, which discussed the possibility of changing the room to white. Included in the memo is Mrs. Kennedy’s statement that “the Blue Room will always be the Blue Room.”

[Blue Room excerpt from the Salinger memo; see digitized folder of material, here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHCSF-0166-007.aspx]:

 

WHCSF002

 

Mrs. Kennedy’s restoration met with overwhelming approval. She received thousands of letters from the public praising her restoration efforts, especially after her televised tour on CBS. Although some people were not pleased with her efforts, most of the messages sent to Mrs. Kennedy were very positive. The White House Social Files contain many of these letters, and the letters shown here exhibit two very different reactions to Mrs. Kennedy’s work on the White House.

 

[Left: view digitized folder here, http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSF-0942-009.aspx]

[Right: view digitized folder here, http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSF-0247-009.aspx]

 

Praise003Criticism002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the Kennedy restoration effort, an executive order was passed on March 7, 1964 requiring the Committee for the Preservation of the White House to approve any modifications to the State Rooms.  The Committee, which included the White House Curator and Chief Usher, would work with each First Family to maintain the historical integrity of the White House. As a result of Jacqueline Kennedy’s work on the restoration project, all administrations are now held accountable for the preservation of the White House.

These are just some of the documents that we came across in preparation for our exhibit board; the Kennedy Library holds many more materials on Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House Restoration Project. If you’re interested in researching this topic, we welcome researchers to visit the library.

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/03/restoring-past-white-house-look-jacqueline-kennedy-white-house-restoration-project/feed/ 0 symbol144 White House001 (1) White House002 White House003 (1) KN-C19304 blue-room-kennedy WHCSF002 Praise003 Criticism002
Now Fully Digitized: The White House Staff Files of Lee C. White http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/02/new-digital-collection-white-house-staff-files-of-lee-c-white/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/02/new-digital-collection-white-house-staff-files-of-lee-c-white/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:48:09 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1244

Continue reading »]]> by Tricia Patterson, Graduate Student Intern (Simmons College GSLIS)

We are happy to report that the White House Staff Files of Lee C. White is now fully digitized and available on our website.

Lee Calvin White was born in Omaha, Nebraska on September 1, 1923. He remained in Nebraska to earn both his bachelor’s and law degrees before becoming an attorney. White began his career as an assistant to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. at the Hoover Commission and as a legislative assistant to then-Senator John F. Kennedy in 1954. By 1961, he became the Assistant Special Counsel to the President, working under the Special Counsel to the President – his former law school classmate, Theodore C. Sorensen.

In 1962, Harris Wofford, Special Assistant to the President for Civil Rights, was appointed the Special Representative for the Peace Corps in Africa. In his wake, White assumed many of Wofford’s previous civil rights responsibilities, working toward equitable opportunities in employment, education, and voting rights.

White was involved in several key civil rights issues and events during this time. He advised on specific federal civil rights issues: programs such as Plans for Progress; meetings with civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr.; the use of federal troops in civil disturbances; the 1961 Freedom Rides; the 1963 March on Washington; and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He kept the federal government accountable for its adherence to equal opportunity employment, soliciting labor statistics from specific departments and agencies in the effort. White also corresponded with civil rights constituents on behalf of President Kennedy, relayed current events directly to the President, or collected information that would inform the President’s strategies.

 

JFKWHSFLCW-019-001-p0001

Memorandum to President Kennedy from Lee C. White regarding the formation of a bi-racial Human Relations Council in Anniston, Alabama, the former site of a Freedom Riders’ riot two years prior.

[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFLCW-019-001.aspx]

 

 

 

JFKWHSFLCW-019-001-p0005JFKWHSFLCW-019-001-p0004

A memorandum from White House legal adviser Norbert A. Schlei to Lee C. White in response to White’s request for legal counsel concerning President Kennedy’s upcoming visit to Alabama.

[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFLCW-019-001.aspx]

 

 

JFKWHSFLCW-019-010-p0063JFKWHSFLCW-019-010-p0064

A letter to Lee C. White from National Science Foundation (NSF) Director, Alan T. Waterman, regarding the NSF’s adherence to President Kennedy’s directive not to fund discriminatory teacher training programs.

[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFLCW-019-010.aspx]

 

 

Lee White stayed on within President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration as Associate Special Counsel and then Special Counsel to the President before becoming chairman of the Federal Power Commission in 1966. In 1969, White returned to practicing law as a partner in a private firm. After a career spent contributing to the progress of society through the law and legislation, White passed away on October 31, 2013 at the age of 90.

The White House Staff Files of Lee C. White consists of 24 boxes organized into two series: the General File (1954-1964) and the Civil Rights File (1961-1963). The collection reflects the range of presidential programs that White advised on in his capacity as Assistant Special Counsel and focuses primarily on legislation related to small businesses, natural resources, economics, and of course, civil rights.

