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AMFELLOWS Home

AMFELLOWS Home

AMFELLOWS  November 2000

AMFELLOWS November 2000

Subject:

New Inauguration Site in American Memory

From:

"Elizabeth L. Brown" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

American Memory Fellows <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 8 Nov 2000 15:32:31 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (130 lines)

This announcement is being sent to a number of lists.
Please accept our apologies for any duplications.

Collaborative Online Collection Celebrating Presidential Inaugurations
Now Available on American Memory

The Library of Congress has made available at its American Memory Web
site an online collection of selected materials to celebrate the
inaugurations of the presidents of the United States. “I Do Solemnly
Swear . . .”: Presidential Inaugurations consists of approximately four
hundred items from each of sixty-two inaugurations, from George
Washington’s in 1789 to William Jefferson Clinton’s in 1997, and will
include items relating to the sixty-third inauguration of 2001. A key
objective of this online presentation is to make accessible to the
public, before the inauguration of the next president, many of the
treasures and other important primary-source materials held by the
Library of Congress as well as by other institutions. The collection has
been organized chronologically by presidential inauguration and an
effort has been made to offer a balanced number of items for each 
inaugural event.  It is produced by the National Digital Library 
Program and contains material primarily from legislative and 
executive branch agencies with additional items from other 
collection sources. The website can be accessed at the following 
url: <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/pihtml/>.

Presidential inaugurations in the United States represent the 
transfer of power from the people to a new or re-elected president 
and are marked with all the gravity and solemnity appropriate to such 
a momentous occasion. The ceremonies surrounding the investiture 
of a president take place regardless of weather conditions and are 
accompanied by grand or modest celebrations as warranted by 
circumstances--the specter of war, ill health of a president, or a 
president’s wishes. In times of tragedy, at the death of a president, 
an inauguration becomes a muted occasion, a simple swearing-in 
ceremony, when a vice president assumes the presidency.

Behind the panoply of public display, there is the intimate, human side
of every inauguration­ the president's inaugural address to be drafted,
letters to be written, and thoughts to be entered into diaries­all of
which enrich our understanding of a president and his inauguration. 
The private, “behind-the-scenes” nature of manuscript materials, 
in particular, provides a different perspective to such a grand and
important event and allows us to contemplate it in another dimension,
the private realm.

This collection includes selections from diaries and letters of
presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten 
drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and 
programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. The selections are 
drawn from the Presidential Papers in the Manuscript Division, as 
well as from the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division, 
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Music Division, and the 
General Collections of the Library of Congress. Additional original 
material has been included from the photography collections of the 
Architect of the Capitol and the United States Senate Office of the 
Sergeant at Arms.  Links are provided to images or documents in 
the online collections of the Presidential Libraries (administered by 
the National Archives and Records Administration--NARA) and the 
White House. It is expected that numerous related inaugural Web 
sites will link to this Library of Congress site, among them those of 
the Smithsonian Institution, the Joint Congressional Committee on 
Inaugural Ceremonies, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and 
Museum, Hyde Park, New York.  Some items in this presentation­-
from records of early sessions of Congress to early films of 
Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt­are already online in 
American Memory. An important component is a collaboration with 
the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, which permits the site 
to offer Yale’s online presentations of the inaugural addresses from 
Presidents Washington to Bush with associated searchable text 
transcriptions.

Special presentations and noteworthy Web sites related to this
collection include:

The essay “Presidential Inaugurations­Words and Images” offers 
examples of contemporaneous pairings in which a recounting of an 
inaugural event in a diary or letter corresponds to an image of the 
same event. These matched words and images were felicitous 
discoveries among the numerous selections for the Presidential 
Inaugurations Web site.

“Bibles and Scripture Passages used by Presidents in taking the Oath of
Office,” “Presidential Oaths of Office,” and “Inaugurals of Presidents
of the United States: Some Precedents and Notable Events”­three
reference lists compiled by the Office of the Curator in the Architect
of the Capitol­present historical facts such as the dates and locations
of each presidential inauguration and the chief justices or other
officials who presided. They also provide details about inaugural
“firsts” such as the shortest and longest inaugural addresses (George
Washington, 1793; William Henry Harrison, 1841); the first vice
president to assume the presidency at the death of a president (Tyler,
1841); the first inaugural to be covered by telegraph (Polk, 1845); or
the first time an automobile was used in an inauguration (Harding,
1921).

A forthcoming video presentation by Manuscript Specialist Dr. Marvin
Kranz, curator of  Presidential Inaugurations, focuses on selected items
in the online presentation.

  A Library of Congress publication compiled by Ruth Freitag,
Presidential Inaugurations: A Selected List of References, a major
bibliography of presidential inaugural sources, is presented online for
the first time with fully-indexed, searchable citations.

  A link to the Web site of the Joint Congressional Committee on
Inaugural Ceremonies (Senate Committee on Rules and Administration)
provides a history of the committee and its role in organizing the
inaugural ceremonies. This site will feature a live broadcast of the
presidential inauguration of 2001.

“I Do Solemnly Swear . . .”: Presidential Inaugurations will be added to
more than eighty collections already freely available from American
Memory, a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library
of Congress. By the end of 2000, the conclusion of the Library's 200th
year, the program will bring more than five  million items of American
history to citizens everywhere through the Internet.

Please direct any questions to [log in to unmask]
  _________________________________________________________
                                                          
    Elizabeth L. Brown
    Automated Reference Services Librarian                            
    National Digital Library Program, LIBN/NDL/LC(1330)   
    Library of Congress, Washington, DC  20540-1330       
    [log in to unmask]                telephone: 202/707-2235   
                                                          
    Library of Congress American Memory Home Page:                    
    http://memory.loc.gov/                
_________________________________________________________

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