Caroline Kennedy, president of Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, today unveiled the largest online digitized presidential archive ever in the U.S. She was joined by David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States. The release of the digital archive helps commemorate the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy,
Digital archive gives global access to JFK papers, records, photographs and recordings
President John F. Kennedy’s thousand days in office are represented in this “unprecedented” digital archive, according to press information from the JFK Library. Until now, the “national treasure of historical material” in the Kennedy Presidential Library’s collection was available only by a personal visit to the library, located in the Columbia Point section of Boston.
For a special video commemorating the 50th anniversary of JFK Inauguration, click on the Video in column to the left or CLICK on this link
JFK Library Collection now available online to the public
Now, the JFK collection is available online. This means that students, teachers, researchers and members of the public now “just need an internet connection to search, browse and retrieve original documents from the Kennedy Library’s collection, gaining a first-hand look into the life of President Kennedy and the issues that defined his administration.” said the JFK Library in a press statement.
A statement from Caroline Kennedy about the new JFK digital archive
“My parents believed that history is one of our greatest teachers,” said Caroline Kennedy, president of the Kennedy Library Foundation. “As young people increasingly rely on the internet as their primary source for information, it is our hope that the Library’s online archive will allow a new generation to learn about this important chapter in American history.
Kennedy also said that as they (children) “discover the heroes of the civil rights movement, the pioneers of outer space, and the first Peace Corps volunteers, we hope they too are inspired to ask what they can do for their country”
Included among the thousands of historical papers, documents and images from JFK’s administration that are now permanently preserved, in the words of the JFK Library in Boston, are:
- The precious and irreplaceable records of the nation’s struggle for Civil Rights;
- The conflict with the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War;
- The efforts to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth;
- The commitment to public service through the creation of the Peace Corps;
- The prevention of a nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis;
- The embrace of American art and culture under the guidance of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
The availability of the online archive comes more than four years after Senator Edward M. Kennedy first announced plans to “digitize, describe, and electronically archive a selection of the Kennedy Library’s most important holdings, enabling world-wide access 24/7 via the internet.” (JFK Library)
“As the largest, most advanced digital archive created by a Presidential Library not “born digital,” the project can serve as a model for other presidential libraries and national and international archival institutions.”