 

JFKWHSFLCW-008-005-p0017

Memorandum from Lee C. White to President Kennedy advising the President on an upcoming bill for saline water conversion.

 [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFLCW-008-005.aspx]

 

 

 

 

JFKWHSFLCW-002-004-p0032JFKWHSFLCW-002-004-p0031General letter from selected members of the House of Representatives soliciting support for an upcoming project to use waste steam from a plutonium production reactor to generate energy.

[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFLCW-002-004.aspx]

 

 

 

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New Digital Collection: White House Staff Files of Sanford L. Fox http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/02/1223/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/02/1223/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:51:48 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1223

Continue reading »]]> by Kelly Francis, Assistant Digital Archivist for Textual Collections

The White House Staff Files of Sanford L. Fox is one of the more interesting collections at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and it’s also the most recent addition to our digital collections.

Sanford Fox came to work in the White House in 1952, ultimately rising to the position of Chief of the Social Entertainments Office in January of 1961, a post he held until 1975. As Chief, Mr. Fox was responsible for the planning, organization, and execution of events at the White House including state dinners, luncheons, teas, receptions, concerts, and informal dinners. He oversaw general protocol, as well as the engraving, printing, and calligraphy for menus, invitations, and seating arrangements.

The collection consists of two series: Guest Index, 1961-1964, containing an index card for each person who attended an event at the White House; and Social Events, 1961-1964, containing a folder for each event comprised of press releases, guest lists, printed menus, invitations, RSVPs, and entertainment programs. Also included in the Social Events series are folders related to President Kennedy’s funeral and three boxes of oversize, hand-printed seating plans.

Guest Index card showing individual, occupation, spouse, and events attended with dates. [View rest of folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-002-004.aspx]

Guest index card showing individual, occupation, spouse, & events attended, with dates.
[View rest of folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-002-004.aspx]

Letter of regret from Ludwig Bemelmans to Letitia Baldrige regarding a dinner in honor of Nobel Prize recipients. [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-013-006.aspx]

Letter of regret from Ludwig Bemelmans to Letitia Baldridge, Nobel Prize winners dinner.
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-013-006.aspx]

Page one of a guest list for a dinner-dance for friends at the White House on March 8, 1963. [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-020-009.aspx]

Page one of guest list for White House dinner-dance for friends, March 1963.
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-020-009.aspx]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menu for a luncheon for Prime Minister Gerhardsen of Norway and Mrs. Gerhardsen. [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-013-012.aspx]

Luncheon menu for Norwegian Prime Minister Gerhardsen and his wife, Mrs. Gerhardsen.
[View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-013-012.aspx]

Seating plan for a luncheon at the White House for the Prince and Princess of Monaco on May 24, 1961. [View folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-029-021.aspx]

Seating plan for White House luncheon, Prince and Princess of Monaco, May 1961.
[View folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-029-021.aspx]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most exciting aspects of the Sanford L. Fox White House Staff Files is that its records are connected to so many other collections at the Library. A folder for any given event may have accompanying photographs from the White House Photographs collection, audio of a toast from the White House Audio Collection, drafts of the toast from the President’s Office Files, or even a film covering a state visit from the United States Government Agencies Collection. For example, the folder maintained by Fox regarding the state dinner at the White House for the King and Queen of Afghanistan in September 1963 is also linked to two folders from the President’s Office Files related to the King and Queen’s visit and toasts given by President Kennedy and King Zahir, an audio recording of President Kennedy’s toast, photographs taken during the event, and a silent motion picture of Air Force Bagpipers and the Marine Band on the South Lawn of the White House [http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-024-012.aspx].

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/02/1223/feed/ 1 JFKWHSFSLF-002-004-p0022 Guest Index card showing individual, occupation, spouse, and events attended with dates. [View rest of folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-002-004.aspx] JFKWHSFSLF-013-006-p0004 Letter of regret from Ludwig Bemelmans to Letitia Baldrige regarding a dinner in honor of Nobel Prize recipients. [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-013-006.aspx] JFKWHSFSLF-020-009-p0130 Page one of a guest list for a dinner-dance for friends at the White House on March 8, 1963. [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-020-009.aspx] JFKWHSFSLF-013-012-p0005 Menu for a luncheon for Prime Minister Gerhardsen of Norway and Mrs. Gerhardsen. [View entire folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-013-012.aspx] JFKWHSFSLF-029-021-p0001 Seating plan for a luncheon at the White House for the Prince and Princess of Monaco on May 24, 1961. [View folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHSFSLF-029-021.aspx]
It Gets Better Project: Honoring Frank Kameny and the Fight for LGBT Rights http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/01/frank-kameny-and-the-fight-for-lgbtq-rights/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/01/frank-kameny-and-the-fight-for-lgbtq-rights/#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2014 20:29:17 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1193

