For Immediate Release: February 24, 2000
Contacts: Edeen Martin
816-268-8218
Truman Library and Museum

Michelle Manuel
816-842-1500
Barkley & Evergreen Public Relations

Truman Library and UMKC Establish Presidential
Studies Collection for Kansas City

– Local students to attend Collection grand opening at Miller Nichols Library –

(Independence, Mo.) – More than 2 million pages of presidential documents and 1,500 books relating to the presidency are being transferred from the holdings of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Miller Nichols Library. The new Presidential Studies Collection has been established to make the materials more centrally available to students, teachers and the public in the Greater Kansas City area.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Collection, the Truman Library and UMKC will host an event on Friday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. in room 303 of the Miller Nichols Library. Students from Paseo High School, the Barstow School, and UMKC will engage in a research workshop using materials in the Collection. The workshop will illustrate the unique and challenging character of original historical documents, and will help students analyze the information from the Collection to make their own judgments about past events. The materials in the Collection include more than 2,000 rolls of microfilm containing substantial collections of the papers of 18 presidents, including George Washington, John and John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt.

The collections of 16 of the presidents are in the holdings of the Library of Congress; the John and John Quincy Adams papers are held by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Also included in the Collection are photocopies of 40,000 pages of historic documents regarding 50 significant topics relating to Truman and his presidency, including the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the recognition of Israel, the founding of NATO, the 1948 election, the Fair Deal and the Korean War.

"Researchers come to the Truman Library from around the world to use unique archival records relating to Harry Truman and the Truman presidency," Larry Hackman, director of the Truman Library, said. "Yet the library holds very important publications and microfilm relating to other presidents and the presidency. We would like these materials to be accessible to faculty and students at UMKC, other colleges, and to high schools students and teachers." UMKC Interim Chancellor Gordon H. Lamb agreed. "These are important materials for our faculty and students, and we are happy to make them available to other users as well. This Collection is another part of the productive collaboration between the Truman Library and UMKC."

Under the joint agreement creating the Presidential Studies Collection, which was approved by both the Archivist of the United States (the Truman Library is part of the National Archives and Records Administration) and the Chancellor of UMKC, the university will catalog the Collection, acquire new equipment to store it and facilitate its use, and will provide free and open access to it. The Web sites of both of the partners will provide information about the Collection. In addition, the Truman Library will promote use of the collection to students during National History Day competition, which the library sponsors in the Greater Kansas City, Missouri region.

The partners will appoint collection liaisons and a joint working group to regularly review the condition and use of the collection. The Harry S. Truman Library is one of 10 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It houses about 15 million pages of documents, including President Truman’s own papers relating to his life and presidency. The Truman Library is located at 500 U. S. Highway 24 in Independence, Mo. For information, call 816-268-8200 or visit the Truman Library web site at www.trumanlibrary.org

UMKC University Libraries, with three campus locations, consist of more than one million volumes, 6,722 current serial subscriptions and collections of government documents, microforms, sound recordings and musical scores. The Presidential Papers Collection will be complemented not only by these holdings, but also by the Libraries’ Special Collections, which include the Snyder Collection of Americana and the Richard W. Bolling Papers. Ready reference service and on-site access to the collections are available to the Kansas City community during library hours, which for the winter semester are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 - 11 p.m. Library materials are available in many formats including print, CD-ROM and online technology. Primary access to the collections is available by using the University of Missouri System’ s online catalog, MERLIN, located at www.umkc.edu/lib/.

For more information, call (816) 235-1534. To schedule group appointments to use the Presidential Studies Collection, call Robert Ray, special collections librarian at (816)235-5712.

The Truman Library and Museum is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Mo. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a. m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, $3 for children ages 6 to 18, and free for children 5 years and under.

The Harry S. Truman Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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