Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Preservation of Harry Truman's Office at the Truman Library

The Truman Library is currently embarked on a project to preserve the office of former President Harry Truman and to improve the interpretive experience for the Library's museum visitors. The former President worked in this office from 1957 until 1966. From here he met many visiting dignitaries, handled correspondence, and directed many of the activities of the Truman Library.

Years of exposure to sunlight, fluctuations in temperature and humidity, and exposure to particulates in the air have resulted in a range of conservation issues that affect the office furnishings and other contents. Problems range from mold on leather book bindings to tarnished silver, and from cracking leather on furniture to fading colors on book jackets and photographs.





The Truman office renovation project has three component parts:

1. The first involves the preservation of the original historical materials in the office. The office furniture, along with nearly 1200 books from his private library and 180 artifacts, gifts, and other objects are undergoing conservation treatment using funds provided by a Save America's Treasures grant, administered by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

2. The second (supported by private funds) involves the construction of a pavilion of approximately 800 square feet in the Library's courtyard immediately outside Truman's office. This pavilion will block all natural light from entering Truman's office, and it will provide a climate buffer between the courtyard and the office, thus helping to stabilize climate fluctuations within the office. The pavilion will also provide a location for interpreting Truman's office through the display of graphic panels, photos, text, and audiovisual presentations.

3. And, finally, the third part of the project (supported by both private and Federal funds) involves the installation of a new HVAC system for Truman's office that will maintain more constant temperature and humidity readings, similar to the systems used in other collection storage areas within the Library building.

The target for completion of this project is mid-2009.