Continue reading »]]> by Stacey Chandler, Reference Archives Technician

With the launch of the National Archives video for the It Gets Better Project, we’re spotlighting documents on the history of the LGBT rights movement from the collections of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450, which barred people with a history of “criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct,” including “sexual perversion,” from serving as employees of the United States government. That year, a young World War II veteran named Frank Kameny was working on his Ph.D. in astronomy at Harvard. In July 1957, he was hired as an astronomer for the U.S. Army Map Service – the work, he later wrote, he had hoped to do since he was seven years old.

But by 1958, the U.S. Civil Service Commission had fired and banned Dr. Kameny from federal service after investigating him for homosexual activity in violation of E.O. 10450. He appealed his firing through federal courts, losing twice; his appeal eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961. The Court refused to review his claim, but Kameny made history by bringing the case – the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation – to the Supreme Court.

Kameny continued to advocate for gay rights, forming the activist group The Mattachine Society of Washington in 1961. His work with the group is documented in the Kennedy Library archives, which holds letters that Kameny and other Mattachine members sent to the President in an effort “to stand up for their rights and freedoms.” Kameny explained in one letter:

In World War II, I willingly fought the Germans, with bullets, in order to preserve and secure my rights, freedoms, and liberties, and those of my fellow citizens. In 1961, it has, ironically, become necessary for me to fight my own government, with words, in order to achieve some of the very same rights, freedoms, and liberties for which I placed my life in jeopardy in 1945. This letter is part of that fight. (May 15, 1961)

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0002]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0002]

 

Kameny wrote an astounding number of letters throughout his lifetime of advocacy, most of which are now in the Library of Congress. The huge volume of his correspondence makes the personal nature of his letters to President Kennedy especially surprising for archivists here. In these letters, he tenaciously argued for the right of gay Americans to work as civil servants, poignantly evoking the President’s famous call to public service:

You have said: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ We know what we can do for our country; we wish to do it; we ask only that our country allow us to do it. (Excerpt, August 28, 1962)

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0009crop]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0009crop]

 

Kameny quoted other Kennedy speeches to point out the differences between political rhetoric and the reality of life for minority groups in the United States:

Yours is an administration which has openly disavowed blind conformity. …You yourself said, in your recent address at George Washington University, ‘…that (people) desire to develop their own personalities and their own potentials, that democracy permits them to do so…’ But your government, by its policies certainly does not permit the homosexual to develop his personality and his potential. (Excerpt, May 15, 1961)

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0004crop]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0004crop]

 

Kameny also sent Mattachine Society pamphlets and press releases to the White House, documenting some of Kameny’s goals beyond changing the rules for federal employment. These documents highlight Kameny’s now famous fight to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM):

Homosexuality is neither a sickness, disease, neurosis, psychosis, disorder, defect, nor other disturbance, but merely a matter of the predisposition of a significantly large minority of our citizens. (Excerpt, February 28, 1963)

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0017crop]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0017crop]

 

Letters from Kameny and the Society continued to arrive at the White House throughout 1962 and into 1963, many expressing frustration at the lack of response from the administration. In fact, the only response we’ve found in our archives is a brief note from John W. Macy, Chairman of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, to Bruce Schuyler, Secretary of the Mattachine Society, who had requested a meeting. Macy wrote:

It is the established policy of the Civil Service Commission that homosexuals are not suitable for appointment to or retention in positions in the Federal service. There would be no useful purpose served in meeting with representatives of your Society.

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0025]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0025]

 

Concerned by the disinterest of government officials at many levels, Kameny wrote to Ted Sorensen, President Kennedy’s Special Counsel, in March 1963:

We wish to cooperate in any way possible, if the chance for friendly, constructive cooperation is offered to us by you, but if it continues to be refused us, then we will have to seek out and to use any lawful means whatever, which seem to us appropriate, in order to achieve our lawful ends, just as the Negro has done in the South when he was refused cooperation. (March 6, 1963)

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0006]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0006]

 

Though Kameny passed away in 2011 without ever working as a professional astronomer again, he remained an outspoken leader in the LGBT rights movement for the rest of his life. In 2012, an asteroid was named after him as a posthumous honor both to the scientific career he might have had, as well as to his noteworthy contributions to civil rights in the United States.

This folder of documents in the Kennedy Library archives supports the idea noted by Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero:

Things have gotten better and we have many records here to prove just that.

 

Here at the Kennedy Library, we can look to a 1961 Kameny letter, which observes,

The winds of change are blowing. A wise and foresighted government will start NOW to take constructive action on this question.

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0003crop]

[JFKWHCNF-1418-002-p0003crop]

 

Almost fifty years later, when Kameny donated his records to the Library of Congress, he stated,

Things have changed. How they have changed. I am honored and proud that it is so.

 

Note: Check out all of Frank Kameny’s letters from the White House Central Name File in our digital archives. We also invite you to watch the National Archives’ contribution to the It Gets Better Project.

With thanks to Charles Francis, founder of The Kameny Papers project.

 

 

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An Experiment in Processing and Digitizing at the Same Time: The Personal Papers of Margaret Ronayne Hahn http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/12/processing-and-digitizing-at-the-same-time-the-personal-papers-of-margaret-ronayne-hahn/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/12/processing-and-digitizing-at-the-same-time-the-personal-papers-of-margaret-ronayne-hahn/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 23:38:15 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1165

Continue reading »]]> by Stephanie Mokszychi, Graduate Student Intern (Simmons College GSLIS)

At the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, collections are frequently processed years before digital images and related metadata are available online. Typically, multiple archivists handle materials as they move through the processing, cataloging, and digitization steps. In a trial experiment, I was responsible for all three of these stages in addition to creating a finding aid for the Margaret Ronayne Hahn Personal Papers. The goal of this project was to determine if a new combined method was one that could be applied to future collections.

Before starting this project I consulted the processing manual to familiarize myself with the guidelines and procedures that the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and its parent institution, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), have in place. I then worked on a processing plan, consulting an initial inventory, checking the deed status and potential restrictions imposed by the donor, and surveying the extent of the collection. I created a basic structure for textual folders in Documentum, the digital asset management system (DAMS) at the Kennedy Library. As I scanned documents, digital files were stored in Documentum according to their digital identifiers.  In retrospect, scanning the collection before arranging it was probably a bit premature. The digital identifiers and order of the folders changed repeatedly as I moved things around and probably created more work than I needed to.

I was surprised to find how challenging arranging series could be. While the collection contained items related primarily to the senatorial and presidential campaigns of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, there were a few objects that just didn’t quite fit with the rest. For example, contained in these papers was a road map of the state of Illinois. While I could infer from related materials that this was used during Hahn’s work on the 1960 presidential campaign, I could not include it in that series. There was no clear indication on the object itself that suggested this use and as a result I placed it in the General File. Several times I was faced with decisions like this; and it was only with the help of some more experienced archivists that I was able to create a logical series list.

MRHPP-001-023-001-p0001_adjusted

 

 

 

 

Shoe repair receipt for John F. Kennedy. View digitized folder here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/MRHPP-001-023.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was also a little uneasy about discarding newspaper clippings. As an archivist and lover of old documents, it was tempting to keep everything that the Library accumulated. After talking with others, I soon realized that many newspapers are available in a number of other places and that it simply wasn’t necessary to keep them here as well. Instead, I scanned all the originals for online viewing and photocopied them on archival paper, which will hold up better over time. The digitized materials will eliminate the need for researchers to handle fragile documents and allow them to access information remotely.

MRHPP-001-013-p0036

 

 

 

 

Newspaper clipping, Rose Kennedy campaigns for John F. Kennedy in Xenia, Ohio. View digitized folder of material here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/MRHPP-001-013.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Removing valuable materials was also an interesting part of processing this collection. Margaret Ronayne Hahn had several examples of correspondence with members of the Kennedy family in her personal papers, including letters of appreciation from Rose and John for her help on the 1960 presidential campaign, and thank you notes for her condolences on the loss of both John and Robert F. Kennedy. In order to ensure the safety of these materials, I photocopied the originals and replaced them in the open folders. I then created parallel folders to house the original materials. These items will be stored separately to guarantee their safekeeping.

MRHPP-001-021-p0009

 

Thank you note signed by Robert F. Kennedy to Margaret (Maggie) Hahn. View digitized folder of material here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/MRHPP-001-021.aspx

 

 

MRHPP-001-001-p0021

 

 

 

 

Thank you note signed by Rose Kennedy to Margaret (Maggie) Hahn. View digitized folder of material here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/MRHPP-001-001.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest challenge I found when engaging in this project was simply finding a space to accommodate all my roles. I needed a computer capable of accessing the DAMS, the Kennedy Library website, and the shared drive where materials and templates that document processing and scanning decisions are stored. Unfortunately, the computers that are currently set up to scan do not have this capability. I found myself switching between available work stations when I needed to create transfer sheets or document over-sized items. It was also difficult finding physical space to label and re-folder materials. A larger table or desk would have been an improvement and limited the amount of piles that accumulated around me. Overall, though, these problems were very minor and the entire experience went quite smoothly.

After completing digitization and finalizing the description, the finding aid to the Margaret Ronayne Hahn Personal Papers was published online. It can be found here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/MRHPP.aspx

I found the experience to be incredibly useful and I hope the Kennedy Library extends it to future interns. It was beneficial to see the entire process, from processing to web publication, and gain a better understanding of what goes into making a collection available. I scanned photographs and consulted the Audiovisual Reference unit on sound recordings, reviewed donor records, and wrote a finding aid–all skills that I would not have otherwise gained. I value what my colleagues and peers are working on, and appreciate their hard work each step of the way. Working on the Margaret Ronayne Hahn collection has also reaffirmed my excitement for the profession. There are fascinating materials hidden in collections all over and we in the archival profession can share them with the world.

 

 

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Personal Recollections of Corinne “Lindy” Boggs http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/08/personal-recollections-of-corrine-lindy-boggs/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/08/personal-recollections-of-corrine-lindy-boggs/#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:18:35 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1140

Continue reading »]]> by Sarah Jennette, Graduate Student Intern (Simmons College GSLIS)

The Oral History Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library includes an interview with Corinne “Lindy” Boggs, a notable member of the House of Representatives from Louisiana and a longtime friend of the Kennedy family. Sadly, Boggs passed away at her home in Maryland on Saturday, July 30th at the age of 97, leaving behind a prodigious legacy in politics that spanned several decades.

Prior to her own political career on Capitol Hill, Lindy Boggs supported her husband, Thomas Hale Boggs, who served as a congressional representative from Louisiana from 1941 until 1943. Hale Boggs served again in 1947, eventually becoming House Majority Leader until his death in 1972, when a plane in which he was traveling disappeared over Alaska. Following this tragic incident, Lindy Boggs was chosen by special election to fill her husband’s vacant spot, becoming the first woman from the state of Louisiana to be elected to Congress, a position she held for nine consecutive terms. In 1976, she was also the first woman to preside over the Democratic National Convention.

U.S. Congressional Representative from Louisiana Thomas Hale Boggs visiting President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office along with his wife, Lindy Boggs, and two other unidentified women. White House, Washington D.C., November 5, 1963 [WHP-ST-C380-2-63]

U.S. Congressional Representative from Louisiana Thomas Hale Boggs visiting President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office along with his wife, Lindy Boggs, his mother, and his mother-in-law. White House, Washington D.C., November 5, 1963. [JFKWHP-ST-C380-2-63]

Boggs’s career included the championing of many progressive programs and legislation—perhaps most notably those related to women’s equality and civil rights. She fought for women’s access to equal pay and financial security throughout the course of her congressional career and strongly supported civil rights legislation, despite the risk of incurring criticism from her Southern constituency.

Within her oral history interview, Lindy Boggs speaks at length about her and her husband’s friendship with the Kennedys, as well as her behind-the-scenes work as a political wife for the Democratic Party at that time. She gives voice to the experiences of other political wives and women in Washington, calling them “a remarkable lot” for the work they accomplished, diving head first into projects for fundraising and philanthropy, political campaign support, as well as other civic engagement efforts in the arts and entertainment. Perhaps not surprisingly, Boggs acknowledged that her work as a political wife prior to her husband’s death prepared her for her own time in Congress. The relationships and friendships she made while following his career became vital to her successful transition into politics, and she acknowledged feeling “privileged” to have supporters all around her.

One of Boggs’s major contributions during the Kennedy years was her role as co-chair of the inaugural ball planning committee. The committee was tasked with overseeing not only the celebratory pageantry of the gala, but also its business side as a major fundraising event in Washington. In her oral history interview, Boggs tells the story of how she, ironically, missed the inauguration of President Kennedy because of last-minute logistical problems caused by a massive snowstorm in Washington the night before, threatening to interfere with ticket distribution for the inaugural ball.

Lindy Boggs remained a representative in Congress until 1991. In 1997, President Clinton elected her as the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, a position she held for six years. Her death represents the passing of an era, and we are honored to hold a piece of her important legacy in the Archives of the Kennedy Library.

Lindy Boggs’s oral history interview can be found here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKOH-CB-01.aspx

Her daughter is the noted journalist, author, and NPR senior analyst, Cokie Roberts.

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/08/personal-recollections-of-corrine-lindy-boggs/feed/ 2 JFKWHP-ST-C380-2-63 U.S. Congressional Representative from Louisiana Thomas Hale Boggs visiting President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office along with his wife, Lindy Boggs, and two other unidentified women. White House, Washington D.C., November 5, 1963 [WHP-ST-C380-2-63]
“Archiving Your Peace Corps History”: A Presentation at the 2013 Peace Corps Connect Conference http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/08/preserving-your-personal-archives-a-talk-with-returned-peace-corps-volunteers/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/08/preserving-your-personal-archives-a-talk-with-returned-peace-corps-volunteers/#comments Sat, 24 Aug 2013 15:58:58 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1117

Continue reading »]]> by Christina Lehman Fitzpatrick, Processing Archives Technician

Cover of Peace Corps First Annual Report to Congress, 1962

Cover of Peace Corps First Annual Report to Congress, 1962
[JFKPOF-086-003-p0002]

I was pleased to participate in the Peace Corps Connect conference held in Boston on June 28-29. This event was the second annual gathering of the National Peace Corps Association. Because President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, the Kennedy Library has several archival collections pertaining to the agency and its work. Our largest collection is the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection, which contains original documents and archival materials created or received by volunteers during their official tours of duty, with an emphasis on the period of the Kennedy Administration. I am a processing archivist who has worked on the RPCV Collection for several years now, so I was glad to accept an invitation to speak at the conference and to meet some of these extraordinary volunteers in person.

My co-presenter for the workshop was Susan McElrath, the university archivist at American University, home of the newly-launched Peace Corps Community Archive. Our session was titled “Archiving Your Peace Corps History.” We discussed how RPCVs can develop a personal collection of items documenting their Peace Corps service; provided tips for preserving and storing these materials; talked about the process of donating personal materials to an archival repository; and reviewed the collecting scopes of each of our respective Peace Corps collections. Some of  following information may be of interest to our readers and to other potential donors of personal archives.

What should a personal Peace Corps archive contain?

When gathering your important documents, consider what journalists call the “Five Ws”: who, what, where, when, and why. Documents that answer these questions will form the foundation of your collection. Prioritize primary-source material, that is, material that is directly relevant to your own personal work and experiences. Primary-source material is the most informative because it provides a first-hand account of your service. Usually these are items you created yourself – such as letters you wrote or pictures you took – but sometimes they can also be items you used extensively, such as project manuals, or items created by other volunteers, such as a local Peace Corps newsletter. Consider whether you have any correspondence, diaries, training syllabi, rosters, directories, reports, plans, scrapbooks, slides, or videos from your service.

Organizing your personal archive

Sorting and labeling your materials will allow you to gain control over the collection. Start by grouping similar types of materials together. For example, it is helpful to have all of your correspondence together in chronological or alphabetical order. Once you have organized your materials, place them in folders and label the folders with titles and date ranges, such as “Letters from home, 1961-1963.” Create an inventory of your collection by typing up a simple list of folder titles. You can also provide supplemental information if the context of certain items might not be clear to others. Photographs, especially, can benefit from adding a caption that describes the event and date and lists the names of people pictured.

Preserving your personal archive

The key to making sure your collection lasts as long as possible is a neutral storage environment. There are several things you can do to protect your materials. Try to keep the temperature and humidity as stable as possible because major fluctuations will cause items to deteriorate more quickly. Ideal conditions are a temperature between 68-70 degrees and relative humidity between 40-45 percent, but these benchmarks can be very difficult to achieve. The most important thing is to avoid storing your materials in the attic or the basement, where temperature/humidity fluctuations tend to be greatest. Always store your boxes on shelves instead of on the floor to prevent water damage from floods or leaks.

President Kennedy greets first Peace Corps volunteers in the Rose Garden, Aug. 28, 1961 [JFKWHP-KN-C18661]

President Kennedy greets first Peace Corps Volunteers in the Rose Garden, Aug. 28, 1961 [JFKWHP-KN-C18661]

Light and dust are also damaging, so materials should be stored in folders or boxes. Use archival-quality supplies if you can afford them. Look for boxes and folders that are acid-free. To store photographs, look for products that have passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT), which checks for chemicals that react with photos.

Exercise caution when handling fragile materials. The principle to keep in mind is “first, do no harm.” Avoid making non-reversible changes to your documents. For example, do not repair tears with Scotch tape. If you have to write on an item, use pencil, not pen. Instead of writing directly on the document, consider making notes on a separate piece of paper and file it in the same location. If you notice that rusty staples or paperclips are staining paper items, carefully remove them.

To ensure long-term access to digital files, make multiple copies and store them on a variety of media. For example, put one copy on a CD and also back one up on a removable hard drive. Since file formats change frequently, plan to transfer your files before they become outdated and unreadable. Using common formats such as PDF for text documents and MP3 or WAV for audio files will aid long-term readability.

Do-it-yourself or donate?

Caring for your personal collection is rewarding but it can also be quite labor-intensive. Consider your audience and your goals for maintaining this material; do you want to share your story with your immediate family or with the entire world?  Donating your items to an archival repository will make them publicly accessible to researchers seeking to understand the importance of the Peace Corps through history. You have many choices when determining where to donate your materials: a local historical society in your home town, the archives of your alma mater, or a repository that specifically collects Peace Corps materials. One benefit of donating your collection to an archive that has other Peace Corps collections is that it is already a destination for researchers, which will improve the likelihood of your materials being used on a regular basis.

What to expect when donating

If you wish to donate your material to an archival repository, first make a list of exactly what you want to send. Submit this information to the archivist with your contact information including country and dates of service. Please do not mail your material before contacting the staff with your donation inquiry; unsolicited donations may be returned. Once your donation is accepted, there is some paperwork to complete. Most archives require that you sign a deed of gift agreement to legally formalize the transfer of ownership. Executing a deed is in the best interests of both the donor and the repository, as it establishes the relationship between the two parties and documents the legal status of the materials. It also provides rules for the administration and use of the collection, and documents ownership of intellectual property rights; the Kennedy Library’s strong preference is for donors to transfer all intellectual property rights (copyright) that they hold in the materials, to the United States, making them pubic domain (PD).

Once your materials are accessioned into the archives, they will be available for research. If your collection contains sensitive information that should not be made public, be sure to mention this to the archivist during the donation process. Most archives routinely screen incoming materials for privacy concerns, such as personal medical or financial information, but it is very helpful if the donor points out specific issues in their papers. Access restrictions can also be specified in your deed of gift, though we encourage donors to open as much material as they possibly can; reviewing archivists will close any materials that infringe on the privacy rights of other individuals.

Peace Corps collections at the Kennedy Library and American University

First Group of Peace Corps Volunteers, First Annual Report to Congress, 1962

First Group of Peace Corps Volunteers, First Annual Report to Congress, 1962 [JFKPOF-086-003-p0021]

The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection at the Kennedy Library collects original documents and archival materials created or received by volunteers during their official tours of duty. Our current collecting policy focuses on the period from 1961 to 1963, the years of the Kennedy Administration. Donations of material created after 1963 may also be considered but are subject to the approval of the Director and Chief Archivist on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please review our donation policies.

The Kennedy Library is also home to the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Archival Project, an oral history initiative. Spearheaded by the late Bob Klein (RPCV Ghana I, 1961-1963), the project began recording oral history interviews with returned volunteers in the late 1990s. Since then, nearly 500 interviews have been completed and added to the collection. The scope of the oral history project is is not limited to the years of the Kennedy Administration. We are very grateful to Bob, and now to Phyllis Noble (RPCV Nigeria, 1965-1967), for their extraordinary efforts in building this marvelous collection.

The Peace Corps Community Archive at American University collects, exhibits, and provides educational and public programs that document the experiences and impact of individuals who served in the Peace Corps, and that of individuals and institutions in host countries. There are no limitations on format, date of service, or country. The institution also collects the organizational records of National Peace Corp Association member groups. For more information, please review the donation policies for the collection.

 

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/08/preserving-your-personal-archives-a-talk-with-returned-peace-corps-volunteers/feed/ 0 JFKPOF-086-003-p0002 JFKWHP-KN-C18661 President Kennedy greets first Peace Corps volunteers in the Rose Garden, Aug. 28, 1961 [JFKWHP-KN-C18661] JFKPOF-086-003-p0021 First Group of Peace Corps Volunteers, from Peace Corps Annual Report to Congress, 1962
Five Hemingway Scrapbooks Digitized and Available Online for the First Time http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/07/five-hemingway-scrapbooks-digitized-and-available-online-for-the-first-time/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/07/five-hemingway-scrapbooks-digitized-and-available-online-for-the-first-time/#comments Sun, 21 Jul 2013 16:09:03 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=988

Continue reading »]]>  by Jessica Green and Tiffany Link, Graduate Student Interns (Simmons College and Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Scrapbook1 cover_Page_0

Cover of Mother’s Scrapbook 1

Grace Hall Hemingway created and annotated five scrapbooks to document her son Ernest’s first eighteen years of life, long before he became a Nobel Prize-winning author. These unique scrapbooks include countless photographs of the Hemingway family and their friends both on vacation at their cottage in Michigan and at their home in Oak Park, Illinois. There are also many of young Hemingway’s letters, childhood drawings, homework assignments, and brochures from plays and events he attended. These scrapbooks are a valuable resource not only for Hemingway scholars, but for those interested in early 20th century life as well.

The first two scrapbooks were digitized in 2007 and the scrapbooks in digital form have been available for research in the John F. Kennedy Library for the last few years. During her 2012 summer internship in the Audiovisual Department at the JFK Library, Tiffany Link digitized scrapbook volumes 3, 4, and 5. There is a sixth scrapbook made by Grace Hall for Ernest’s grandparents (Grandparents’ Scrapbook) that has yet to be digitized.

The fragile condition of these scrapbooks has limited access to them by researchers in the past. Fortunately, Tiffany’s work last summer allows researchers to now view the scrapbooks in digital form on our website. The digitized versions allow researchers access to the information contained in the scrapbooks without causing harm to the delicate artifacts that might occur by handling them. PDFs of all five scrapbooks are now available for download on our website. High resolution images are also available at the library for viewing. To make an appointment to view the digital scrapbooks or other photographs in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, please email JFK.avarchives@nara.gov or call the reference line at 617-514-1622. In the future, the scrapbook images will be available through the library’s Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) with complete metadata.

Though the actual digitization process took nine weeks last summer, the effort was years in the making. Several years ago, audiovisual archivist James Hill and a former Hemingway Department intern, Alyssa Pacy, photographed the scrapbooks, creating 4×5 negatives for each page and each page of any inserts. The digital images were created from the 4×5 negatives. The first two weeks of the current digitization effort were spent organizing the 440 negatives and assigning each image a digital identifier. The next five weeks involved scanning each of the negatives. The last two weeks were spent identifying individuals in the newly scanned photographs and letters.

We Need Your Help Solving Mysteries!

While most photographs included caption information, some were blank or identified people with the infamous Hemingway family nicknames. We are hoping there is someone out there who can help us complete the collection by identifying some of the unknown individuals!

1. Who is Sue? She is pictured alongside Sunny (Hemingway’s sister Madeleine) in the following photos in Scrapbooks 3 and 4. Is she his sister Ursula or somebody else?

 

EH10440P

Four Kids and a dog (Sunny + Sue) April 1908
Scrapbook 3 p. 84, EH10440P

 

EH10495P  &  EH10496P

Sunny & Sue June 1910
Scrapbook 4 p. 17, EH10495P & EH10496P

 

2. The baby pictured in the image below looks similar to Hemingway’s sister Carol in the top image, but the caption identifies her as Don. Are they the same baby or different? Who is Don?

EHPH-SB4-044a_045

3 mo[nth] old Carol; Little Don in her nest 3 mo[nth] old
Scrapbook 4 p. 45, EH6216P & EH10529P

 

Tiffany Link is a student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She worked as an intern in the audiovisual reference unit during the summer of 2012.

Jessica Green is a student at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. From February 2012 to June 2013 she was an intern working with the Ernest Hemingway Collection.

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/07/five-hemingway-scrapbooks-digitized-and-available-online-for-the-first-time/feed/ 1 Scrapbook1 cover_Page_01 Cover of Mother's Scrapbook 1 EHPH-SB3-084_085 Four Kids and a dog (Sunny + Sue) April 1908 Scrapbook 3 p. 84, EH10440P EHPH-SB4-016_017 Sunny & Sue June 1910 Scrapbook 4 p. 17, EH10495P & EH10496P EHPH-SB4-044a_045 3 mo[nth] old Carol; Little Don in her nest 3 mo[nth] old Scrapbook 4 p. 45, EH6216P & EH10529P
Newly Digitized Material: Subject Series of the National Security Files http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/07/newly-digitized-material-subject-series-of-the-national-security-files/ http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/07/newly-digitized-material-subject-series-of-the-national-security-files/#comments Wed, 03 Jul 2013 19:34:15 +0000 http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/?p=1061

Continue reading »]]> by Kelly Francis, Assistant Digital Archivist for Textual Collections

The National Security Files (NSF) is one of the most popular collections requested by researchers at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. A rich collection, the NSF is a sub-file of the Presidential Papers of John F. Kennedy and the working files of McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

The Subjects series of the NSF was recently digitized and is now available online via the Kennedy Library’s website: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKNSF.aspx (click on “View Collection Content” at bottom of page).

The series consists of 23 boxes of material covering numerous topics including: the Alliance for Progress, the balance of payments, civil defense, foreign aid, nuclear weapons, background information for speeches by President Kennedy, space exploration, trade, and the United Nations. Below is a sampling of newly-available digital documents:

 

JFKNSF-295-016-p0018

 

 

 

Page one of a memorandum regarding the Soviet Union’s media coverage of civil rights in the United States.

View the rest of the memorandum here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKNSF-295-016.aspx

 

 

 

 

JFKNSF-306-006-p0001

 

 

 

 

A memorandum on security protocol for people traveling with President Kennedy.

View digitized folder of material here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKNSF-306-006.aspx

 

 

 

 
JFKNSF-312-005-p0013

 

 

 

 

Probable votes on a moratorium against recognizing Communist China in the United Nations.                                                                     

View digitized folder of material here: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKNSF-312-005.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]> http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2013/07/newly-digitized-material-subject-series-of-the-national-security-files/feed/ 0 JFKNSF-295-016-p0018 JFKNSF-306-006-p0001 JFKNSF-312-005-p0013